Two Job Applications A Week For 40 Years: 1961-2001


JOB HUNTING 1961-2001

The information and details in my resume, a resume I no longer use in the job-hunting world, should help anyone wanting to know something about my professional background, my writing and my life. This resume might be useful for the few who want to assess my suitability for some advertised/unadvertised employment position which, I must emphasize, I never apply for any more. I stopped applying for full-time jobs five years ago in 2001, part-time ones in 2003 and general volunteer activity in 2005. I left the world of volunteer activity, except for work in one international organization, so that I could travel in my mind. And so it is, that after travelling in the world of the great new technological birds of the sky, which began to their extensive movements to and from city and after in the 1950s, after my own years of buying tickets to travel by air(1967-2002)-some 35 years, I never get into the sky any more.

The years 55 to 60 marked a turning point for me into a much more extensive involvement in writing. Writing is for most of its votaries a solitary and hopefully stimulating leisure-time-part-time-full-time pursuit. Travel takes place but it is, for the most part, in one's mind, one's imagination and memory. In my case in these first years of late adulthood(60-62) writing is full-time, about 60 hours a week.1 The times I travelled by air: to Baffin Island, to several cities in Canada, to Europe, to North America, to Australia, to Hong Kong, to Israel over those 35 years are now memories, happy ones that dotted my life with their landmarks of change and transition.

Inevitably the style of one's writing is a reflection of the person, their experience and their philosophy. I could set out my experience in an attachment and I did so for some 40 years in a logical fashion in the form of a resume.2 If, as Carl Jung writes, we are what we do, then some of what I am could be found in that attachment. This document would seem over-the-top as they say these days since it goes on for 12-15 pages, but forty years in the professional and non-professional job world produces a great pile of stuff/things. This document is the last resume I used when I was in the job hunting game back in 2001-3. I have updated it, of course, to include many of the writing projects I have taken on during these first years of my retirement from full-time, casual and volunteer employment.

The resume has always been the piece of writing, the statement, the document, the entry ticket which, over the years, has opened up the possibilities of another adventure, another pioneering move to another town, another state or country, another location, work in another organization, another portion of my life. I'm sure that will also be the case in the years of my late adulthood(60-80) and old age(80++) should, for some reason, movement from place to place be necessary or desired. But this seems unlikely as I head into the last stages of my life. The first step was the job application and the second step, if the first was successful, was to get on a plane and go to a part of the world where you had never been and at the end of the journey would be a job interview.

People who come across this statement might like to see it as "what happens when you can travel and not have to go to work any more." In the last eight years which have been the first years of an early retirement(1999 to 2007), I have been able to write to a much greater extent than I had been able in my early and middle adulthood(1965 to 2005) when job, family and the demands and interests of various community projects kept my nose to the grindstone as they say colloquially. And now, with the unloading of much of the volunteer work I took on from 1999-2005, with my last child having left home in 2005 and a more settled home environment on the domestic front than I've ever had, the years of late adulthood(age 60 to 80) beckon. My resume reflects this shift in my activity-base and travel is what it's all about now. But, as I say, it is travel in my head, on TV and DVDs, on video, in paintings, photos, pictures but never in those jets and their streams of energy, their booming and buzzing through the sky with their silence and their noise.

This process of frequent moves and frequent jobs is not everyone's style or pattern of living. I have lived in 37 houses and 22 towns since I was born: 1944-2004. That was a good deal of travelling, let me tell you. Many millions of people live and die in the same town, city or state and their life's adventure takes place within that physical region, the confines of a relatively small place and, perhaps, a very few jobs in their lifetime. Physical movement is not essential to psychological and spiritual growth, nor is a long list of jobs, although some degree of inner change, some inner shifting is just about inevitable, or so it seems to me, especially as we have moved toward and entered this new millennium. Most of the people on Earth never get on a plane.

For many millions of people during the years 1961-2001, my years of being jobbed, the world was my oyster and the oyster of many a million in the West. It was an oyster, not so much in the manner of a tourist-oyster, although there was plenty of that, but rather in terms of working lives which came to be seen increasingly in a global context, a global oyster. This was true for me during those years in which I was looking for amusement, education and experience, some stimulating vocation and avocation, some employment security and comfort. These were my adventurous years of pioneering, my applying-for-job days, a particular form of travel, the forty year period 1961-2001.

The following resume(not included here) altered many times, of course, during those forty years is now for the most part, as I indicated above, not used in these years of my retirement, except as an information, bio-data, vehicle for interested readers. This document is a useful backdrop for those examining my writing, especially my poetry, although some poets regard their CV, resume, bio-data, lifeline, life-story, personal background as irrelevant to their writing-work. I frequently use this resume at various website locations now on the Internet when I want to provide some introductory background on myself, indeed, I could list many new uses after forty years of only one use--to help me get a job, make more money, experience some enrichment to my life, etcetera. The use of the resume saves one from having to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

I don't have to say it all again in resume after resume to the point of utter tedium as I did so frequently when applying for jobs, especially in the days before the email and the internet. A few clicks of one's personal electronic-computer system and some aspect of life's game goes on or comes to a quick end—and another jet appears like magic on one’s personal horizon.

During those job-hunting years 1961-2001 I applied for some four thousand jobs, an average of two a week for each of those forty years! Well, its not the best base for travel, but it is very common. This is a guesstimation, as accurate a guesstimation as I can calculate for this forty year period. The great bulk of the thousands of letters involved in this vast, detailed and, from time to time, exhausting and frustrating process, I did not keep. I did keep a small handful of perhaps half a dozen of those letters in a file in the Letters: Section VII, Sub-Section X of my autobiographical work, Pioneering Over Four Epochs. Given the thousands of hours over forty years devoted to the job-hunting process; given the importance of this key to the pioneering venture that is my life; given the amount of paper produced and energy expended in the process; given the amount of writing done in the context of these various jobs,3 some of the correspondence seemed to warrant a corner in the written story of my life, my autobiography.4

It seemed appropriate, at least it was my desire, to write this short statement fitting all those thousands of resumes into a larger context. I like to see it as 'a perspective on travel.' The things we do when we retire!5 Reflections on one’s experience of the age of popular jet travel, the opportunity to travel in a sort of fantasy land that really took off in the 1950s when I was a child and adolescent.

1. This involves reading, posting on the internet, developing my own website and writing in several genres.
2. My resume is only included with this statement when it seems appropriate or on request.
3. Beginning with the summer job I had in the Canadian Peace Research Institute in 1964, I wrote an unnumbered quantity of: summaries, reports, essays, evaluations, inter alia, in my many jobs. None of that material has been kept in any of my files.
4. The Letters section of my autobiography now occupies some 25 arch-lever files and two-ring binders and covers the period 1960 to 2005. I guesstimate the collection contains about 3000 letters. This does not include these thousands of job applications and their replies. I have kept, as I say above, about half a dozen of these letters.
Note: Since about 1990 thousands of emails have been sent to me and replies have been written but, like the job application, most have been deleted from any potential archive. For the most part these deleted emails seem to have no long term value in an archive of letters. They were deleted as quickly as they came in. Of course there are other emails, nearly all of the correspondence I have sent and received since about 1990 which would once have been in the form of letters, is now in the form of emails. They are kept in my files. A brief perusal of my files will indicate a great deal of the form of travel I am emphasizing here. ____________________
That's all folks!