My Inbox

Insanity: doing something over and over again and expecting different results – Albert Einstein (attributed)

If you look at my inbox you will discover a great deal about me. You will also uncover much about what I have been going through the past few years. You will see something about my search for employment as well.

My main inbox is on Yahoo. I’ve had it for years. You will see instantly that I don’t actively manage this box. There are thousands of unopened, unread emails. Almost all of these are from ads or newsletters or some other communication I have signed up for. I do weed and weed but the number seems to never diminish.

My search for meaningful work has been a long one. Since I’m am often placed in a company the use of recruiters is commonplace for me. The recession has disrupted the recruiting field as well, so that contacts who were reliable suddenly run dry. Recruiters serve a filtering function for firms that may not have an HR staff that can deal with technical employees.

There are a large number of emails from recruiters trying to get me interested in their project, offering a small wage and no true per diem, or worse, trying to leverage the cost of a remote worker to that of a local one to their client. Sometimes these people call me too and have impenetrable Indian accents. I send a resume, maybe fill out a form – and the receipt of the conversation is the spent email.

I think sending out resumes is a huge waste of time. CareerBuilder  and Monster email me, the enclosed link sending me to a long list of jobs that I’m neither qualified for, have no background or interest in, or do not get back to me even if I do reply. LinkedIn is a bit better – a high school friend on both LinkedIn and Facebook gave me a lead, I emailed my resume and was called 5 minutes later. After a flurry of activity she didn’t even bother to call and tell me what was going on.

The most recent email manifestation has been the work-at-home scheme. There are legit telecommuting jobs – I’ve had one – but most are a sham.

I thank God that Twitter does not use email. I get the niche I want with the very latest information and probably spend the entire day reading nothing but my Twitter feed and be entranced. I find a torrent of information about my field, but very little about local or national gig opportunities. And it goes away by itself.

You won’t find emails from my professional organization – the meetings here were filled with stuck-up, haughty people who were the in crowd, I was the out crowd, didn’t join due to expensive dues. I read the magazine and wondered how that related to my professional experience. You won’t find emails from family, but you will from a few friends. Only rarely will you find emails from networking contacts.

Experience has told me that networking does indeed work. One caveat – networking really needs to be a long term effort about gaining leads and being of service to a business community. Dipping your toe into networking for the sole purpose of  getting a job is not necessarily good. Some networking groups are professionals only – suit-and-tie affairs that are very formal, nearly all male and few minorities. Networking requires resources that I don’t have right now, but it’s on my list.

I’m looking for relief from this insanity reflected in my email. My email shows a very scattered approach that is very passive. Who is looking for someone like me, with my skills and experience? An how can I find them? Typical methods aren’t working; the old formulas and dead in the water. My email shows that I’m isolated and a bit desperate, and probably a bit bored. My email really shows that a smart and experienced man is being wasted. That’s sad.

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