Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Starving for a job

Hunger drives us to do strange things. I wonder how much of human endeavors could be traced back to being hungry. Societies undertake major migrations in search of food; humans will attempt to eat things previously not considered edible when they are hungry. Each of these are risks with either great or tragic outcomes; as an example consider what sort of trial and error went into realizing that rhubarb leaves were the toxic part of the plant.

Consider then how each of us may get when it comes time to evaluate if a particular job is good for us. Given the chronic under- and unemployment of ASD folk it is not surprising that many of us want any job as long as it shows promise of being better than where we are at. And it is hard to argue against that when we and/or our families lack something... especially food.

However how are you to protect against eating the toxic leaves and joining a place that will ruin you? Given the horrendous working conditions at some places it is possible that a bad work environment will harm you, your relationships or even drive you to attempt to harm yourself. If nothing else you could find yourself out of work soon enough.

Turning the traditional logic on its head-- it's easier to look for a job when you have a job-- it is easier to conceptualize your ideal job when you are not looking for one. So take a moment when you have a job to write out the criteria you would want in an ideal job and then stash it with copies of your resume on your machine. Later when you have to find a job you will have the clarity of the good times there to ground you when you go back out to find work. You may still not be able to find your ideal job but at least you will know how the current job in question deviates from your ideal and consciously know the deficiency rather than be surprised later.

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