Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In Which I Think on Unemployment & Stress

Today I scored 786 on the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale, the meaning of which is that I am "at significant risk of developing an illness." The last time I took the test I was well below 150, and I think I like it better down there.

I have started a career exploration program at Transitions and am really enjoying it thus far. I am hopeful that it will be helpful to me and am eager to start really getting into the information/ personal testing/ career planning.

I need an action plan. I need direction. I need goals. I hope to create these for myself by the end of these three weeks.

Today we were given an opportunity to imagine a dream job. To do this we responded to simple open-ended questions, such as "What would you like to do all day?" It was great to be given permission to explore in this way, though making my dream a reality is...unrealistic?

One of those most wonderful parts of the program is to not be alone. For months I have been in my apartment, alone except for my dog, applying for job after job after job (most of which couldn't even bother sending out an automated reply email to inform me of the receipt of my CV). In this class of 18, I am not alone in my frustrations, anger, surprise, confusion, or struggle. Each individual there gets it. Lives it. Each one of them brings to the class a new idea or perspective. Each of them has much to offer and share. It's an incredible supportive environment.

When we speak of the current labour market & economic climate, it is difficult to keep from being disheartened. Little about the work seems hopeful. Little about employment seems viable. Loyalty, honesty, integrity -- these are attributes companies have cast aside in favour of the bottom line. You can work your hardest, your very best, and at the end of the day, you can still be fired. Brilliance, hard work, loyalty, love, devotion, dedication, time -- these are attributes that no longer lend themselves to stability & security.

Yet I am still determined & hopeful that, as this course continues, I will find what is right for me and will make attainable goals and form an action plan for employment.

Time is turning against me in this, and how can I afford an illness in such a time?

I am a little worried, too. I have a spot on my stomach that was not there before, has grown rapidly, itchs, is of uneven shape, and is now white in the centre. I almost wish I'd not looked up the indicators of melanoma, for this hits on many of them. Still, I am optimistic (I am me -- to be otherwise would deny the core of self) that it will be found harmless, and if not, it will be dealt with appropriately and quickly. Though my worry is not completely allayed, it is nice to have a good sense of what would be done if the worst were to become reality.

Such is the way of life. I could ask for no more than the ability to make it through whatever I face. And I am not alone.

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