I’ve applied at a few positions so far, haven’t heard back from any of them. For now, I’m trying to be selective in where I shove the ol’ résumé out to again, like I was during my layoff period in 2006. I am of course mindful that the job I ended up with for two years was one that contacted me, not the reverse; that’s often been the case in jobs I’ve gotten. I’m not sure I’ve ever picked a company, said, “I want to work there,” and worked there. But I’m going to at least spend another few weeks trying to be selective; I suspect the current economic climate works against me in this approach, but we’ll see.
I’ve been going back and reading some of my entries from that 2006 time—it’s fascinating (sometimes morbidly so) to have a journal to go back and read this way, I admit—and paused on an entry about driving down the PCH and ending up in Morro Bay. I’d mused then on whether I might want to aim for contract work rather than permanent work, and on the answer to the interviewer’s chestnut, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
As standard as the question may be, in the 21st century tech market, a three-year anniversary is relatively rare. What I’m expected to say—what I usually do say—is that I expect to be with that company, on a career track. But right now I don't feel like there's a company out there I could honestly say that to.
And indeed, I didn’t hit the three-year anniversary with the last company. If you count from the start of the contract I passed the second anniversary, which I think makes that my second-longest stint at any job. (Yoinks.) My proposed answer was “Working for myself, in a cabin not too far from the Pacific Coast.” It’s still a pretty good answer, but it still feels like it’s at least five years out. I don’t have any idea what the near-term future will bring, or even medium-term. I had a dream last night of driving around somewhere and thinking I needed to explore that area more—but I don’t know where that area was. When I woke up, I thought it was in Florida, but it could just as easily have been somewhere in California. (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the Pacific Northwest, which I also want to explore more.)
So here I am, cup of coffee in hand, “working” on a journal entry. For the past three weeks I’ve mostly been sleeping eight hours every night. I’ve gotten a little work (although less than I want) done on C&Q. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo but I have some story notes. I’ve gotten back into cooking at least a little more than I have in some time. (Working with more than one pan at a time has become unusual for me, I’m chagrined to say.) On Tuesday evening, I went up to Corte Madera—something I’d have had to leave early from work for, had I a job—to wander around and then see John Hodgman, with musical guest Jonathan Coulton, give a reading from Hodgman’s new book More Information Than You Require.
I am, for the moment, having what could be described fairly as… a nice time. Somehow, I always guilty about enjoying being underemployed.
But not, you know, really guilty.