the job search, that is. no, i haven’t quit, calm thyself. not that i don’t consider it, daily. but of course quitting would be purest folly, what with my savings account currently amounting to precisely 6% of my monthly pay, and my rent due shall we say soonish. indeed quitting would mean moving back in with my parents, and probably defaulting on some loans/credit cards/etc, and quite aside from having been there, done that with regards to financial ruin, i will shovel dog poo with my bare hands before i will move back in with anyone. #personalSpaceIssuesMuch? but, my discontent remains. the problem basically boils down to this, and i am certain i am not alone in this predicament: the job i want, i am not qualified for, and the job i can get, is not a job i want. that is to say, the job i want is to be a japanese translator. i do at least have the benefit of being headed towards fluency, but by my own reckoning, that is still several years off, at best. the job i can get, or rather, the broad class of jobs i am qualified for, include things such as data entry, receptionist/administrative assistant positions, call center operative, etc. that is to say, jobs i have already done, jobs i have grown bored with. so the only job i really want is a job i’ll have to wait several years to even have a shot at, and the jobs i can get are ones that would land me right back where i started: bored, perhaps with a slightly higher income. and so my main problem is this: do i bail on my current job, where i am (almost literally) bored to tears, forced to sit next to people who think that Cosmo and Marie Claire represent the most fun one can have whilst reading, and believe that it’s okay for them to be hateful and cynical but that everyone else should really cheer up, in favor of some job that might keep my mind occupied for the 18 months or so it generally takes me to learn even complex systems until i get bored again, or do i stick with it, counting on the dopamine response of my continued studies to carry me through the low points while at least enjoying the seniority, loads of paid time off, and respect of some decent managers i currently have, until such time as i can fly this coop in favor of bluer skies, or shall we say motto aoi sora? of course, job searching these days is difficult, even for the highest of highly qualified applicants. everyone wants you to NETWORK, as if every person on the planet were born with some innate sense that allowed them to take advantage of interpersonal relationships in order to climb up the corporate ladder. for introverts such as myself, who can name their close friends on one hand, and even people in the next circle out in the low double digits, this presents a serious problem. i don’t hate social interaction, it just wears me out. i can’t stand small talk, and talking about myself is so obnoxious i’d rather grab that bottle of Purell and go say hello to the dog poo. i recognize that i do have the luxury of saying this from behind a comfortably steady paycheck, but networking is not my idea of how i’d like to spend my off hours. in a perfect world, the job search sites would work quite differently from the way they currently do. you might create a profile, you might even type in keywords for your skills, but basically, what you would do is this: tell the system what you have, i.e. degree, skills, competancies, etc, and then the site, instead of trying to sell you their premium version, or giving you a list of every job listing in a 50 mile radius that uses the word “entry” in its description, would give you a list of positions that match your skills, regardless of job title. so, i might put in my English degree, my (far too) many years of customer service, and my Japanese skill, and then tell it i’m looking for something that interacts with the international community, something that plays to my communication ability, something that doesn’t really have all that much to do with what is traditionally called “customer service,” that is, i’m sick of being front facing. the system would probably still return a good number of customer service jobs, but there would be a way to tell the algorhythms “i’m not interested in this” and have them adjust. then i can start looking at jobs that i actually want, or at least, jobs that are closer to what i actually want than i get blindly typing keywords into a search engine. this would be a great boon for employers, too, who might now receive a higher percentage of people actually interested in the job for the job’s sake, rather than hundreds of people desperately hoping that this middle management position isn’t going to be like every single middle management position they’ve had before. and for those of us who don’t care what kind of title we have, as long as it’s a job that lets us use the skills we’ve got, and challenges us to learn some new ones, we can stop missing out on great opportunities simply because we don’t know what keywords to stick in the search box. .