Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to Turn the Page (on Life)

I'm not sure there is a wrong way.
This week, I learned that I will be entering a new chapter in my life. For those of you who are following me on social media, you will probably already be aware that I found out that my contract at NSERC, where I've been working for the last 11 months or so, will be ending come October 9th. That means that as of right now, I have a little over one week left to find work to replace that job.

Obviously, there are a number of negative ways I could choose to look at this. It would probably be very easy to sit back and let the bad news occupy my mind and bring down my mood. But I'm not going to do that. I've been here before. Since I left school in 2011, I've been unemployed 3 times, the longest time for 6 months (most of that by choice). The work I've done since I left school only vaguely relates to the work I am doing since I finished my degree.

Mostly, the reason I'm not worrying about new ventures is that things are going REALLY well in my life overall. Despite this looming potential unemployment, my life is mostly looking way up, which is something I'm really happy about. I just got married to the girl of my friggen dreams, I've lost almost 20 pounds since the beginning of July, I've got a large number of very satisfying hobby projects, and I have an amazing network of friends who have been incredibly supportive of everything I do.

I was very briefly hesitant to talk about my soon-to-be unemployment as publicly as I have, but in the many years since I basically became an open book to the world socially, my life has only gotten way better. And the reaction and help I've gotten from friends, colleagues, family and many other people is really quite touching. Once you tweet your weight to the world, directing them to a website where anybody can see what you've weighed for the last 30 days, there's really no reason to keep anything too secret.

Oddly (though maybe I shouldn't be surprised), the main question I get when people want to help me look for a job is "What kind of work are you looking for?". I think this is a weird question mainly because I don't really think too much about it. I want to work, I want to make a living and I want to do something I love. I really like media (video, audio and writing), the internet, technology, and science. I'm getting to the point where work I do in those fields can be put on my resume as real experience, something I definitely didn't see happening just a couple of years ago.

I've talked before about how wonderful if would be if Canada instituted a basic income for its citizens, because more than anything what I want to be able to do is to be creative. I want to share my experiences and knowledge with people who want to learn and try new things. I want to open minds. I've been thinking for a very long time about doing a big project where I get to do things like this on a regular basis, but for that today I really do need a day job where I make enough to support what I'd like to do for the other big part of my life.

However, even considering all of this, the biggest priority for me, and the reason why I'm so keen to get a new job as soon as possible, is that I want to start a family. I'm not in a rush to do that, but I do want to start sooner rather than later. And, seeing as how my wife and I are responsible and financially prudent, we'd rather wait until there are two sources of secure income in our lives before moving forward with that. And that is the most frustrating part of all of this. I just want to express my ideas and thoughts in a positive, constructive way and make the world a better place, and pass those traits along to the next generation of humans. But first, I need someone to take a chance on me.

It's worth it.

If you know of any job openings or places that might be hiring, especially those looking for young people who are ready to learn and looking to make a difference in the world, please let me know. You can send me email at me@robattrell.com.