Blogger Scott Cyre and I have been friends for a couple of years. I first got hooked on his writing while reading his Christian humor blog Herman’s Neutics (I tried to add a link, but I can’t find the blog on the internet anymore). Scott and I decided to trade posts this week in an attempt to get ourselves out of our respective blogging neighborhoods. Seeing as I’ve worked in three jobs over the past seven months, I think this topic is a good fit for the Other Stuff. I hope you enjoy Scott’s post as much as I do.
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As a 49-year-old, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing to say as a professional writer and the father of three grown children, but I have provided many with the means for ridicule going on five decades and I hardly see a reason to stop now.
The problem I face is not that I lack purpose or resolve; I found both those things at a garage sale years ago for cheap. My problem is one of surplus; I have too many options to choose from. With a master’s degree from a world-class seminary (preacher man credentials), I could be a professor, writer, itinerant teacher, pastor, missionary, or an unemployed, opinionated blowhard with a blog and an attitude. After much prayer, contemplation, meditation, and advice-seeking, I am leaning toward taking a shot at all of them.
I am told I am not alone. Sure enough, Forbes reports that the average length of time an American keeps a job is 4.4 years. This new society of job hoppers supposedly will change careers seven times over. The all-you-can-eat buffet of job searching has become the “new normal,” which means that my approach to career building has moved me from the Basement of Slackers up to the Penthouse of Hipsters.
Another reason people tell me that it’s a ridiculous way to live life hinges on what they call the virtues of “growing up.” I mean, that’s the adult thing to do, right? What should be said of a man who manages his career as though he were lining up a series of one-night-stands? “When is he finally going to settle down and marry a nice girl? Wait, he’s how old? Ew, that’s just weird!”
That’s the stigma I’ve carried with me all my adult life. Those long-time readers of my blog have heard me speak of my prolific resume (copywriter, retail clerk, waiter, construction worker, telemarketer, forklift driver, college teacher, life insurance salesman, computer repairman, security guard, bartender, soldier and coffee matron are mere highlights from it).
So, as a subject matter expert on job-hopping, let me offer you some sound advice as to how you, too, can ditch your perfectly good job in favor of Jack’s magic beans:
PREPARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESUMES
As you start racking up your many job conquests, you will find that your listable skill sets will grow to enormous proportions. That is not to say that you will actually be competent at anything, but your next future employer won’t care, since he or she only sees your previous experience as knowledge that needs to be brainwashed out of your system. Expect to be sent to many training classes and professional development seminars where you will become versed in skills that matter, such as falling asleep during meetings and hustling to snarf the last donut. Anyway, the point is, you will need a unique resume for just about every type of job you apply for. Show off your sheep-shearing skills in one resume and your pork belly trading skills in another.
FIND NEW FRIENDS WITH EACH NEW CAREER
It doesn’t take long for people to fall behind in trying to keep track of what you actually do for a living and soon, they’ll be looking at you with the beady eyes of judgment. No one needs that kind of friend in their lives, so expect that with each new career comes a new crowd of people to socialize with after work. In fact, make it easy on yourself and only make friends with people on the job and try your best to avoid your neighbors and those dismal people who forcibly try to shake your hand at church. You know, the ones who then bathe their hand in hand sanitizer afterward.
START YOUR OWN JOB-HOPPING LLC
While nobody will believe you, it’s actually exceptionally hard work to switch jobs to the tune of once every month. One of the most challenging tasks is trying to keep track of all those pesky W-2’s when they come in. My advice is to skip all that red tape and declare yourself as a job-hopping sole proprietorship. Keep yourself from getting confused and avoid reading your pay stubs, as it will have a lot of gobbledy-gook on it about FICA and Medicare. Treat all your paychecks as self-employment income and then you can start writing everything off! You can even make business cards and pass them around to all your short-term friends to show them how savvy you are. The good news is that once they see what you’re mentally made of, they’re guaranteed not to be calling you for anything after you quit next month.
So, don’t let foolish notions like stability and diligence frighten you into hanging onto that J.O.B. (Just Over Broke). Start your job-hopping empire today; the hipsters are waiting for you in the jacuzzi on the top floor.