Categories
Real Talk

2021 Mid Year Report: Problems & Solutions

Hello, I want to talk to you about what’s been going on. Simply put, I’ve bitten more than I chew. I’ve let myself become overwhelmed trying to take on too many tasks at once. There are too many things to do and I’m either overthinking or lacking the ability to pursue any thoughts to put them into action. So, this post here is to talk about my problems and source of those problems as well as a possible plan to help myself become productive so that I stop overthinking or overwhelming myself with too many things to do.

The Problems

Job Search and Qualifications

Ever since I’ve graduated at the start of the Great Recession, getting a job has always been difficult to find. Despite working while attending college and volunteering, the only opportunities that were available were the same jobs I had while I was going to community college. Job qualifications increased and the value of the Bachelor’s Degree started to become the butt of jokes. So, you do what you can in horrible economic times, you take the jobs you can get.

So I took on any job from any employer that would say yes. Unfortunately, that was probably one of my biggest mistakes in my life. I became defined by my employment history since after a couple years employers aren’t looking at your college degree but your employment history and what accolades or numerical value you achieved while working there. So I did what most people who were struggling to recover from the recession did. Get certifications. So I went back to school…twice.

Hoping that getting some certifications would increase my chances to become employed, I studied and obtained the CompTIA A+ certification on my own. Then I went to community college and took classes to obtain Microsoft Windows Server certification. Unfortunately, getting these certifications didn’t help me break into any IT job due to my lack of exact work experience. So I then took my administrative experience and went to adult school and obtained the NCCT medical billing and coding certificate. Once again, getting this certification didn’t help me get any job offers due to a lack of relevant work experience.

As a result I’ve worked various customer service, retail, sales and administration jobs since graduating working across a wide range of industries. Sporting goods, video game sales, telecommunications, dental, government, medical, funeral, and politics. Having such a diverse employment history is unfortunately not what people want in the job market.

Since I’ve been laid off since the pandemic began, I’ve been unable to get any interviews for any jobs. I’ve created a CV that contains all my work experience which then I customize to fit for each job along with a cover letter. I’ve gone to each job search website and directly to headhunters and still no luck. It’s like the Great Recession all over again.

Lacking a Trade Skill and Portfolio

One of the downsides of working retail, sales, and administrative jobs is that there is no way to show employers your skills and success. With the integration of technology such as Applicant Tracking Systems if you don’t have the exact match getting your application in front of a person is a challenge. So employers need to see more than a resume and cover letter, they want to see proof of one’s skill set. Which is my second problem, I lack a skill set that allows me to create a portfolio.

While I have do have skills as I’ve been able to get previous certificates, I need a skill set that will allow me to create content so that I can show employers a portfolio. However, there are so many trade skills required even for an entry level job that it’s been difficult to focus on one. A Social Media position often requires knowledge of programming, photoshop, and video editing. Each very different trades to pursue and each one daunting in their own right.

Streaming and Social Media

The last problem is my pursuit of streaming and social media. I still want to have a career in social media to make content, talk about the video game industry, and help people find a way so they don’t have to deal with the same problems I’ve had to deal with. I didn’t start streaming to be “famous” but as a way to build a portfolio and demonstrate that I have a skill set in streaming.

However, I’ve also tried to take on too much at once here as well. I’ve started a blog, post articles on Linkedin, started a discord, moderate multiple chat rooms and discords for Twitch Partners, stream for myself and a lot more ideas that I’ve had like starting a Patreon, and a Fiverr for example.

Also, coming from an older generation, I have my personal life completely segregated from my professional life. Which makes it hard as while I want to pursue a career in the industry it’s hard when your passion is pretty much hidden away in the name of professionalism.

Solutions

So, what’s the tentative plan to resolve these problems? Well first, I’m going to have to obviously spread myself so thin and stop trying to do so much. This means consuming less social media, less moderating, and more time put towards studying and creating content that benefits me.

Second, as much as society has made the college degree a joke, I still need to develop a trade skill and obtain certifications to validate my skill set. I’ll be looking for more community college and adult school programs that fall in line with a trade skill I can actually learn which will let me create a portfolio. While I could teach myself, the reality is that value is determined not by oneself but by others.

Third, I’ll still need to create a portfolio. Which means I need a system that will stop me from feeling overwhelmed to having a process that will let me go from having an idea to making a video. What I currently have in mind is to do more blogging. Take any idea that I have or something that I would like to know and write a tutorial on that topic. Then use that blog post as the script to create a video. Likely these will be small topics that will be focused on the core information and actions needed. So, expect more blog posts on here and LinkedIn but a slower turn around creating videos. Hopefully by having a trade skill and portfolio will make getting a career possible as it will make up for my diverse employment history.

Fourth and finally, dealing with the segregation of my personal life and professional life. Should everything go according to this tentative plan and I do find myself finding success. I hope that I’ll be able to no longer have to segregate my personal life and professional life.

Obviously, this will take time to implement this solution as I’ll need to find classes and certifications, prioritize what’s actually important, and turn what’s important into a routine that I can be consistent with.

For those who sat down and read this, thank you. For those who have been enjoying my streams and my content. Thank you for all your support and I hope to be in a position where I can support others.

-Tenmar