Tag Archives: unemployment

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

Lawrence Insecure

Insecure has done a great job of highlighting so many of the dynamics between men and women trying to find a common ground in relationships, dating and just overall social interaction. One of the things that I’ve noticed while not really picking sides between the star characters Lawrence and Issa, is that Lawrence’s journey is one that surprisingly I connect to. I say that not in terms of the struggles that he’s having in his relationship with his now former partner but the background elements of him trying to live the life that he wants and that he has been working towards.

The backdrop of this character throughout these 2 completed seasons has been one of unfulfilled potential. We meet this character dealing with unemployment, clearly having a high level of intelligence as he pitches this new potential mobile app but not being able to get enough traction to get things off the ground. In the meantime, his struggles are wearing thin on his partner and on various levels we get a number of hints that perhaps their sex life among other things is not what it should be. These factors lead to overall growing tension between the two of them.

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I can wholeheartedly relate to the experience that Lawrence has been going through on the personal side regarding his professional advancements or at least his attempts to do so. More people than you know are dealing with an economy and a business world that has been in flux for probably the last 7-plus years now. There are more people with high education and higher work experience all vying for the same jobs. As a black man I already knowing what that job hunting process entails and how much higher you have to aim above the crowd, it’s stressful.

It takes a lot to get up and put on that professional face, hold it together throughout the course of the day and then come home and function when you’re not contributing your fair amount to the household situation. So we follow Lawrence as he goes from unemployment to finally bite the bullet and taking a Best Buy opportunity that was presented to him. It’s an ego check as it falls far below his intelligence and experience, but you do what you have to do to provide for your situation.

I connect with this so deeply, I know from personal experience how that feels to have to sit down and look at what you’ve done in the past, what you’ve accomplished, what you know than sit down and have to take a role that realistically you probably could have retained with no more than a high school degree. Again you do what you have to do to bring in that paper regardless of how much your ego takes a hit for it. Let’s just look things over a bit. In the midst of trying to get your paper right, you now find yourself out of your relationship not established in terms of having your own place so you know what happens next? You holla at your homie and you’re dealing with that air mattress struggle. Again I’ve never been in a situation where I separated from someone and ended up in that way but the air mattress struggle is real I’ve been there and when you find yourself in certain spaces of transition and you’re essentially starting from scratch. Building life from the bottom up is a very humbling position to find yourself in.

So as we watch Lawrence deal with these various levels of change some people may see it as him being the butt of a joke, however, your personal experiences will relate to the perspective that you’re going to bring to the situation and for me without touching the way he interacts with Issa, I get the stress, strain and the conflict that he is dealing with internally.

Interestingly enough the story of Insecure seems to present a situation where it isn’t until Lawrence is away from his supportive partner that he starts to make traction in his life professionally. He gets the new job, he gets the place and it makes you wonder was there something within the relationship holding him back

When shows like this hit the scene it is natural for people to start picking sides. The internet is full of Team Issa and Team Lawrence fanatics. People who just like me, connect to these characters in some personal form or fashion and are riding out hoping to see the best for that particular individual as the show progresses. As I said, I’m not on either of these individuals teams because I feel a lot of the decisions they are making in regards to each other and their former relationship have been incredibly destructive and hurtful to themselves.  

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I had this conversation with a friend recently; they are both being incredibly messy single people. But at least on one level of existence, I get where Lawrence is coming from I get the idea of wanting to be something aiming to be something falling short and having constant reminders around you of your shortcomings. I know what it’s like to be a certain age be in a certain place look around you and see others advancing others prospering and you still struggling to get to a place that you know you should be at. It’s not cool to admit the things that I’m talking about but this isn’t something new I’ve been very transparent with my life for years now. But as Insecure continues to grow in popularity I think the show presents real opportunity, to be honest about the lies that we live. As women open up and claim spaces in our society that they have been due for the longest. I think as men we need to start feeling enough comfort to open up about the difficulties that we have we are expected to be stone cold emotionless and just proceed with life like nothing ever affects us and that’s not true that’s not honest and it’s not healthy.

If anything the true level of insecurity comes in our inability, to be honest with ourselves and others that sometimes we’re just not happy with our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better to acknowledge your feelings and address them than bottle them up and have them possibly explode in the wrong direction or towards the wrong person.

