Aug 19, 2010

Possum needs a job!

After the election, I plan to seriously de-complicate my life. The time required to run this blog, particularly the data maintenance and background analysis that feeds into pro

Possum Comitatus — Editor of Pollytics

Possum Comitatus

Editor of Pollytics

After the election, I plan to seriously de-complicate my life. The time required to run this blog, particularly the data maintenance and background analysis that feeds into producing the actual content of the posts at Pollytics, is something that most of you folks thankfully never really get to see  – sausage making is never a pretty business!

However, as a result of trying to keep very high quality control standards here (hopefully with more success than not) and always trying to use the data rather than the navel gaze as the analytical weapon of choice, that massive amount of background work is simply unavoidable if I were to continue running the blog as usual. To highlight what actually goes on behind the scenes – for every one hour of writing content for the blog, there is at least 4 hours of research and data management going on in the background. For every 2 posts actually published here on the blog, there is on average 1 post that I junk for not being up to the standards I set for Pollytics, and another draft that gets thrown out before it’s completed.

I tried to make Pollytics one of the most robust and empirically solid parts of the Australian media – and to a large extent I think we’ve been successful at achieving that. But the income available from the blog is massively out of whack with the time expenditure required for it, creating large complications in the rest of my life to make up for it.

So I had to make a choice about Pollytics. Either keep it as it is at the moment – with 5 to 7 posts on average a week, often  more – and continue having to reorganise my entire life around running the blog, including doing, literally, a dozen different things just to make it possible.

Or I can have a little personal restructure 😛

That’s not to say that the blog will disappear, far from it – just that it will become a little different, with fewer articles,  much less poll by poll analysis and horse trading – basically dumping the stuff that matters the least, ignoring most of the river of partisan politics and just doing the more important, more substantial analysis pieces that matter the most. Basically, Pollytics with just the good bits.

That I can do on the weekends and in my spare time (spare time! Oh how I long to be reacquainted with that lost love!).


For Sale: One economist possum, slightly used, occasionally abused, good with numbers and other stuff. Intermittently snarky but always well humoured 😀

I need a job. Just one.

One single job.

It  has become the luxury you didn’t know you’d really miss until you have to spend at least 80 hours a week doing multiple part-time equivalent roles across multiple areas of human knowledge.

You folks have all seen what I can do over the years on a rather eclectic range of issues – so if you think your organisation has a use for me or would have a use for me, please drop me a line either at my private email address that some of you know, or at:

[email protected]

The only requirement I really have is that I can continue to live in Brisbane.  I have no specific area that I wish to work in as a full time position (full time position – the words just roll off the tongue!), I’m literally open to all possibilities – even the ones where you might think “nah, he wouldn’t be interested”.

You never know what is out there in the world unless you ask – and some things, however unusual, might just tickle your fancy. As you might imagine, I also bring with me a cracker of a contact network.

I also need to thank you lot. Pollytics would simply not exist without you folks – I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as I have, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy it in the future – albeit at a slower pace sometime after the election. Sort of like Pollytics with comfy slippers on and a nice bourbon 😛

Now,  enough of the nostalgia and special interest pleading – back to this bloody election!

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73 thoughts on “Possum needs a job!

  1. Club Troppo » Where to now? – Crowdsourced career advice

    […] ambitions in mind at all. This continued all the way to through honours year where I pursued a topic fascinating to me, but that was also very […]

  2. Greensborough Growler

    Why don’t you create Possum Enterprises and become a Marketing Phenomenon. You could have possum mats and caps and all sorts of praphernalia.

    T shirts saying “Econometricians do it by the Numbers” or such could lay the groundwork for an International colossus.

    Don’t take a job, that will cramp your style.

    Alternatively, subscription, donations etc.

  3. Tobe

    Thanks for this blog Possum, and good luck with your life/work balance.

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    […] don’t forget (disgraceful self promotion) – Possum needs a job! For the lovely folks that have responded so far, I’m working my way through them all as we […]

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  6. Stig

    Hi Possum,

    I’ve been reading your stuff pretty much since you started your blog; I reckon it’s been tops so far, although I haven’t commented for ages. Must be because I don’t have enough spare time either. Anyway, a couple of thoughts for you:

    Have you thought about a minion – er, researcher? You could do the stuff you like doing, and delegate the other.

    Have you thought about a team of psephos? Kind of like the Pure Poison model. I never saw any of the original Possum Comitatus stuff when it was a posse, but maybe that could work again.

    Just sayin’.

  7. sean


    Thanks for opening up a world to me that otherwise was impenetrable. That combined with your eloquent and insightful political analysis. Some of the satire and polemics that you’ve written have been absolutely blistering and top notch.

    Am very relieved that you’re continuing on.

