To be honest, I wasn’t looking for Hot Skatin’ Ken today. He was looking to be found though, sitting on a table stacked with collectible Barbie and Ken dolls at the Kane County Flea market in St. Charles, the outskirts of Chicago. St. Charles and Geneva, where I hail, is where the Chicago suburbs end and the country begins. Meander any further West during Labor Day weekend, and you’ll be head-high in corn, picking tassel out of your teeth.
There are three kinds of people who look around at flea markets: Those people who are looking for something but don’t know exactly for what until they see it, those people who know specifically what they are looking for and then those who are so crap-addicted that they’ll leave with just about anything. Today my wife, daughter and I fell neatly into each of these categories. My wife was interested in finding some unique jewelry but didn’t have any clear idea on what kind. My daughter was on a hunt for old skeleton keys and I, being the functioning crapaholic that I am, was determined to not leave without just a little sumpin’ sumpin’. Hot Ken however, was not that something.
The Ken moment was a broader metaphor really. As I spent the Labor Day weekend walking past the collections of old bottle openers and antique desks, watching the haggling between buyers and sellers, I couldn’t help thinking of the flea market in the context of a job search. A job search comes down to looking as well. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you certainly won’t know it when you see it. Conversely, considering the job market we’re in, you can’t be so focused to pass up a pretty good opportunity while waiting for the perfect job to come around. So much of the search comes down to timing, too. You could have the zebra-striped neon-orange top with matching helmet and a skating resume of Olympic caliber, but if Hasbro just hired Hot Skakin’ Chaz the week before, you’re out of luck.
Someone was looking for Hot Skatin’ Ken today. For his sake, I hope he’s on LinkedIn.
About the author: Tim Dreyer is a Chicago-based public relations and social media kind of guy who is always looking around but rarely knows what he’s seeing. You can follow him on Twitter at @Timbotown
Filed under: September 2011