While we await the next chapter of life between Lawrence and Issa in season 3, I do hope that the level of conversation that this show has sparked doesn’t die down. There are so many areas we need to address with other. We need each other more than ever and the first step to that position comes through understands open communication. We’re all insecure about something so why not share and heal together?

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The Digital Torture of The Job Application Process

The Digital Torture of The Job Application Processcomputer-break-up

 

 

 

I think it’s safe to say that most of us at one time or another has been in the following situation. You’re searching though the various job posting sites and career sections of companies and suddenly you see it. The ideal position appears and you hit that “APPLY” option. Excitement grows as you start thinking of where your career can go next but before you get too worked up you see the worst thing possible.

Please Enter Your Log In or Create A New Account

Why? Why? Why!?!? Nothing stops me dead in my tracks like coming across this. With all the advancements in technology and data sharing, companies around the globe continue to use this out dated job application method. In all honesty, this may be the only time you ever access this site so being forced to create another account just to express your interest in a job is a such a frustrating exercise.

There’s a method to the madness but before we look at that let’s continue to identify the issues within the current format. So, now you’ve created an account or hopefully were able to log in via one of your social media accounts. (Side note: I’m assuming your social media presence is business friendly.)  The next level in the application maze is the “Upload Resume” page. You are told to upload your resume with the belief/hope that doing so will streamline the sharing of your career history and make this application less time-consuming and more efficient.

Unfortunately by the time you get to the next page your fears are realized as the next set of questions you get are “Please Enter Employment History”.

WHY!??!??!?! Why was it requested of me to upload a resume only to have it manually enter the same info on the next page? Chances are likely that you have a vast and detailed background so entering that takes time. For many of us this is a cold robotic process with very little human element. I’ve been on the over side of the process in having years of Human Resource experience so I’ve seen it. Many businesses still don’t get that the more you can show genuine interest and humanity, the more you get out of employees.

Hopefully should you reach the interview stage whoever you meet with actually comes across like they read your resume and did some research on you, but lets’ flip this and look at the employer side of equation.

Why would such an antiquated process be used when it could so easily be improved? Well here’s the mentally behind it. It’s one part cruel test and one part if it ain’t broke why fix it.

It’s a tried and true belief with many employers that making people go through less than pleasant situations weeds out those that aren’t “serious” and finds out “who really wants it”. The concept is that if you really want the opportunity that a few minutes spent engaged in tedious data entry won’t hurt you. Personally I don’t think that legit interest can solely be measured by enduring unnecessary action. This also leads into what I view as the true reason behind the lack of process evolution, work load reduction.  No one is viewing the applicants as “determined potential workers”. It’s just systemic process of elimination.

If an employer is genuinely looking to engage the best talent available then make an effort to appear vested in the process from the beginning. In the end a human has to review the information before an interview is to take space, so why create a digital obstacle course when you could use that space to ask real questions related to the business. Inquire about goals, likes, dislikes and ambitions that go beyond the generic “Tell me about a time you have to see great customer service.”

Businesses today know that community content is the best to share because it connects to the people. That connection isn’t limited to content alone. It’s needed in talent acquisition as well. The mutual investment in a persons success goes a long way to getting the best out of people. Many companies would do well to remember this when reviewing their hiring process.

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Tweeting Your Way To Unemployment

Tweeting Your Way To Unemployment

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On one of my previous Samurai Skill posts I touched on the topic of operating online with the presence of mind that you are being watched. Social Media presents a mixed bag of personal and professional interactions. For those of us who depend on Twitter, Facebook, etc as part of our livelihood it’s a common practice to keep aware of that ever watching and screen saving eye.  Now more than ever people are finding out how costly the wrong post can be. I’m sure everyone is aware of this past weekends’ ultimate digital foot-in-mouth drama surrounding Justine Sacco better known as #HasJustineLandedYet. With that disaster fresh on our minds how about we see a few more twitter moments that sent people from office to unemployment. Were they all termination worthy? Check them out for yourselves.

Taylor Palmisano

twitter unemployment
Now here’s politics at its dirtiest. In 2011, Taylor Palmisano—@itstaytime, dropped a series of racist Tweets like ones pictured here. After which she would eventually land a job as deputy finance director for the campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. We all know no body digs up your old dirt like campaign politics. The ugly tweets were discovered and Palmisano was promptly removed from the position.

Continue reading Tweeting Your Way To Unemployment