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July 8th, 2015

Some Thoughts on the Job Thing

As I mentioned a few days ago, laurie_robey is now on unemployment and we're officially up the creek without a paddle (but fortunately still in a canoe). So immediately upon returning from AnthroCon, I will officially be in job hunt mode.

Although this does present some difficulties, I have to admit, I'm not entirely upset about it. Introvert that I am, even I found it wearing to be Home Alone All the Time, and the constant awareness of our financial state (for good or ill) is an awful screeching background noise that made even my happiest days tinged with stress. And after a certain amount of time, just sitting around working on whatever I want to work on, while fun, becomes strangely unfulfilling and self-indulgent. If I felt like Suburban Jungle were actually doing some good in the world, it might be different; but as it is, I feel like it just doesn't make a real difference to anyone any more.

Not to say that nobody likes it at all or anything like that, but it doesn't have the same vital engagement it once did. The environment has changed, and SJ has changed, and while there are still people who enjoy reading it and I still enjoy creating it, I think it's had its 15 minutes. Even the current comic's biggest fans (all four of you) don't seem to be getting much out of it.

This is something that I have been feeling for a while, actually; I was speaking to my counselor about this months ago, in fact. I think much of my current emotional state, besides the lingering effects of grief, can be attributed to simply feeling disconnected and irrelevant. [1]

So how does all of this relate to getting a job? Well there are a few factors. First, doing something that somebody is willing to pay for is pretty hard-to-dispute evidence that it has some kind of worth. It's not absolute, of course, especially if you work in Washington D.C. (:P), but as a general rule you have to be relevant to someone if they're willing to give you a salary. It would also get me back out into the world again, giving me external stimuli besides the current internet echo chamber I live in.

Second, having income again would make a self-indulgent activity (such as making a furry comic that is solidly midlist even within the world of furry, le sigh) that most perfectly acceptable of activities, "a hobby." The only problem is that it gets considerably harder to maintain and enjoy hobbies once you reach a certain age, because all of your free time seems to be eaten up with the stupid crap of adulthood. That is a real problem that I'm going to have to work on solutions for.

On the other hand, with regular income, things like conventions and printing costs are subsidized, so I don't have to worry about if there's cash on hand to cover them so much as if they return their investment in the long term. That means I can be a little more splurgey on things like promo flyers, banner ads, and larger print runs, which hopefully will lead to more bigger sales assuming I can keep the comic running.

None of this addresses what kind of job I will get or even how I'll go about finding one, which are both large problems to tackle. But those are things I'm not even going to think about until next Tuesday. They can wait until then.

-The Gneech

[1] So, here's a weird thing, and I don't know what to make of it. I have folks refer to me as "awesome" on a fairly regular basis. O.o I am grateful for this, don't think I'm not! But it also baffles me. Besides the sour-grapesey lizard brain reaction of, "If I'm awesome, why did only 1/3 of the people I invited come to my birthday party?" there's the more straightforward question of "What have I done in years that would warrant being called awesome?" which I frankly have no answer for. Many years ago, someone e-mailed me to let me know reading the original SJ regularly helped get them through a period of suicidal depression, and okay, that's pretty good. ^.^' But as far as I can tell it's been a long time since I've so much as pulled my own weight, much less actually helped.

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