Blog

Job Search Blues

I’ve been on the job search for over five months now. It was a weight off my shoulders to look for something new. I’ve intentionally looked for opportunities that are outside of my previous work experience and education. But I’m still waiting for that something new.

(I’ve been brought on as seasonal help at a local home & garden center. I’m thankful for the paycheck, but I definitely need a job that uses my skills and abilities.)

Waiting sucks. The job market is slim and the application processes are slow and slightly less professional than I had envisioned. Rejection hurts. I’ve battled depression for the first time in my life.

I’m currently having a good week, which brings me to my point:

3 Things to Fight the Job Search Blues

1. Write

It has helped tremendously to get thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I process everything internally and have a hard time stopping. Writing allows me to deal with the anger and hurt from my previous situation. I’m even using this blog to process and begin looking in new directions. I have drafts of blog posts they may never be published just to practice writing.

2. Read

Reading utilizes your brain and is certainly better than sleeping or surfing the web. I’ve read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I’ve introduced myself to Louis L’Amor’s short stories. I’ve read biographies, business classics, and memoirs. Reading causes me to see life outside of myself.

3. Learn

Learn something new. For me, I knew HTML and CSS, but it had been a while since really using it. So I brushed up with Code Academy. Then I decided to tackle jQuery, JavaScript, and PHP. I don’t know if these are skills I need in the future, but the act of learning something new keeps me looking forward.

As I said above, this blog is part of my process. Some posts will be more introspective. Please excuse my navel gazing.

What do you do to re-energize?

What makes a great Twitter account?

Andrew Careaga asked on his blog today “What makes a great #highered Twitter account?” I think that is a great question for anyone to answer, no matter what industry you’re in. There are some great #highered answers happening in the comments. I encourage you to check them out.

Here’s was my answer:

I want to expound on that a little more.

Engagement

Twitter is a conversation. No one (in their right mind) stands in a crowd and yells what they had for dinner or their opinion of the #marchmadness game going on? You have conversations with people. If you aren’t replying to users, you’re not doing it right. If no one is talking to you, you’re not doing it right (yet).

I recommend new Twitter users start following people and just listen and learn. The next step is to start engaging. Post something relevant. Reply to people. If you talk to people, they will talk back.

There are always exceptions. @badbanana is one example. He rarely replies to anyone, but he’s so dang funny.

I’ll add one more question: What does your audience look like? You may have 10000 followers but if 75% of them are spammers, you don’t have many people actually listening. Working with @VineyardWorship, I’ve used apps like SocialBro to take a closer look at our followers (13,364). How many active followers do we have? About 25% haven’t posted anything in the past 6 months or longer! My guess is, no one is home (or listening). That’s important to know.

One More Thing

Let’s be honest. The larger audience you have, the more opportunity you have available. Michael Hyatt recently had a great podcast on growing your Twitter followers legitimately. Check out the podcast and show notes here.

New Beginnings

headshot march13 fullsize

Life changes. I’m finding out how silly it was to ever imagine that it wouldn’t change. Lesson learned.

I haven’t worked in almost three months. It was relaxing at first. Finally, a break. The relaxed feeling has become anxiety, fear, and frustration. I’m done being stuck. I’m ready for the next step.

I’ve filled my time with reading (nine books so far), including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for the first time. I’m brushing up my html and css skills (and learning a few new languages). I’m also spending a lot more time with Carissa and Noah which has been a great blessing.

I’m not sure what the next step is or what my next career will be. My intention for NathanAyres.com is to post relevant content regarding my personal interests in social media, web design, and any area that my next career may take me. Thanks for joining me.

Blog Theme

min-free-minimal-wordpress-theme

I wanted to give a shout out to the blog theme. It’s called min. by Jared Erickson. It’s free AND simple which were my only two requirements right now.

In the near future (i.e. when I can afford it), I’m getting Standard Theme. It’s beautiful, responsive, and built really well. You should check it out.

Now I just have to work on creating quality content and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have something going here.