Status Report on the Experiment

Today is day 69 of my experiment of posting every day of 2017. (It’s also Friday, which is a holy day in my favorite religion.) Seems like a good day to have a bit of a status report.

So far, so good.

That’s the short version.

The long version is that it’s been going well, and I still seem to have the steam to keep going. Lately, there has been an increase in the number of comments. It’s always good to get feedback and know your posts are reaching people. When I first started blogging I was really attached to getting comments. I went so far as to end every post with a call for comments, usually in the form of a question about that particular post. I forget where I got the idea to do this, but I do recall that it was a tip from some internet guru, or other. Now it feels a bit like a cheap gimmick.

That’s one of the themes that has been running through my life of late: No more gimmicks, no more tricks, no shortcuts. More and more in life, I want to act with authenticity without trying to game the system. (Which is funny since I am such an avid gamer and love to game a game system to see how it ticks…) The time has come to do what I love, put that out there, and let the chips fall where they may.

That is not to say that I won’t avail myself of available tools for accomplishing what I want to accomplish. Tools that makes things easier to do, or possible in the first place, are not gimmicks. They are opportunities. I will still leverage them to the fullest potential I can muster. I just won’t be using them to pull any tricks anymore.

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Overqualification is Not Actually a Thing

I have been living the joy of the job hunt for a few months now. It basically consists of hours and hours of sending out and submitting applications into the silent void, with (very) occasional punctuations of call screenings, and even more occasionally an enjoyable interview. (I am serious about enjoying the interviews. I have always found those entertaining. I had a great one today that took place in an adult bouncy house.)

I am looking to work in a different field than I have before. That may not end up happening, but regardless I have come face to face with the demon of being overqualified many, many times over the last several weeks. Here’s the thing though, there is no such thing. You are either qualified for a task/position, or you are not. If you are qualified you can perform the task. There is no way to be too qualified to fulfill a task. The idea makes no sense.

Of course what they actually mean is they (the prospective employers) are afraid. They are worried that the employee so qualified will move along after a brief stay due to boredom, or the arrival of a better opportunity. The boredom factor can only actually be determined during an interview (or at the very least a phone screening), so that’s not a valid reason to cull someone from a pool of potential employees based on their resume alone. Perhaps they are bored to tears of accounting and legitimately want to start over in the food services industry. The second part is actually the company’s problem. Maybe if they actually bothered to make their business a good place to work they would retain employees better.

The lazy path is this focus on so-called over-qualification. A business that actually wants to thrive will work on employee retention.

So, what I have to say is this: Hey employers, how about you work on fostering an environment that doesn’t suck so you can get, and keep quality people and watch your business grow.

Here ends the rant.

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Screw it, I’m launching.

It’s funny what hold us back. I have a strong tendency to second guess myself, for fear of doing something the wrong way. This bad habit stops me from moving forward with my passions and goals. It is an especially problematic issue when I have contradictory pieces of advice about how to proceed. I often find myself unable to pick between such suggestions. On the days when I think there is something to astrology, I like to blame this tendency on the fact that I was born under the sign of the Libra. Libras tend to weigh options to a fault, seeing the good parts of any given option, or argument. I have recently had reason to face this personal demon.

A couple of weeks back I made the decision to go back into making coloring books for adults. It’s an artistic expression that I enjoy, and people seem to enjoy my images when I actually get them out there. As a part of this re-launch of my coloring books endeavor, I put together a Patreon page. A Patreon page is a place where people can become patrons of a person or project. You can make monthly pledges of support in exchange for goodies (like discounts on books, books shipped directly to you, your name on a website as a patron, etc). The moment I published it, I got an email from Patreon with the best “next steps”. One of their suggestions was to email and text my friends and ask them to pledge, even if only for a month, so that the page would have some action on it when I released it “to the general public.” The idea is called “social proof”, meaning that when you see that someone else has made a pledge you trust the pledge to be worth it. It strikes me as a cheesy move, but since it came directly from the company (who ostensibly knows what they are doing) I could not stop from considering it. So, there I was stuck. Torn between wanting to move forward, and afraid of not doing it in the right way.

Today I say screw it. It is with great joy that I announce the launch of my Patreon page for my coloring books. Check it out! I’d love to hear what you think!