So, everybody keeps asking

…how current events are relevant to diabetes.

Its relevant for a bunch of reasons, but this is as good as anything.

But, its also relevant because protests are also a result of quarantine and economic dysfunction.

Last week I spoke with a local diabetic bank robber. On the difficulty in implementing changes in the job market: Freakenomics Preventing the next Great Depression: Freakonomics

Healthcare policy impacts the labor market and visa versa. The young are particularly expensive to employ, in part because of healthcare policy. Unemployed young people = civil unrest. It has always been so in all places.

So, the government strategy seems to be, currently, to throw as much money down to us out of a helicopter as possible. I just can’t believe they had this much money. I don’t know how long this can last.

Covid, of course, impacts everything and we are all subject to that nightmare. Our state officials reiterated today, the high mortality associated with diabetes.

While I can’t put all these pieces together anymore, I know it affects diabetics and our well being. I can see all these pieces coming together to crush diabetics who I talk to.

My question: What do I do?
I think that my generation keeps adapting to change, but everything changes so rapidly that as soon as we adapt, everything restructures again. I can no longer see the forest through the trees.

I have applied to 300 jobs. 3 responses. Thats not bad…compared to the previous recession. But, I still have real doubts about my ability to support myself…ever.

Are you getting help now to get through this period? I hope so. Maybe apply for jobs you can work remotely for and then you can stay home until there is a vaccine.

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I’m getting Pandemic Relief, so I’m ok. Things a bit tenuous, though. As long as I continue to make the health insurance premium payment, I’ll be ok. My cost of living is still poised for survival during the last recession.

Hehehe, get this meee. I have stumbled upon an amazing idea. Since its so hard to get out and talk to people - I don’t even know where to find people now that the neighborhoods got all burned up - I am on the dating sites trying to drum up intel on who is hiring. I think its a really good idea because guys always want to lead with talking about their jobs. I will never go out with any of them, but don’t tell.

In truth, people tend to absolutely spill their guts to me in person. My friends call me the street therapist. Especially now. Its a great time for information gathering. People have a great desire to unburden themselves to strangers. I get more information just sitting at a bus stop than I ever will online. But, its worth a shot.

The one failure is that men always lie and inflate when they are trying to get a date with a women. When people are talking to you as a random stranger that they may never see again, that’s when you get the God’s honest truth.

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I am glad you are getting that relief. Sorry that your neighborhood was burned up that is awful in any circumstances.

Lol on the dating sites etc. I hope you find something. I think as you say a lot of people on their lie about everything.

I’m gonna try telling people that I will work for free, since I’m getting Pandemic $.
Many of us did that during the first recession. After 10 years of that, people started offering paying jobs. I wont do it for another 10 years, but I will do it for a year.
The gov might have made rules against it because employers were behaving so exploitatively. We shall see.

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To be honest, I’m lucky to do the work I do, software engineering. I assume applying to jobs will almost never work. Over the past 30 years, almost all my interviews and jobs have come from being contacted by recruiters, and almost never from applying.

Also, I’ve never gotten a role from a connection, e.g., networking, so I can’t speak to that, but I likely spend an inordinate amount of time ‘broadcasting’.

I’ve made what seems to be a profile that is attractive to recruiters and companies. Just yesterday, I turned away an interview opportunity with Facebook, and over the past 6 months politely turned down requests by Google and Amazon. For the desirable companies, I provide a nuanced deflection, but for other requests, if I respond, I just tell them I’m not looking.

I know other engineers that don’t get contacted, and they are competent, but the difference seems to be in the effort I put into having public websites, working on personal data projects, posting news stories on LinkedIn, and having profiles on all the major resume sites.

Is there something similar you could do to differentiate yourself?

Sounds like a plan, it could lead to something. Some of my students got jobs delivering food and helping people who need help now when we went online.

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Well, you raise good points. Because I’m uptight about privacy, I tend not to do social media accounts. Entry level programming jobs are really tough to get. I dunno - pretty standard stuff - math undergrad, MS software engineering, security minor. I speak at large medical conferences. Healthcare interests, obviously. Two academic publications in that realm. Recruiters seem to want to call me a ‘data engineer,’ whatever that is. I think because of statistical modeling background.

I’ll think about the points that you raise. Honestly, I think I am applying to jobs kinda force of habit. I don’t know if I could even work/train in now. Everything is operating remote.

Plus, the Chinese say that they have a 2nd wave. That will be coming for us eventually.

One super complicated hang up is that because I write myself up for the healthcare domain, but I am unwilling to work for any of our major healthcare employers in town (because as a patient, I loathe them), there are hangups with that. I hate MT. I hate UHG and all its subsidiaries. UHG owns every recruiter in town. I wont do biz with them. It complicates things. Theres no way I’m getting into the Mayo (although I have interviewed with them a few times) or Boston scientific until I have some experience. I was approached recently by Abbott (mixed emotions about them, but I gotta work somewhere).

