Talking Backwards

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the past over the past few days. First off, I created an updated version of my resume and sent a specially-tailored version off to my business acquaintance for the possibly-but-probably-not-a-job-opportunity. Secondly, I’ve been scanning most of our lives into a digital format.  Allow me to explain both.

As we discussed last week, I reached out to a business acquaintance about possibly helping him out during a time of transition at his company.  He asked me to send him a resume so that he had something he could show the other people in the office should a need arise. That seems fair – we know one another, but haven’t worked together directly, and the others in his company don’t really know me. If they need to have a discussion about who might be able to help them, a resume seems like just the kind of thing they would want.

Working on the resume was a very good exercise for me. It reminded me of exactly how much I’ve done over the years and what skills I have. It once again helped me address the unfounded fear I’ve voiced about no one wanting to hire me. If anything, the challenge I will face will be how to present myself on LinkedIn. My work for the past 8-10 years has been in operational management with a strong focus on financial work (managing budgets, resources, etc.), but I spent over 10 years prior to that doing technical work ranging from web development to work as a DBA and a UNIX sysadmin to working in network security and managing a research lab. Those two paths don’t often work well together in a career summary, so I think I’m going to have to choose one to highlight. That’s unfortunate because I believe I’ll end up focusing on the financial work, which will either mean that people will overlook my technical background, or it will confuse them. That’s probably going to end up costing me some opportunities. Given, this is only a problem on LinkedIn. If I need to send a resume to someone, I can tailor it to whatever makes sense for the job.

As for the scanning, 2015-11-10 16.41.23I’ve been going through file boxes dating back to the mid-90’s and digitizing our household files (the picture to the right is just a portion of the folders and boxes I’ve gone through). To say that THE WIFE was thorough in what she retained for our records would be an understatement. In amongst the important paperwork (medical records, taxes, major purchases, etc.) were things like bank statements, utility bills, and other monthly mundane papers. The thing is, going through all of these files brought back a lot of memories. There was the thank you letter from a neighbor’s third birthday party.  Or the receipt from when we bought our first new couch. There were the car loans followed by the letters from mom. Finding job offers and then letters of resignation a few boxes later made me think of the good and bad times between those two endpoints.

Opening the box for 2007 was particularly interesting. We both had work challenges as THE WIFE’s company went out of business, then she dealt with a period of unemployment and contract work, before finding the job she still has to this day.  Meanwhile, I struggled greatly with my own work life. The only thing that kept me working for the company was the fact that I had to – THE WIFE was out of work. And that ended up being a good thing. I was able to take my work struggles and turn them into a positive, eventually resulting in my shift out of the technical world and into operational management. This was also the time we discovered podcasts, and eventually podcasting, which gave us both so many new friends all around the world. Thanks to the podcast community, I made a friend who encouraged me to take up the RPM Challenge and record an album in February of 2010. That has led to five more albums since then.

So I guess it’s time for my point, isn’t it? I don’t tend to be overly sentimental, but I think all of this looking back has been good for me. It’s shown me how far I’ve come and what I’m capable of. It’s also reminded me that sometimes the best parts of your life come from what seem to be the worst experiences at the time. THE WIFE and I learned a lot about relaxing and laughing in 2007. Whoever said “Tragedy plus time equals comedy” was spot on. And that’s a good lesson to keep in mind. Now, when all hell is breaking loose, we often look at one another and say “This is going to be a hilarious story in a few weeks….” Or, as my podcasting friend Kovio MX says, “Life Is Show Prep”.


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