Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Triple X (plus one)

So I checked my driver's license and discovered that I am 31 years old today. A little over one year ago I was sitting at my desk at my old place of employment, knowing that I was within a week of the end of my tour there, having been informed of my downsizing less than a month earlier. I was strongly considering laying down some weblog smack on turning 30 and employment and unemployment and all else that was wrong in my life.

Then I realized it would have sounded bitchy.

So I decided to leave the blog alone for a year (well, a month, then two months, then three, and eventually it became a year), after which I hoped I would have something better to write about. So here's what I have to write about:

Nothing, really.

Don't get me wrong. A lot has happened since the last time the Earth was in this position in its orbit around the sun. Just not a whole lot of good things. So I'm trying to gain a more positive mindset in looking at the immediate future and each time I try I wind up looking a few years back.

I have skill sets. Good skills. Skills that everyone in 2000 told me would be marketable for years to come. Unfortunately, those people did not tell me that those years would only be 2000 and 2001. After that, it seemed like advanced technical skills and $1.25 could get you on the subway. I sat patiently and waited for my skill sets to come back into demand, and they did -- in India.

I do not live in India. I live in the American Midwest, where technical jobs are hard to come by. It seems that each region of this country reacts to economic downturns differently; the Midwest reacts by reverting to a farming community. People who used to work in high tech can now be seen riding tractors and hauling grain. The guy who sold you your iPod last year now wants to know if he can interest you in some top quality fertilizer. The staff of Circuit City is cracking out a living with their roadside fruit stand and it's weirding me out.

And it's brought me to a spot in my life in which I'm going to have to do one of two things: Either I'm going to have to toss my old skill set and get a new one, a process which may take years; or else leave the American Midwest for greener pastures elsewhere, an option which will be expensive and time-consuming and could just as easily leave me unemployed in a new city. I'm looking for advice wherever I can get it, so if you would like to leave a comment other than "FIRST!" please feel free to do so.

So that's my Age 31 rant. I sincerely hope that it doesn't come across as bitchy or whiny. I'm holding out hope for the future and the return of at least moderate prosperity. And now if you will excuse me, this corn won't husk itself.

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Anonymous Jason said...

My recommendation, as it's been for the past decade, is: move out of the midwest!

Now, I'll admit that as a native New Jersey Asshole and current Seattle Hipster I am contractually obligated to have nothing but Blind Hate or Ironic Disdain for the area of the nation you call home. I'm biased a little. But the truth of the matter is that the jobs that match your skill set are, if not plentiful right now, at least more common away from the corn fields. And, yes, the competition is fiercer, too, but that still hasn't seemed to stop the folks I know from all having employment.

And that's to say nothing of the fact that there are some pretty cool folk out on the coasts. Especially the Left one.

Also: FIRST!

Tue Oct 21, 03:24:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous eric said...

Have you considered becoming a nanny? You can make some good money here in CT.

Or a butler! Ooo!

Seriously, though, if you end up out this way, we'd be happy to help in whatever way we can. It's time to leave the farm, my boy.

Wed Oct 22, 08:47:00 AM CDT  

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