I woke up one early morning last December to discover that Venusians kidnapped me during my sleep. Placing me in a wild jungle. In my clutched hand I found a card with a written instruction: “You must hunt the feral wild beast with glowing amber eyes, known as The Job.”
Ok! I was laid off, but saying it like that is more fun.
I did feel sad and confused because I enjoyed the work I just got separated from. I gave myself a few days to let those feeling dissipate. And then, I rolled up my sleeves determined to use this situation to my advantage.
I have hunted this wild tiger several times before. And I have learned that a job hunt benefits greatly from a special secret private ceremony. A type of setting of intention. Where I become clear about what it is that I want. I allow myself to dream big and visualize the specifics of the work environment that I am seeking.
I want a thrilling and exciting job. I want to work on something that is used by millions of people from all around the world, knowing that I am making a material positive impact on their lives. I want to use leading-edge innovative technologies. I want to work in an environment that is buzzing with creative energies. I want to work with fun, interesting and awesome colleagues that I just love and adore working with. I want my job to be easy. I want to be proud of what I do. I want to be very very good at what I do. I want my work days to be full with laugher and fun.
Once I locked in on what I was hunting for. I decided on some extravagant celebration that I will bestow upon myself once the hunt is a success. In this case, I decided, I will luxuriate in the novel experience of getting my nails done by a professional. Something I have never done before.
With all the mental preparations in order. I decided to find a way to turn the job application into a game. Every day, I would find a job posting that technically I was qualified for and pretend that I would apply for it. I didn’t really apply for these job postings. I would just imagine myself doing so. Just for a laugh.
There was the train conductor job. I spent several days pretending I was doing that for a living. With my pretend overalls and my imaginary train conductor whistle, I traveled across the great expanse of land in North America. In this, the employer provides all the training, you just need to be willing to travel away from home for months on end. It would actually be a good job for somebody who is unattached and seeking adventure.
There was the job requiring relocation to Angola. I spent a whole day researching life in southern parts of Africa.
There was the job as a halal reciter at a chicken slaughterhouse. In order for the meat to be certified as halal, an actual Muslim needs to recite a specific blessing over the beleaguered chicken. The qualifications for the job is that: a. you are Muslim b. sound of mind. I qualify for both, although I worry that the soundness of my mind would be affected after witness chickens getting slaughtered on a daily basis.
These was the job as a speechwriter for the Minister of Emigration. That sounds like a fun job. But then what if the minister is saying things I fundamentally disagree with? It might become a drag.
There was the explosive handler for the RCMP. Here is the kicker. No qualifications are necessary. They provide all the training. For somebody who is too afraid to handle fireworks, I had lots of fun imagining myself in that position. Imagine being at a party and somebody asking you: “What do you do for a living?” and your answer is: “I am an explosive handler.” Sounds so much cooler than saying I am a software engineering manager.
In between pretend applying for job postings, I did actually apply for real jobs in my field. Although fantasizing is fun the reality is there is no more exciting field to be in than software development. I have been in this field for decades and I am constantly amazed at the speed of innovation I get to witness. Think of all the ways software has improved our lives in the last few decades. It’s a privilege to be a participant in it. Having a front-row seat to the unfolding. Think of all the exciting innovations happening right now. And the brilliant future that shall emerge from it.
A few days ago I was at the nail salon, getting my nails done. When the manicurist found out what I do for a living, she immediately demanded that I explain ChatGPT to her. What is it? What does it do? How does it work? Is it scary? Will it destroy our lives?
I answered each question as best as I could.
I can’t stop staring at my own hands mesmerized by how pretty they look. To all the imaginary jobs I pretend occupied in the last few weeks, it was fun. As I look at my resume, I feel proud of all that I accomplished. I even feel proud of the failures because I managed to learn the necessary lessons to not repeat them. I am looking forward to a new adventure with everything that I have and all that I know. I can feel the soft caress of the feline fur under my fingertips. The wild beast is nothing but a tame pet.