Sorry for the writing absence lately, I’ve been busy on the job hunt. When you write about yourself constantly on job applications, resumes and insincere cover letters it’s hard to build up the energy to write some more.

There are jobs here in Portland opening on a weekly basis that I’m qualified for, but it’s a very competitive market. My primary target job would be to continue work similar to what I did at the U.S. Department of Agriculture doing public affairs. I like workin’ for the government and I have a good chunk of years vested in retirement savings with them as well. And I’m good at it too. But those jobs are competitive here due to a large number of returned veterans and federal employees displaced from layoffs elsewhere. I’ve sent out a number of applications to U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Soil & Water Conservation Service and other similar agencies. I like doing my public affairs work for organizations that have something to do with my biology/wildlife/natural resources background.

I had an interview a few weeks ago with Portland’s major medical university but did not get the job despite having a lot of people put in good words for me. I think they had someone else in mind to start with as I got the feeling during the interview that I wasn’t The One. I’m pretty good at interviews and feeling out interest. But I’m not too heartbroken about it as it was not entirely in my realm of interest anyway. I’ve applied to a different job at the same institution that I’m more interested in.

What made it easy for me to find jobs in DC was that there are always a lot of jobs there being the HQ for many federal organizations. That and I had 14+ years of contacts built up from knowing so many people there from either the rugby team or other organizations I did things with. Here I’m out of my major network but have been working on that. I know some people cringe at the concept of “networking” but it’s one of my strong points and I’m not hesitant to do it. I’ll talk to anyone about what I want to do and where I want to work, so I have that going for me.

From an emotional standpoint I should chill out though – I’ve only been in Portland for two months and I have money saved up to survive on. I’m living with friends and not paying rent so there’s no looming need to start work immediately somewhere. So I’m not desperate and have been choosy about what jobs I want to apply to. I only apply to jobs I know I’m qualified for and interested in, rather than blanket the area with impersonal broadcast applications and resumes.

But it’s hard to explain that to my inner Midwest Scandinavian troll who gnaws at my psyche on a daily basis telling me I must work to have value. I’m trying to be aware of that inner troll so I can also enjoy this down time going hiking, exploring Portland and meeting people.

During some of this down time I went to one of those paint-your-own ceramic shops to make this fabulous sunshine coffee mug:

Mug Shot

I am an artist. This is my work.


  1. Cubby says:

    Good luck with the hunt. I hope you can get back in with the gub’ment. I’m really happy I ended up there. My boss is great, my job is fun much of the time, the people are cool, and it’s exciting to live in metro DC, although I’m finding the Metro is way overpriced.

  2. brettcajun says:

    Don’t stress about your downtime. Enjoy your hikes in the woods. Let it clear your mind and free your spirit. I am a tad jealous about your long break. :/

  3. Jeffrey C says:

    Any more mugs like that and you’ll be single for life. LOL.

    Sending you good karma from my PDX airport hotel here I am on a quick overnight layover.

  4. jimbo says:

    Hey now I LOVE that mug and it perfectly represents what coffee means to me.

  5. Erik Rubright says:

    Take your downtime and enjoy it. You’ll find something to do for pay when it’s time.

    I love the blue colors inside the mug.

  6. cb says:

    I sure hope that glaze isn’t lead based….