A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Wanted to update everyone on my status and strategy for the next little while.  As you know, I was recently put into the position of 'looking for work' by my former company - which shall no longer be named, it does not deserve any free press!

So how am I looking for work?  What am I doing all day?  Here's what I've been up to...

The Job Search Strategy

Of course, I had already been watching the job boards, Monster, Workopolis...etc, getting daily emails - looking for the perfect job.  I had known that the company was not in good shape, which is one of the main reasons we left Germany.  I had been VERY close last year about this time, ready to move into a pre-sales position with another company who should remain nameless - but it fell through when there was a merger.  Since then I had been mostly working on side projects - still waiting for the right position to come along.

A couple of weeks before 'The Perfect Day...Almost' I had decided that it was really time to move on, no more procrastinating... so we drove around the area, a high-tech part in Kanata, with tons of companies - and started writing the names down.  There was at least 60, 70 names on my list now of places where I could work - nice and close, short commute, right industry (for me).  So day by day, I went down the list and searched their job boards and applied to what looked reasonable, and if they didn't have anything available, I sent them a generic note with my cover letter and resume asking them to keep my information on file in case something opened up.
Now this might seem like a quick and easy task, but for each 'reasonably close' position, my cover letter and resume had to be tailored - getting the appropriate information highlighted for the hiring manager to take notice (hopefully!).  Other companies had forms to fill out.  They took in the resume, and tried to automagically complete their forms - which NEVER worked...  This process was the longest and most painful.  Having to cut and paste, cut and paste - lather, rinse, repeat - pretty much sapped whatever energy was left for jobsearching for that day...  And then some even wanted to select from a skills matrix, put your whole life in order of what you know and how long you had done that particular skill (ie: C# or team lead or whatever...)   Because the resume contains none of that (rolling eyes).  I understand why they do it - it allows the HR people to quickly do searches based on skills, as if it is actually meaningful and accurate for everyone. 
After taking almost 2 weeks to get through the list, I started looking at consulting - doing contract work.  I found the Canadian government index for applying for contracts merx.com (yeah - not merx.ca for some reason...)  In it, there were listed 'preferred' vendor lists.  Meaning, if the company at the top can do it, don't bother applying - because the guy doing the hiring, and the biz dev guy from that company are going golfing together every weekend.  Yeah - that's how it goes everywhere - I get that.  But by gathering these lists of 'preferred providers', I found another 50 companies with whom I could apply.  So I went through the same process as indicated above with these companies.

Right now I'm at the point where I believe that contract work is the best way to go for me.  I'm a little worried that if I get a regular desk job with some company, that I might not be as challenged as I need to be - but I remain open to anyone who will dole out cash!
I no longer think of myself as unemployed, but as a contractor looking for his next gig.

At the same time, I have a few side projects going that *could* turn into something - keep your fingers crossed with me.  I'll tell you more about those, as they become more formal.

Everyday stuff
My everyday begins a little later than Sara's, but once she's ready for coffee (just before 7am) I'll join her downstairs - have a coffee with her and send her off shortly after.  Rebekah is gone at 7am, so two down - two to go.  Emma is usually up first, and she and Meghan will watch some TV and eat their breakfast.  I catch up on my morning stuff - job postings, then check into my google reader for all my info.   Right before 8, I'll get the girls lunches ready - and then yell at them to get their butts upstairs to get dressed and teeth brushed.

Next up, I have my morning workout on our Aero Pilates.  My shoulder has been screwed up for the longest time, and I can't do a pushup or pullup at the moment, but this machine has been great for building up the muscles around the problem areas without aggrevation.  I'm almost at the point where I can resume some pullups - so can't wait for that - but don't want to push it...  20 mins on that, good little cardio and some resistance exercises.

I usually have the girls get their things together, and then send them out with the dog for a quick walk - maybe 10mins or so, before they head off for the bus at 8:40ish.

A quick shower and change, gets me into 'ready for work' mode.  Since I had been working at home for awhile, the morning routine hasn't changed all that much - and I prefer to keep the routine - to keep me going.

From there I'm busy looking for work.

I have a few other things going on around the house too - so that gives me a nice distraction every once in awhile.  I'm finishing the basement, putting in a rec room.  I did my office (I have some video of that if you're interested) last summer, and hope that I can get this done in the next few weeks.  The exterior walls are all framed, insulated, bagged and wired.  I need to finish the wiring for the lights (almost done) and finish the partition wall before drywalling the whole thing...  might do a tiled ceiling though, want to dampen the noise that we'll be making down there.

And after all that - I've been doing pretty good at doing some of the cooking.  No one has died yet... so not too shabby.   Need to find some time (and warmer weather) to do some work on the car... plenty to do, but hope it doesn't last too much longer ;-)

doing alright.

4 Response to "The Strategy..."

  1. Well, it sounds like you are doing all the right things. The side gigs helped me out when I was going through my own little job things awhile back. I'll keeping crossing my fingers for ya!


  2. mare ad mare Said,

    Thanks Super Mega, as long as I'm busy (and have funds) I won't go nuts...


  3. XUP Said,

    I wouldn't let that preferred list put you off. We hire contractors all the time that aren't necessarily "preferred". If you meet the requirements and come in with the lowest bid there's no reason why you shouldn't get the job. Of course those with actual government experience will have a bit of an edge


  4. mare ad mare Said,

    Xup - you're probably right, it's likely the lack of gov't experience could be slowing things down. Just me being a 30something ;-)


    About Me

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    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!