defines this as begin over, begin where one left off, carry on, carry over, go on with, pickup, proceed, recapitulate, recommence, reestablish, reinstate, re-institute, renew, restore or take up. You get the point.I am going to continue from where I left off, or actually back a bit. I slipped into the conventional way of job hunting and sent out a ton of resumes (interesting synonym there, resume; a compendium of your work life used to find a new job. Resume; to continue on or restart), made a bunch of cold calls and sifted through thousands of web pages, all with no success. I tinkered with starting a new business but then CAL FIRE beckoned again so I switched gears, picked up more classes/certs to try and score higher on their testing process and went back to work for them in 2010. When I was again laid off at the end of fire season ( I volunteered to take the hit so as to be able to take even more classes. That was a bad idea), I focused on getting classes I couldn’t get on duty in hopes of scoring even higher and making permanent. Then they changed the rules.

So I am back here again. This time with a new plan, or a modified version of the old plan. I am going to work social networking/media to enhance my visibility, look for new ways to look for work while also using the old ones that didn’t work so well before but I have to cover my bases.

However… I am 55 years old. No one in the fire service is going to hire a 55 year old probationary firefighter (and I can’t physically beat out some 19 y/o kid!) and it is rare for a department to do what CAL FIRE was doing and hire officers off the street.  In addition, there are lifer sales guys out there looking for work so the odds aren’t good there either. On top of that, there is “this economy” where even the best of the best are on the street and have been for 2,3 and even 4 years. So the odds of me finding a good paying job are slim, and a good paying job that I would enjoy and respect myself in the morning, even slimmer (I know someone has to offer you “fries with that” and it is a “job” but still…).

That brings me to the second part and that is to reinvent myself. Wait! At 55? ARE YOU NUTS? No choice! No job, limited savings and besides what does every red-blooded american middle manager do when (s)he finds themselves in my spot? Become a consultant! The idea has been perking for a year or two but CAL FIRE looked like it was going to pan out and working a related side business is a big no-no so I just let it simmer. Well it’s time to get cooking (pardon the pun but hey, I’m a bit of a foodie so it works). So I will be blogging here about job hunting, and fulfilling my requirements to look for work but will also be throwing out fire related information as well while developing a new website and a new business as a Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Wildfire Preparedness consultant. With the growth in rural/suburban living in the “interface”, changes in climate, and cutbacks in the fire services, maybe just maybe this will work. Stay tuned folks.


The work of finding work continues

Work continues on this blog and I should be ready to start publicizing it here shortly thanks to a little help from my wife Debi at Bright Hope Designs. One of the smartest things she ever did (other than marry me! Okay, okay, some say that is debatable!) was to learn how to hand code websites. Most people don’t know that many so-called “website designers” have no idea how to write code. They (the “designers”) use tools like I use to write this blog called WYSIWYG (pronounced wizzywig, short for “what you see is what you get”) that automatically write the hidden code that makes all of this work for them. Nothing wrong with that unless you need something different or some problem pops up! A good designer needs to know how to read and write code.

So far I have worked on learning how to build this site myself, have finished my Facebook profile, my LinkedIn profile, my Plaxo pulse profile and am working on my Monster and FireLink (a company) profiles as well. I have also polished up and reworked the resumes and have had them reviewed by a few people in the various fields I am working toward.

Not everything has been focused on the web though. I have sent out several resumes and will be sending out more and more each week. So far not even a peep yet. This is sure an employers market. They can pick and choose from among the best of the best.

The key to success is going to be to have a plan, put the plan in to action, monitor and revise the plan as needed and to stay positive and motivated (which is really hard to do when listening and watching the news).

Not everything has been 100% job hunting focused. Debi, my son Tyler and I spent sometime rescuing a Great Pyrenees dog up in Tehama county (Northern California). Check out the link on the right side here for the story of Lobo the abandoned Great Pyrenees. Even when times are tough, doing something good really helps the mental attitude.

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