4.03.2008

On Trying To Be Creative In Today's Job Market

I've just spent the better part of an hour researching the various types of cover letters one sends to a prospective employer who isn't hiring. These letters are given highly technical names: prospective and networking. You are to know about the company. You are to know what you want to do for the company. Examples include things like "I received my MBA from Harvard and have extensive experience in networking solutions" and other such ramblings that are a foreign language to my brain.

Uh, what about example letters for the rest of us? Those of us who have yet to find our passion. Those of us who have passions in the creative fields where competition is overwhelming, where success is in the single digits percentage-wise. Those of us who have kind of drifted along, bouncing along, trying out different jobs, searching for what we enjoy and what we don't enjoy. Those of us who don't have that glaringly impressive, shiny, peachy, ass-kissing, brown-nosing resume.

Hi. I'm out of work and I need a job. But not just any job. A job that will reward me both financially and mentally. A job with a company that is progressive, casual. A company that sees employees as people, people who are more than just an employee. A company that doesn't require its employees to dress like starched-up robots. A company that doesn't micro-manage. That rewards innovative ideas. The creative spirit.

Does this employer even exist?

If so, what do I want to do for them? Ideally, I'd like to write for them in some capacity. Or help out in some counseling-type capacity, where we are providing for the survival, mental and emotional needs of clients. Or both write and help.

How do I put this all in a letter? Every few years I come to this fork in the road. This place where I have to reinvent myself and try something new. What happens? I end up being told "sorry, without experience we aren't interested" and end up resorting to some boring office-type position where I sit at a desk, staring at a computer screen, entering information, filing, invoicing, answering phones, for some company selling widgets for whom I have zero passion in.

I keep reading these articles about passion and how important it is. Sincere interest. Oh yeah? Why is it then not one company in this town has ever cared about my interest, my passion, in what they do?

My experience is that employers simply want a zombie to come in on day one and get to work making the company money. Period.

If anyone knows of a company in which I am seeking, please pass it along. My search, and it has been vast, has yet to uncover this place.

4 comments:

tkn said...

That's because it doesn't exist...yet.

We should create it. My appointment is running out in a few weeks and I'll be officially unemployed again, also. Other than some favors for friends, I will be pounding the pavement for a job as well. What a perfect opportunity to create something new ourselves.

Here's the thing, though. We're not gonna get paid. It'll be a lot of work, but we'll be working for ourselves.

I was browsing the job ads last week and was just about disgusted. I'm through with asking others for a job, I'm ready to create.

At the sustainability town hall, I met a guy named Peter (I think) who works at Sunbow farm and we talked about making compost from restaurant food waste. This is a no brainer. We need to be doing this. One obstacle that he pointed out was a large cleaning facility for the containers is needed. Well, that's simple enough. I'm gonna try to contact him.

Nina. Or is it Norman? said...

What do you mean by no pay? Unless one has a trust fund, work-for-pay is absolutely necessary. While I love the idea of working for myself, I am certainly not going to do that for free.

tkn said...

We have to start somewhere. We need to do the ground work and the home work first is what I mean. My plan for the time being is to hopefully get some unemployment compensation, work side jobs odd jobs when I can for pay but devote a good chunk of energy and time to this, if I do it.

I got an email from Peter at Sunbow, he's already speaking with funding sources here in town. If we could organize and make it a worker owned cooperative or non profit even, I think this restaurant waste composting operation could really fly. There's already a commercial operation in Washington. Cedar Grove Composting, I think. Why not here? Why not us? The technology is there.

Of course we'll need a living wage if and when the ball gets rolling, but we need to get to that point by being lean and mean. We need to invest ourselves in what would be a bold and innovative endeavor.

Corvallis could be a regional processor of restaurant food waste into compost.

I don't know Nina/Norman, I'm just throwing out ideas, I'm just sick of working for the man. And I see opportunities that are waiting to become reality.

Nina. Or is it Norman? said...

Ok, gotcha. Yes, I do understand laying the foundation means no pay. That is unless funding is received to help with start-up costs.

I think it's a very good idea. It isn't my passion (I'm still planning on studying mediation), but I would love to be a part of something like that, working for such a place, while I am studying/building my own vision.