I’m in that job-searching place again (and how apt that it’s almost been exactly a year, and I’m once again staring at my own writing on the subject in print here). I’ve filled out at least half a dozen applications in the past two weeks to various jobs, from my home here in the Indiana boondocks to Lexington, KY.

That doesn’t sound like a lot of job applications to you older folks, who used to go out driving and dropping off résumés, but consider the fact that today’s job searching is all done online. And consider, too, that hospital and university HR departments (where I’m mostly applying) want more than just a résumé and brief cover letter. They want writing samples, recommendation letters, and a complete online career history profile—including your high school jobs, your references, and your ethnic/sexual/relationship/police record history status.  It takes about six hours for me to apply to a single job, but about two weeks and thirty seconds to get a stock email back telling me my hours were wasted.  The current way of doing things—online applications only, please, no personal calls—sucks.

So, I’m still applying, but I’m also taking a slightly passive stance. I’m finding that acquaintances of mine who are aware of my internship-ending-soon-with-no-openings-in-sight position are very helpful and are doing some networking for me.  I’ve been getting emails from these helpful saints about job leads, and I’d like to say ‘thank you.’

The reason why I’m being “lazy” (to some minds) has something to do with my tendency to trust the things I see in nature as being facets of God’s original design. At my old volunteer gig at the Zoo, I watched a tiger hunt–stalking a bit towards the potential target, waiting, sneaking a little closer, waiting again–and this practice is, and has always been, efficient enough to feed and sustain the tiger.  Moreover, to quote God himself in Job 38, the situation is really out of my hands/paws:

“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?” v. 39-41

I, maybe foolishly, see God’s providence in this job-hunting process, too: in one supportive networker friend at a time, flushing the career field bushes for me, or passing by with an easy opening in their hands and a personal insider in the company to boot.  All I have to do is wait . . . and pounce.

Meantime, I’ll sharpen my newly learned marketing skills, and I’ll try—try not to freak out about all the life transitions I’m facing once again this summer as I re-enter the job market feeling only slightly prepared for a real career and very uncertain about where I’ll wind up if I miraculously land one.  Breathe. Be calm.

After all, when tigers wait for a meal and get anxious or nervous about it, their tails start to move, and they give themselves away. That’s when the opportunities suddenly vanish.

One more thought: a bit of wisdom from the eminent Bill Watterson and my favorite tiger of his.

Hobbes' Wisdom

Calvin and Hobbes (c) Universal Press Syndicate