As I get older I find myself talking to myself more than ever. This sort of activity seems to legitimate this following post:
LETTER WRITING: 2 JOB APPLICATIONS A WEEK FOR 42 YEARS
JOB HUNTING 1961-2003
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 personal and professional background, my writing and my life. This resume might be useful for the few who want to assess my suitability for some advertised or unadvertised employment position which, I must emphasize again, I never apply for anymore. I stopped applying for full-time jobs six years ago in 2001 and part-time ones in 2003. I also left the world of volunteer activity, except for work in one international organization, claiming as it does to be the newest of the world's great religions of history, the Baha’i Faith, two years ago. The age of 63, then, sees me self-employed as a writer-poet. I gradually came to this role in the years after I left full-time employment in 1999, eight years ago.
Not being occupied with earning a living and giving myself to 60 hours a week in a job and many other hours to community activity marked a turning point for me so that I could devote my time to a much more extensive involvement in writing. Writing is for most of its votaries a solitary, hopefully stimulating but not always pleasurable leisure-time-part-time-full-time pursuit. In my case in these early years of my late adulthood, writing is full-time about 60 hours a week.1 I have replaced paid employment and activity with people in community with a form of work which is also a form of leisure, namely, writing and reading.
Inevitably the style of one's writing and what one reads is a reflection of the person, their experience and their philosophy. On occasion, I set out this experience, this resume, in an attachment to this brief essay, this introductory statement on the history of my job application process.2 If, as Carl Jung writes, we are what we do, then some of what I was could and can be found in that attachment. That document may seem over-the-top as they say these days since it now goes on for more than 20 pages, but for nearly half a century of various forms of employment, years in the professional and not-so-professional job world produced a great pile of stuff/things. As I say, I make it available to readers of this account, when appropriate, and I update it to include many of the writing projects I have taken on during these first years of my retirement from full-time, part-time and volunteer activity.
The resume has always been the piece of writing, the statement, the document, the entry ticket which 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 to yet another place or, indeed, from place to place be necessary or desired. But this seems unlikely as I go through these early years of late adulthood and head into the last stages of my life.
In the last three years which are the first of my late adulthood, a period from 60 to 80; and in these early years of my retirement(1999 to 2007), I have been able to write to a much greater extent than I had ever been able to do in those years of my early and middle adulthood from 1965 to 1999 when job, family and the demands of various community projects kept my nose to the grindstone as they say colloquially. And now, with the final 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 than I’ve ever had, the years of late adulthood beckon bright with promise. My resume reflects this shift in my activity-base.
The process of frequent moves and frequent jobs which was my pattern for forty years is not everyone's style, modus operandi or modus vivendi. 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 in these recent decades. For many millions of people during the years 1961-2003, my years of being jobbed, the world was their oyster, not so much in the manner of a tourist, although there was plenty of that, but rather in terms of working lives which came to be seen increasingly in a global context.
This was true for me during those years when I was looking for amusement, education and experience, some stimulating vocation and avocation, some employment security and comfort, my adventurous years of pioneering, my applying-for-job days, the more than forty years from 1961 to 2003. My resume altered many times, of course, during those forty plus years is now for the most part, as I indicated above, not used in these years of my retirement, except as an information and bio-data vehicle for interested readers, 99% of whom are on the internet at its plethora of sites.
This document, what I used to call a curriculum vitae or CV, 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 work. For they take the position we are not what we do or, to put it a little differently and a little more succinctly, "we are not our jobs." I frequently use this resume at various website locations 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, enrich my experience add some enrichment to my life, etcetera. The use of the resume saves one from having to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. One doesn'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 at the other end of the electronic set of wires, as the case may be.
During those job-hunting years 1961-2003 I applied for some four thousand jobs, an average of two a week for each of all those years! This is a guesstimation, of course, as accurate a guesstimation as I can calculate for this forty year period. The great bulk of those thousands of letters involved in this vast, detailed and, from time to time, quite exhausting and frustrating a process, I did not keep. I did keep a small handful of perhaps half a dozen of all 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 those 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; given the amount of writing done in the context of those various jobs,(3) some of the correspondence seemed to warrant a corner in the written story of my life.(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. The things we do when we retire!(5)
(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, on request or in my autobiography.
(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, subject notes, inter alia, in my many jobs. None of that material has been kept in any of my files and, over 40 years, it amounted to literally millions, an uncountable number, of words.
(4) The Letters section of my autobiography now occupies some 25 arch-lever files and two-ring binders and covers the period 1960 to 2007. I guesstimate the collection contains about 3000 letters. This does not include these thousands of job applications and their replies, thousands of emails now and an unnumbered quantity of in-house letters at places where I was employed. I have kept, as I say above, about half a dozen to a dozen of these letters and none of the approximately 10,000 documents I wrote in the years 1961 to 2003.
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 to 1995 which would once have been in the form of letters, is now in the form of emails. They are kept in my letter-files. (See the internet site 'Baha'i Library Online' and the 'Personal Letters' section for an extended discussion of this aspect of my life: writing letters.)
That's all folks!