I think that I have hangups as a patient and having been a provider that make it uncomfortable for me to work with a lot of healthcare employers. I don’t like how they treat diabetics. I have so much pent up rage against them, that I could NEVER work for them. Its complicated, now that I put it into writing.

I worked in finance for 20 years, and realized that anyone that would hire me would have ethical issues, and not just those in finance. Even my current employer a major cancer center, was having problems with conflicts at the board level with self dealing and unreported conflicts of interest. Almost all of the best companies to work for have been written up for some ethical issues. Ethics are usually my issue with employers.

I know we’ve discussed careers before, so wondering if your lament is real. Are you really applying to 100s of jobs? Are you above this in some way, too experienced or wealthy to bother? Why not do data science? And what is the issue with remote work?

The last time I looked for work my resume was submitted to ~45 companies, 15 of those by recruiters. I had 15 first interviews, all but 2 arranged by a recruiter. Although I took a job with one that I had researched and applied to directly, it was likely helped by the fact that it was my spouse’s employer.

Minor mention, even though my office is a 15 minute walk from our home, because we are in Manhattan, I work remotely. Depending on where you are, working remotely is the norm for software work, especially now.

Do you think that companies were always like this?

I applied to 30 Federal jobs because I thought they might be anxious to get people off unemployment. Since they are paying us anyway, they might as well have us work. They aren’t hiring at all. I wrote to the State to see if I could be a covid tracer because they said they needed tons of people, but those jobs are going to State employees who are unable to work on site. State is on a hiring freeze. So, I told them I would work for free in an internship capacity. No go.

Its a totally different job market for people over 50 vs people under 50. Its like a different world that we live in. I don’t think that people understand that. Its been like this all of my adult life. A lot of people graduated with their Masters in Software and are working 80 hour weeks, but only getting paid for 40 at $15/hr. In one case, the employer stopped paying a friend of mine completely and he had to report them to the state because the state was providing the company with incentive money to promote hiring young tech workers. But, the stories get much worse than that. That was pre-covid.

Maybe I should have majored in data science. I don’t think its possible to put conditions on an employer, like working remotely. They will simply hire someone else. I don’t think that I am overqualified for anything. I think that the burden of training a new employee, plus the cost of healthcare (which I dont take), renders us all un-hire-able.

Many of the jobs that I applied to have been discontinued. So, I think that I am basically just cleaning the internet - like, I email a company, they realize that they are not hiring, and remove the posting. I get a significant number of responses stating that the position is no longer available.

I got a recruiter response the other day and told her that I would work for free. I guess I’m going back to 2008-2018 strategies. There were times that I worked for $3.50 an hour. At that point, I figure, you might as well just work for free. With covid relief, it will be easy to work for free…I think.

I think this is happening…and because its been this way for over a decade, that is a large contributor to civil unrest.

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Sincerely, sorry to hear your frustrations.

I do understand about the age thing, but so far I’ve been fairly lucky at 60 to keep doing what I am doing. I do understand I am an exception in many ways, and oddly lucky that my resume makes me look younger than I am, since I had to drop out of college at some point, and then go back and work my way though, so I didn’t have my BA until I was 33, and didn’t start working on an MBA until I was 38, both 10 years shifted back. I’m sure I get dismissed as old sometimes, regardless of what my tech stack looks like.

I’ve always assumed that my peak earning point would be around age 55, and that I would start getting pushed out into contracting in my 50’s. Although my peak earning years are behind me, my tenure at companies keeps increasing. I contracted through my 40’s, then hired in my 50’s, each role simply lasting longer than the last. Good or bad, I only have a few more years where I have to work, and then I’ll join my spouse in retirement.

Majoring can be good, but sometimes proving ability can be a proxy. When I’ve been between jobs, I usually keep myself busy by coding things I’d like to work on but normally don’t have the time, like data analysis, AI/ML, architecture, as well as blogging about it, publishing old code to GitHub, buffing up my websites, etc.

Curious, what are your skills, domains of knowledge, etc.? Are you looking for contract or perm?

Crap, one of our protesters just texted and feels like she has covid. I gotta go, but I will check back later. They weren’t scheduled to get sick for another 3 days.

I would do anything. I don’t think I can afford to be choosy.

Its ok, its been like this since I graduated high school. I’m pretty used to it.

I think that because we saw our first 3 month span of bull market before Covid, everyone started getting optimistic. If you blinked, you missed it. Cue the band, and Enter Covid and the destruction of the markets. Everyone simultaneously removed their new suits, put back on their hobo shoes, and moved back into their cars. There was much sadness. Then there was much lighting things on fire. Its connected.