Fighting Tigers in Burma…

23 Dec

is something I’ve never done.  Never really planned to do it either.  In fact, it’s not even on my long range to do list.  Like so many bizarre things you’re pretty sure are never going to happen – it is however – something that I am prepared to do if I am ever dropped accidentally into the back jungles of Burma with a 10 lb honey cured ham locked around my neck. 

Let’s face it no one plans for something like that.  Just like most people don’t plan on losing their jobs until it happens.  Money’s tight and we keep hearing that there are no jobs.  Read Mini-Microsoft’s latest rumors that Microsoft is going to lay off… Or you can read the same story in – frankly dozens, maybe even hundreds of web journals out there.  We’re all going to lose our jobs.  No one is hiring.  And we should all expect to have it take up to 3 years or more before we can find work where and how we once did.

In fact if you read the dishrags you’ll put your chances of financial survival right up there with fighting tigers naked in the jungles of Burma.  But that’s not reality.

I won’t say things aren’t serious – or that there aren’t going to be some serious “resource actions” at places like Microsoft – or IBM or a hundred other places out there.

But the Job Market isn’t as dead as people claim.  It’s not great like it was – but it’s also not the dead zone everyone is making out.  Don’t believe me?  Here…

Dice… 963 new jobs in the last 7 days.


Now, I know that in my area – Hotjobs has 81 new jobs.  And … Monsters got around 120 or more.  And I still get between 3-9 emails a week about jobs.  Many of which I can’t take due to NDAs or certain companies bizarre rules about not being able to work there for over 365 days in a row – that’s weird – but there are still jobs there for someone. 

Over the last 10 years I’ve never gone more than a month or so without being able to get a job.  Is it because I’m just … sooooo cool?  No.  It’s because I learned a long time ago that just because a job isn’t perfect it’s still a job. At the end of the day you don’t have to take it home with you, and even if it’s not “your dream job” like the ads say – it still pays bills.

So pay your bills and find something better.  The bottom line is that – it’s all about survival.  Just like fighting tigers.  You do what you need to do and you learn new skills if you need to so that you can survive.

No, you’re not going to find a dream job in this economy.  But you may – if you’re careful – find something that keeps you going until you do.  Survival isn’t about surviving better than others – it’s about surviving to better your own circumstances, so that your life it’s about survival.  So that it’s not waking up to a fear of your life – as you know it – suddenly vanishing. 

There are reasons to be afraid, but losing your job isn’t a reason to be afraid.  It’s a reason to hone your skills – sharpen your abilities.  It’s a reason to become better at what you’ve been doing that you’ve ever been.  It’s a reason to learn not to be afraid, not to let yourself become depressed, not to lose track of your goals. 

Your goals.  Not the company you work for.  But yours.  It’s a reason to learn about what your goals are.  But it’s not a reason to panic.  It’s not a reason to be afraid.  There are jobs.

The economy is bad – but it’s not some nightmare.  Bad economies and job cuts are cycles.  If you hone those skills, keep your outlook positive, and you never stop trying to better yourself – you will always be able to find work.

That’s not me saying that – it’s my father.  Because of him I’ve kept that attitude and I’ve always kept myself in work.  If I didn’t have it – I’d find it.  It was his gift to me.  One that I have kept and that’s kept my family well. 

If I can give one gift to people – to friends who are approaching this Christmas season with trepidation, with stress, with fear.  It’s that you don’t have to be afraid.  It really will be all right, and hang in there.  We have the skills, the knowledge, the drive and the ambition to not just survive but thrive.  Because we – are the people – who do not ever want to fight tigers.  We have too much work surviving what is real – to give our time to fighting things and preparing for things that are not. 

Just a few thoughts.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 23, 2008 in Development, Future, Internet, Work


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