Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Slowly, ever slowly.... I'm finding that the spreadsheet deadlines mean that I'm going to do the needed work on the very last day of the timeframe I've allocated for the specific task.

Oh, and really, asking people to talk with me about their careers? The worst thing is that they say no to my request, right? I'm coming up against the same fears and shyness I faced when I was looking for an advertising copywriting job yea back in my youth. That didn't work out too well... and I can't afford failure this time.

On the other hand, volunteering at Ellis Island has gotten kind of fun with the rush of foreign tourists. The other day I used my rusty college French to help a couple whose English was worse than my French... somehow figured out what they were trying to convey (not one of the usual questions) and hopefully gave them some useful information. It was great to hear the words coming out of my mouth... and actually being understood!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The process moves forward

Okay ... I've got stuff to do and things to accomplish.

Over the next three weeks, I've got to make contacts, re-establish others, start doing informational interviews, and see what the fates bring me (in addition to my own efforts, not instead of).

I've spent a good part of today working on spreadsheets, lists, questions, ideas, and a SCHEDULE of what I need to get done, and when. I'm attempting (successfully, I think), to break the process of networking/informational interviewing into manageable nuggets, along with starting and due dates for each of them. If I get some of 'em done before deadline, great -- onto the next step -- but I've got to keep myself firmly on task. When I talk with my coach in three weeks, I want to have made some progress.

So what are the areas I'm looking at? Documentary filmmaking, freelance writing, and something called corporate storytelling. Fortunately there are aspects of each of them that I have some familiarity with, so I'm not totally blind here, but at the same time, it'll be a challenge for me to do all of the legwork I need to do to fully understand what the fields entail, experience I need to gain, how I can transfer my current skills, and how the heck I get a job and make a living at any of them. Putting together lists and deadlines is great... but it means nothing unless I follow through and do the hard work.

As always, the big hurdle is having the discipline to keep up the momentum. But as I keep telling myself, it's gotta get done... or I just go back to what made me miserable in the past.

Adelante, siempre adelante!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Third meeting with the coach happens this afternoon.

So far a lot of the same themes keep coming up -- writing, history, preservation, nature, being a know-it-all -- which disappointed me when I was doing the homework. A fresh set of eyes seems to be doing some good, though. The coach looked at all of it, plus some of the stuff I've enjoyed doing in past jobs, and made a few connections I've never considered. For example, documentary filmmaking.

That's a new one, but it makes a lot of sense. I mean, consider that last winter I was all gung-ho about getting a producer interested in documenting the history and deterioration of Fort Hancock. (And no, I didn't make the next step, because I never heard back from the ranger who'd be the primary information source.) I've always enjoyed working with production crews on video shoots and managing post-production. I like putting a story together, and I certainly have a different way of looking at things. And... I think I already have some contacts to get more perspective from.

So do I become the next Ken Burns wannabe? Not sure, but I have to figure something out pretty soon...