Welcome to the second installment in a new category within my blog: Help Find A Friend A Job (#FAFAJ). Jennifer Hooper was the first, and continues to look (but with some good prospects from other sources.)
I was probably the first, but unintentionally. Check back to the beginning of this blog and its predecessor and read the cautious optimism of a semi-retired investor. My job search continues, (My Jobs Report Month 9 – now past month 10), but I wanted to open the discussion to more than just me. I use myself as an example that gets past the statistics, but I am not alone. People are having tough times. Usually I say that in a general way for the sake of discretion, but I realized that some of my friends might welcome the opportunity to speak up and have their story told too. So, I decided to ask a few if they’d be willing to answer a few questions. People are more than their resumes. Maybe this is another way to get to know them, and help find a friend a job.
Welcome to Spencer Webster, a man I know as an artist and a writer. Here are my questions and his answers.
0. I take it you are under-employed. Is that a good way to introduce you?
I definitely would say I’m under-employed. For nearly six years, that has been the case. I’m ready for the next big step, whatever that looks like.
1. Who are you? Not the job titles, but who are you?
I am that creative person who has a wide-ranging skill set and interests to match. Perhaps too-wide. I am a content producer, from photography, to writing, from video to audio, from editor to page designer. If you need an updated newsletter, whether electronic or in print, I’m your man.
I’m a people person, capable of connecting in very meaningful ways, which comes through in my interview style. I don’t just see people I’ve interviewed as done once the interview is complete and the article is written. I count them as friends.
2. How do you want to live your life?
I want to be valued for my skills to a point of comfort, in turn to be able to pay my bills and have enough left over to do the things I enjoy, travel with my wife, explore, camp, fly radio controlled soaring gliders, shoot photos and ride a good motorcycle. Not too much to ask for.
In the end, I want to be able to live in the here and now, not just survive.
Oh and I want to continue to write fiction and tell people’s stories that get people’s attention.
3. How have you been getting by?
The thing that keeps me afloat is my military retirement pay. I have been working minimum wage jobs while getting a few interviews here and there for that elusive hand-up position that would change my life for the better, financially.
4. What title fits you that would never be picked up by a resume robot?
All-around writer. From newspaper articles, to human-interest pieces, from light technical writing to converting technical speak to layman’s terms, I’ve got the ability to distill language into readable type.
5. What job jazzed you the most?
My time on USS Enterprise as a public relations specialist – I got my hands on newsletter production, broadcast television, media relations, design and connecting with people experience.
6. Did you leave your last job or did it leave you?
I left it because I was moving from Southern Illinois back to the Pacific Northwest.
7. Besides the paychecks and benefits, what do you miss about having a job?
If I was completely unemployed, I’d miss the socializing, the networking with anyone I connect with. I don’t miss much about my time in the Navy except the meeting and making friends with new people.
8. Have you learned anything, either formally or informally, in the meantime?
I’ve learned there is some elusive thing I’m missing that companies are seeking. I interview well, become top three within a list of candidates, but something is just not present in my experience nor in my characteristics that keeps me shy of being hired. I’d love to find out what that is.
9. What projects have you gotten done in the meantime?
I’ve just completed a metaphysical thriller novel about a man who dives into his psyche, and meets a whole host of good and bad characters that help him to work on issues of love and forgiveness.
10. How else do you keep yourself busy?
I build model aircraft, shoot and edit videos, spend time with my wife and kids and explore Kirkland, WA.
11. How can folks find you?
People can find me at email@example.com.
Spencer is always busy and trying new things. I wrote a few articles for an arts and lifestyle newsletter that he produced, edited, and published a few years ago (Inspiris). He certainly doesn’t sit still. He applies energy, talent, and enthusiasm to entrepreneurial projects. As he says, “Something’s got to break open.” He also has a YouTube channel and a Flickr feed.
Six years of looking. That’s impressive, and what’s more impressive is his positive attitude throughout. Role models exist. Here’s hoping that he finds the means to “live in the here and now, not just survive.”
A note to my friends: If you’re having a tough time finding a job and want to participate, send me an email. I don’t know how often I will post the responses. It has to fit in amongst the various projects that I’m pursuing. Stay tuned. Good luck.
A note to other bloggers: You’re welcome to pick up this idea too. Maybe using the same title, Help Find A Friend A Job (#FAFAJ), will help spread the idea. The more people hear the stories, the less likely they’ll see unemployment as a statistic or the unemployed as a stereotype. During the Great Depression people walked door-to-door asking for work. That is happening again, but maybe moving some electrons will be more effective. We might as well try. It would feel good to succeed.