  8. David Richards

    Venise – if only we could have a meritocracy where those who actually knew stuff instead of those who knew stuff all ran the place.

    Anyway – I doubt if Poss would want to sully himself with all the the sleazy horsetrading you need to do to get anywhere in a major party. From preselection to portfolio assignment, the deals you have to make mean that you soon become trapped. Look at Peter Garrett – he thought that by getting into the tent he could make difference – more fool he.

  9. Venise Alstergren

    Poss, what about Politics? I mean actually becoming one. Or would that depress you further? You would be a mile ahead of most of the mentally challenged ones on offer. You’re fast on your feet, yet decent withal. I can see you as a future treasurer.

    Anyway, just a thought

  10. Venise Alstergren

    I just wish I could help you, because I think you are marvellous.

    Not that I can always understand everything, but I try.



  11. Club Troppo » Web 2.0, the possum, the public and the private

    […] Just yesterday, Scott Steel AKA Possum Comitatus told us in painful and plaintive terms Possum needs a job! […]

  12. Marrickville Mauler

    Possum (and Dr Gruen if you are reading this) could Lateral Economics do with a Brisbane office? Just wondering…

  13. David McRae

    What calyptorhynchus #54 said – best thing on the net. And Murdoch’s lot will shun you :). Although his comment re public service is amiss – I reckon Head Statistician here in Canberra should be yours.

    Best wishes, and thanks for the great reads backed by evidence and reasoning. That is just so rare.

  14. Fran Barlow

    And best wishes from me too Possum — I recall our little stoushes on usenet when you were there as Possum Comitatus … very amusing. I thought you were some sort or RW US militia nut when I first saw it.

    I do hope that you find something rewarding in all senses to do with the time you free up by leaving us here, but as others have, can I commend you on the perspicatity and good humour that you have brought to your work.

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  16. Malcolm Street

    I absolutely hated stats at uni. You’ve helped make it more Malcolm-friendly.

    Thanks for your incisive analysis and lack of bullsh*t.

    Best of luck!

  17. my say

    poss love a comment about the tassie idea a lot of people are doing it.

    i know some one who sold his family house in sydney for 1.5 million and has been looking at homes that where better than his for 600,th and his wife now can stay at home they have no mortgage

  18. hdmc

    If it’s just the shitty money and not the workload, have you considered a paywall?

  19. my say

    Dear possum i hope you dont think we take for granted, far from it you are the reason i am still sain at the moment the tears of worry come and i read your post this morning and feel better why do the media play games with us, they may not realise or even care that a lot of us think so much of the country and cannot see it ruined by some one who ?….. We Will win this election thinking rationally why would people vote against themselves, i have not read the paper today but there may be a bit there about uni cuts intelligent people can work out that would mean HECS cuts so less places paid for the other well you pay and of course the high scoring student in the safe liberal seats get the high mark most of the time.
    so this morning i may say without permission and i dont care, i have gone to my children face books i know one of the passwords ( and i am sure she want mind as labor as me and more is married in to a labor Pren family) and left the message about the uni places and the link some one poll bludger left a small piece about voting, so i left that to. Also linked the PBS story can you imagine if we had to pay full price for some drugs, He comes out as my hubbie said and says ” not that not right’ and people do they beleive him my hubby says labor have got refute this ” i say they do
    and so on. some time ago i noticed that if the pm said something then the opp.leader and it was turnbull would pop up the next second on the news and so no no no , i complained to the abc got no where, so it seems to me that the opp alway have the final say. that never seemed to be the case in years gone by.

    I do hope you find your niche job you deserve a great well paid positon
    ‘good honest man like you.
    are you young do you have a family could you may be work from home Why not move to Tasmania where the housing is well priced and you may have enogh cash to start a business, my son just bought a home in the hills above the derwent river amaizing veiws 3 bed etc 310 th, in sydney it would be 2.plus miillion any way just a thought,
    thank you for caring and looking after us. and god bless, i think good defeats evil .
    and why would some one put our half a poll you do have to wonder dont you.

  20. calyptorhynchus

    Well of course with all your high quality analysis you’ve really shot yourself in the foot as regards certain employers. I can’t see you ever working for the Australian!

    Seriously, thanks for all the high quality analysis over the years. It’s been one of the best things on the Net.

    ps For the sake your sanity don’t work for a government department!

  21. Possum Comitatus

    Thanks folks – it’s all very humbling.

    And barely a smart arse comment amongst you – which is the real shock! 😛

    Also thanks to those that are sending in job offers – I’m all a little overwhelmed by it.

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  23. Chatswood Statsman

    I was a statistician long ago before the days of PCs, but I have never seen this arcane world expressed so simply and eloquently and with such humour.

    Thanks for bringing us an alternative to the lazy stuff in the MSM.

    I would glady pay a sub to see you continue.

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