By Tim Klepaczyk
We’ve had quite a winter so far in Chicagoland. An art of life in the Midwest is seasonal activities. I’ve taken advantage of recent snows a few times already by cross-country skiing in the forest preserve adjacent to my townhouse development. Yesterday I was out for over an hour, although it was more like snowshoeing than skiing. The white stuff was fresh and deep, and no one had been out before me, so I had to cut my own trails.
Alas, I did not have the time to ski today when we had record lows of -13 F, with wind-chills exceeding -40 F, although I did venture out to a job search workshop. You may think I’m crazy for lamenting that I could not go skiing, but I’m a big believer in really experiencing weather extremes. Cross-country skiing in such record lows would be very memorable, even if, admittedly, it may have been only for a short while.
After all, I’ve skied before in subzero temperatures. How? It’s all about preparation. I use multiple layers – liner and warm wool socks inside my ski boots; thermal bottoms and ski bib; thermal top, flannel shirt, sweatshirt, synchilla coat with a snug fit around my neck, and goretex-lined windbreaker with a hood; liner and “penguin” gloves; facemask, headband, wool toque, and ski goggles. I look like a spaceman when I’m all bundled up, but once you get going you’d be surprised how low the temperature can be yet you’re still warm enough.
That is the lesson for one’s job search. Being out of work can be very much like record-low cold temperatures. It is definitely not something most people seek. However, if you are prepared you can not only survive, you can even thrive and have a good time doing so.
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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