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We went to dinner at a Syrian family’s apartment last night. Dasein, Laila, Ana, Nora and Ihab. It was my first time eating “Syrian” food, though Dasein informed me that Arabic food tends to be similar across the region. Dasein played a nice Arabic melody on his flute(s) for us, and we enjoyed listening about Syria and general life there. Laila showed us some of the herbs and spices she used in the Kebbeh and the chicken dish. Apparently, the herb is from her home village and used frequently there. Kebbeh is a mixture of wheat grains, ground meat, spices and herbs, which is deep-fried until crispy. It has a wonderful flavor and aroma.

In other thoughts, being unemployed can really distort your mind, or at least shuffle things around. Some days I think that it’s impossible to find “suitable” work at a “suitable” salary in a “suitable” area. Other days I’m encouraged by the thought that being out of work doesn’t mean you’re unemployable. The agony of the wait, I suppose, is offset by the enventual joy of finding a job.

I am truly thankful that I’ve got a supportive wife and a warm family environment in our small apartment. I often overlook the smallest things in my life that bring me the greatest amount of happiness, and perhaps I often don’t realize how worse off a lot of people are. That’s not to say that I should take delight in other people’s misfortunes; rather, I can see clearly now that my employment situation (or lack thereof) is really just a small problem in the big picture. It’s so common for us to want to see the bigger picture, but I’ve realized that only God has the big picture view. All I need to see is my small part of the big picture, and be patient whenever I want to see everything.

I can only partially guess at how some long-term unemployed people feel. I wonder when that feeling of hopelessness sinks in, or if it’s simply part of a gradual decline.

Three weeks into my job hunt. Still looking.

I can’t describe this experience, only to say that my patience level is being sharpened finely. I don’t think anyone in the world actually enjoys looking for work. What’s more is the difficulty of everyday living: life is made extremely challenging without a work-focus that provides structure in our everyday lives.

What should I do today?

Search the job boards. Click apply. Write a few more cover letters and attach my resumes. Wait for that call and iron my shirt in in the meantime. Play with my son for a while and watch him giggle enormously at my antics. Sip a cup of coffee and read an article or two. Order books from the library.  Give my wife a hug and remind myself that work will eventually come. Some time. Have a bowl of canned macaroni and beef, just because I’m hungry at 3:46 in the afternoon. Think of fond and sweet times with family in New Zealand. Edit a few photos in my digital photo collection. (Picasa rocks!) Count the days left until my rent cheque is due. check our bank account balances. Check our stocks in Australia. Check my RRSPs. Close my eyes and move to those beautiful, rolling and pleated green hills of New Zealand.

This blog started out with a wish to see other people on this site, people with whom I’ve interviewed about their .jobs and .. It started out with this premise: I’m currently unemployed, I’m possibly switching careers and fields, so what have people done to get where they are now?

I’ve enjoyed for numerous years a .article called “My Job,” which profiles people and their jobs. The columnist asks the person about education required, best entry methods, workplace hazards, benefits, salary ranges, and the general likes and dislikes of the job. I thought this column was so well written. The questions were brief and concise, and the columnist painted a picture of the person’s job in very well defined strokes.

Ever wanted to be a ? What’s it like “bee-ing” a beekeeper? What’s the pay like? How does one become a beekeeper? Where can I study beekeeeping? What’s the buzz about beekeeping with young people these days?

These are the kinds of questions that the writer asked, though not in those tongue-in-cheek terms. So my goal, while I’m unemployed and when I’m employed, is to interview people that I meet and to ask them about their jobs. Hopefully people around the world will become better informed in preparation for a career transition, or simply for an amusing read.

Vision Statement:

1. To interview as many people as I can about their careers.

2. To publish their responses and opinions on this blog.

3. To provide an ever-growing archive of jobs and people who do those jobs, so that people can see the paths to esoteric and/or mundane jobs of everyday people. 

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What I’m reading now

"Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel," by Laura Byrne Paquet (Fredericton:Goose Lane Editions, 2007) "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping malls, and the Search for Home," by Pico Iyer (Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2000). "Outliers: The Story of Success," by Malcolm Gladwell (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008).

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