Experiences in Excruciating Detail

In 2007, when I knew I would need new employment, I analyzed my history and background, especially tech, in almost absurd detail. While it can’t begin all to go on a resume – even some things I might like to in order to show depth can’t go on because they trigger keywords for work I can’t truly deliver on – it’s an interesting exercise. I consider it worth revisiting in a bully pulpit, long-form venue, both for the thoughtful attention it might get, and for my own reflection.

Rather than simply reposting with the same commentary I made at the time, I will update them if needed, and comment differently if an additional four years (four years!) of time passage gives me changed or added insight.

I will link all the associated posts here as or once they are done. They should be posted relatively quickly, as I intend to speed up the process of getting work. About which I’d also been thinking of a philosophy post, of sorts, but I’ve jumped into this first.

This exercise harks back to my earliest days of owning a PC, when I started adding software I had used to my resume. I bought a PC for two main reasons, besides that the days of the Radio Shack Color Computers were effectively over. One was as a tool for writing. The other was to learn relevant software associated with accounting, such as Lotus 1-2-3, the better to find work logically stemming from my degree. Showing off some computer literacy couldn’t hurt.

I never did get that accounting job. To this day the closest I came was working for a CPA for nine months, starting not half of the way through my accounting studies.

However, I did almost get a combined cost accounting and “design a computerized cost accounting and quality control system” job, which didn’t exist but was inspired by my resume, that would have been slightly over my head at the time, but a fun challenge. More fun than commuting to Lowell from the South Shore would have been. I’d gotten a 96 average in a cost accounting class that had easily a 50% dropout and failure rate; thus that element of the almost job. I was far more interested in cost/management accounting than in public accounting, and had a fascination with manufacturing. These days I seem to be on the wrong continent for that.

Ultimately, though, the practice of listing that stuff, and emphasizing computer skills, got me technical support work. The list was already getting long in 1992. My last general resume before 2007 was created in 1994, and was subsequently modified in 1997 to be specific to an internal promotion.

I see that when I wrote an earlier version of this, I actually addressed the philosophy part a little. If that is the correct term for it. Guess my thinking hasn’t entirely changed. While I speak of job hunting, getting a “job,” and that would under the current circumstances be arguably for the best, my shingle is actually out there for work and need not be traditional, if that’s what it takes. In 2007, I didn’t know I was on the leading edge of economic calamity. Despite having long harped on the housing bubble, and despite having expected it to come to earth.

Thus the philosophy of piecing together this and that into a living is not new, yet is more relevant than ever. In this house we already generate, albeit between two of us, most of my prior income between side income, a full time job of the sort that was expedient under the circumstances, and a relatively well paid part time job that has generally eliminated the need for outside child care to fit it all together. Part of the impetus for searching with renewed vigor is that two of three kids will be in school this year. The third will follow next year. Quiet time to work at home will be at less of a premium (and is also helped by their increasing age and maturity). Childcare will be less onerous. To the extent that being underemployed has been situational or essentially a choice, change brings hope.

I remain constrained from itinerant/emergency response work that doesn’t pay enough to have my undivided attention and provoke a strong standing child care arrangement. I might be able to come fix your computer on a one-shot basis, but I can’t just drop everything and come now. Or at any and all hours, for that matter. Which is a catch-22, if you consider that in theory I might be able to build a stable of such work that might average out to sufficient income, but that it would be difficult to get there from here. I digress, at this point. I’ll proceed with the list-based, tech-oriented posts, then move on to what it all means, and move on to an analysis of my experience at work and college. All of which should serve to leave me so befuddled that I am incapable of creating a new resume that sums up and generalizes the most important parts…

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