job hunting and dating: the similar vicious cycle

 

3 years.

give or take some pauses to have a baby and all. that’s how long i’ve been trying to take my career to the next level. there are several reasons why this hasn’t happened yet (some of which i cannot talk about) – but mostly because the competition is more fierce than ever, and companies can demand more and give less.

why does this sound familiar?

oh. because this echoes my dating life. it’s followed the same timeline (with the same pauses for the same reasons). my last major relationship ended many moons ago and for reasons within and not within my control – i remain.

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THESE THANK YOU EMAILS ARE THE WORST!

both job hunting and dating have been compared to part-time jobs. you have to put in multiple working hours, always put your best foot forward, keep up a high level of optimism, get excited at the basic reply/email/text, hope for a call and not dwell on any disappointments. except – none of these activities put money in your pocket, so its more like volunteering…without the feel good part (well..unless your dating is like THAT).

at this stage of the game, dating has become harder because, like the economy – the odds are ever in the favor of the menfolk. women are giving up more, settling for less, lowering the standards and the expectations of what one needs to do just to be considered. if you aren’t sending nudes via text message and willing to show what you’re working with on the first date, or accept him back when he “hey strangers” your inbox – then you lose.

on the flip side, job hunting is more competitive than ever. companies want university degrees for jobs (not careers) that don’t need them. bachelor degrees are the new high school diploma. the usual catch-22 of experience & school dilemma remains the same. companies are singing these employees ain’t loyal – but are quick to shift and downsize without a second thought. and even if you have all the qualifications they are looking for – you are seen as reaching too far above your pay grade and are expected to take your confidence levels down a notch.

sounds ALL too familiar.

in Ontario, up until a few years ago, high school was 5 years. the fifth year was for students who wanted to go to university. they would take OAC (Ontario Academic Credits) which would be used to consider your entry into a specific program at the universities. it meant that many students were going to school – armed with more education and more time to figure out what they wanted to do.

then, they eliminated it – creating the double cohort class where double the students descended upon the schools in the province. meaning now you have more competition than ever just to get INTO schools much less what’s going to happen when they all came out.

job hunting and dating

but if you want to progress in your career or want to settle down romantically – what other option do you have but to keep going? maybe it’s switching tactics. maybe it’s starting from scratch in your approach. maybe it’s putting the word out to see what comes back to you. maybe it’s taking a step back to re-examine what it is that you want and need.

the moral of the story is to keep going.

all you need – and all it takes is one.

[amy]

what’s your word? any tips on how to attack the job hunt? would you apply similar advice to your dating search (if you are searching).

 

Quote

old you/new you

“You don’t owe people the person you used to be. You don’t have to talk to people who are speaking to the old you. If they want to drag old you out, and you’ve already left that person behind, they don’t get to talk to you. When you’ve gone from weakness to strength, you don’t owe a show of your former self to someone who just can’t wrap their head around your change.”
— Dig Yourself

[new blog series] – burden of a black man

when my son turned one, i was ALL into my feelings. i composed a recap email to my friends and family. in it, i alluded to the joys of being his mom, while also dealing with the fact that i have to raise a black boy/man in north america.

a girlfriend of mine, who has two kids from a previous relationship with a black man replied (open and honestly) with the following questions:

So here’s my question you mentioned that you are nervous about raising your son to be a good black man in today’s society? Do you not think that things aren’t better for him in today’s society, being black? I mean my kids are black, and I don’t think I have ever thought about what it would be like to raise two mixed kids in today’s society. I just think about the man I want my son to be. I never think about colour. Ever. Do you think I should be nervous? Is there something that I am being naive about ? It’s Interesting to hear this from the other side. I think I’m almost looking for advice? Is there something I need to be discussing with my kids that I as a white person don’t know ?? 

i think it’s important for her to ask these questions in a setting where she won’t be judged for it. i know there are many women (i was a facebook group full of moms with ‘cute mocha babies’) with mixed kids not thinking about the future and the extra responsibility they have having brought a black kid into the world. 
 
 
but i am NOT a black man. i do not, and likely will never fully know or understand all the nuances and weights that come with being a black man. that is why i reached out to men i know that might be able to articulate it for me. i am a big proponent of not pretending that i can speak for someone elses life.
 

 

in light of the recent happenings across America in MO, NY, LA and more – it’s even more important to me to share their voices. because it’s rare that they are asked to do so, and are able to do it freely without worrying about the #wellactually and the #yesbutwhatabouts…

twitter hashtags like #IfIWasGunnedDown and #IGotTheTalk break my heart because just by being black – this is their every day existence. and for my Canadian friends – while it may not be as deadly or pronounced – it still happens here. it’s happened to my own family members. in places like VOTING POLLS.



this project was something i didn’t just want to throw out there. i wanted to make sure i treated it with the respect and attention it deserves. and so while the media is trying to convince the world of their worth – i wanted to showcase black men in their own words.


the initial response has amazed me and i am constantly on the verge of tears reading these stories. they will be copied, un-edited by me (hopefully the editing keeps true to the format presented) and posted each Wednesday until i run out of stories.

if you would like to contribute to the project or know someone that would/could/should – please drop me a line in contact box! (i’m putting this box here because it got confused with the comment box in a previous post. lol). please include how you would like to be credited (twitter handle/writing alias) and submit in 2-3 weeks. (soft deadline)

i wish it wasn’t necessary to do this. to ask these questions. to try and come up with answers. i wish the straightening of the spine and automatic defence wasn’t something that black men have to carry. that distrust has to be planted like a seed in the young. 

when i originally asked twitter a year ago, their thoughts, these were some of the replies:

@adept2u – There’s  a static in your psyche others cant hear feel it’s a siren You ignore it mostly but it erodes you in time

@theblackmurse – that you always gotta make sure to keep white people at ease if you want to succeed. your profession calls for you to be a scary black man, but that can backfire.

@MalikPanama – the burden is all the intersections with class, sexuality, relationships, etc. that pigeon-hole our complexities as men


@BrazenlyVirile – would start off by explaining that the deck is already stacked against you. you have work harder and smarter just to be on a level playing field with your counterparts.you’re sexualized, fetishized, feared, and admired (for things that usually aren’t of substance). when you do succeed, its almost always assumed its because you had “help” or a “handout” because you know we’re lazy. we’re deemed criminals, athletes or entertainers by popular media. there is little room for any other type of image.

funny thing is besides all that i wouldn’t want to be anything other than a black man.

as for me, a month before my son turns two – all i can do is raise him to be a good human being. i will carry the burdens of his skin colour and gender as long as i possibly can.

or i can try. 

and hope that he wouldn’t want to be anything else either. 

[amy]

what’s your word? do you think there are extra burdens to being a black man or is that just a matter of perspective? is it easier to be a black man in certain parts of the world over others? do you think non-black parents should learn of these nuances before they have/adopt black children? 

ps: i had to share this here because.. it’s just. everything right with this discussion.