11/15/2006: "evaluating my future, my feelings"
Two topics to cover off tonight; my feelings, and my future. The former should get a good going over tomorrow evening during my "initial assessment" counselling appointment. At least I've figured out a couple of things over the past 24 hours. As for my future, I've figured out how exactly I'm going to go about getting LEED-accredited.
Now, all about ME! I should acknowledge that many people, both friends and family, have expressed concerns in regards to my well-being. That is appreciated. As utterly cornball as it sounds, it's good to know people care.
On the inquiry of one such friend, who was asking about whether I thought I was depressed, I found a depression screening quiz online last night. Actually I found three. The first I found and filled out, only to discover at the end that I was supposed to print it out and take it to my doctor for diagnosis. Gee, how helpful. The second I filled out, only to find out that the evaluation wouldn't work for some reason (perhaps my browser). The third WORKED, but by this point I had already pretty much figured out that I wasn't depressed. According to the Goldberg depression test, I score a 4 out of a possible 54+. In other words, "depression not likely". I'd have to agree.
So, what is it? After a doing some thinking, I think the answer is "failure". Professionally, that is. Here I am with an engineering degree from THE foremost engineering school in the country, and for the past four years I've gone from full-time work to contracting and even dipped into employment insurance and temp labour work. And now it's getting harder and harder to find meaningful work. If I can't get out of this contracting rut soon, I'll be stuck in it until I happen onto a contract where they want to keep me. Could be months or years before that happens, and the amount of choice I'd have would be limited, at best.
What's more, the contracting I'm doing is typically in the automotive variety, which doesn't do anything for the other two industries that I've worked in, heavy equipment and consumer products. So the more I do that, the more I'll just be a jack-of-all-industries. All my current experience will be automotive, making it harder and harder to get back into either of the other two industries.
Failure. I had a career, and it slowly slid down the toilet. Well, I guess it's just sitting in the bowl right now, but the longer it lingers there there more it will disintegrate. OK, that analogy has gone far enough. But there you have it - the reason I've been grumpy for the past few years.
Enough of that - I'll work it up tomorrow. Now let's focus on something that actually makes me happy, considering the future.
LEED-accreditation will serve me in two ways, as I've gone over many times before. It will make me marketable to the manufacturers of products that can be used towards LEED-certification for building projects. That includes Gerald's; he was actually the one that put me on to getting LEED-accredited. There are other companies locally, too, and many more across Canada. Even if I can just get part-time work at 4 or 5 of them, that's enough for a full-time career.
The other way it could help me is to get me into the green building industry, in which I've been interested for years. It might be a bit of a stretch to go from simple LEED-accreditation to being a Green Home Consultant, but it will be a good start. From there I can build, adding in LEED-H when it comes, and other accreditations, certifications, and courses as I find them.
Either way, the first step is LEED. The problem is that the one workshop available locally was sold out, and there aren't any more planned until 2007. That's a lot of time that I could put to use studying for the LEED exam. Today I finally hit on how to do it. The workshop is *recommended*, but not necessary. Looking at the agenda, it's pretty much just a broad going-over of the whole document. Is it really worth nearly $400? I'm going to guess not.
What I will be doing is becoming a Canadian Green Building Council member, and then purchasing the reference materials necessary for self-study. I wanted to buy them at the workshop, as they were discounted there, but it's only a $50 discount - hardly worth the extra $350 spent for a one-day workshop. So I'll become a member, order the reference materials, and just start studying. Likely, by the time the next workshop comes around I'll be prepared enough to take the exam and get myself accredited.
From there, I retool my resume and start HAMMERING it out to companies in the green technology business. I can think of four locally just off the top of my head, and with my memebership at the CaGBC I'll be networking with many others to boot.
The best part? I can do all this way before I have to decide whether I'm going to do MBET or not. I'll have at least a few months to see where (if anywhere) LEED gets me, and see if adding MBET to the mix is necessary or not.
Oh, hey... if you REALLY want to help me out, you'll either rent or buy yourself one of Gerald's drain-water heat recovery system. The more orders they get, the sooner they'll be able to hire me on full-time. You'll save money, have more hot water, help Canada meet our Kyoto agreements (despite the Conservatives), and be helping to drag my career out of the toilet. Heck, if you rent, the savings will more than cover the rental cost. So why are you still here? GET ONE ALREADY!!!
This weekend, I start the LEED process.