It's been a while since I've written. I wanted to tell you that my latest job opportunity didn't come to fruition. This really isn't important news for you, I realize you have your hands full. And your job situation looks like it's approaching mine. I figured I should write you this time not asking for help or advice. There really isn't a lot of point, because I'm pretty sure by this point you're not reading my letters or at least not getting them. At first I thought you might be because many of my friends seem convinced that if you even put the word President in an online message; someone in the government will see it.
Today I wanted to write you because I know that in the next year or two you will also be on the job hunt. I wish I could say I know what it's like to leave a job after eight years. In my world that's an amazing accomplishment. My last three jobs haven't lasted longer than about 2 1/2 years. But that's pretty much from downsizing, lack of direction, change of direction, or failure to generate revenue. I'm pretty sure your job won't be downsized anymore.
You see, the idea of career, finding a path; getting good at it, and being given stronger responsibilities over time. That idea is sort of dead in our country. I know, I know... we called it 'the American Dream' at one time. Making something out of nothing and prospering with it. Unfortunately, that's really not the way it works anymore. You will find yourself in a job. You will have exaggerated enough on your resume about the work you do that you can learn how do to either the same thing you did in the last job or maybe an ounce more. With luck they won't try to find out how that you're mildly exaggerating because the truth of what you do is really of very little interest to them.
Once you find yourself in a job you should realize that the word career needs to be exorcised from your vocabulary. People aren't hiring you as someone looking for their next job. Personally, your employer really doesn't care about you. There is a reason that the department is called Human Resources. HR's job is to fit you into a machine like a gear and then to supply you with sufficient oil so that you do not squeak. What this means is that training budgets are for managers to be able to move them around from group to group like blocks. Your actual workers.. they do the job while needed and no more or no less. Your personal growth in your field is in fact stunted passively by your work because this makes you more viable outside the company.
I tell you this, because jobs for ex-presidents are hard to come-by. Like you, I spent my last job making a very low 6 figure salary. I have survived (barely) over the last year on the little I could put away from my salary and my IRA. I of course had to break into that, but you'd know all the penalties one gets for needing to survive off their IRA. You set them. I figure that financially you probably earned the same amount as I did (If I'm reading your salary correctly). I couldn't possibly imagine you'd take any of those extra funds that they always talk about in the newspapers that undermine the trust that we have for you. It almost seem like your cheating the system you're designing rather than being one of the people you represent.
Personally, I'll tell you. The job market isn't so great. You will get turned down for jobs you've done in the past and the excuse will be, "You just aren't qualified." Because we've managed to protect businesses to the point that they can turn you down for all the reasons they aren't supposed to but they don't have to tell you either. All it takes is one previous company to lie about your history, and you'll never know. Because they don't have to tell you.
Mr. President, I hope you find work faster than I am. Because what happens is you question your own career choices too late and you realize you don't have the means to start fresh. Well, sure, we should all be able to start fresh. I mean after 35 who says you can't start a career. Hey, you're over 50.. the law says, no discrimination over age. We're both intelligent men. Well, I may be over estimating myself. I know at least one of us is. We should be able to do any job they put in front of us with two maybe three months of training. The problem is... employers don't want us to love our work anymore. They want us to be our work and nothing else. Church, family, recreation... these are ideals of the old America. Now it's 80-100 hour work weeks with no overtime because there are federal minimums companies can pay to duck that requirement. Health problems caused by overwork are easily replaced by policies that make complaining or inaccuracies that result from overwork grounds for termination.
The system is out there. And it really doesn't care how much you want to work. Good luck out there Mr. President. It's a scary system. But the one thing you can use to help you in the search when you're out there. You made it possible. This is the result of your work.
May your God bless you as it would seem that mine has been unable to the past year.
Keep up the good fight. I know I will.
For my future child, for the people in my life I love dearly, for my wonderful spouse, and me.
Just keep trying.