Random Musings of a Job Hunter

Just a couple thoughts while I sit at Starbucks:


Start Right Away

I probably should not have waited a few weeks before getting really hardcore in sending my resume out.   My previous experience was : Upload Resume, Receive Call Next Day, Interview That Week, Sign Offer And Start In 2 Weeks.

This time around there was a major lag between spamming resume and starting to receive calls for interviews.  I had to tweak my resume a few times – the keyword hungry role-matching bots do most of the hunting work for potential employers and recruiters now – so if you don’t keyword whore, you don’t get calls (even on submissions).   There’s a trick where you can Ninja Text (white font on white paper) all the keywords you want, in tiny font.   I haven’t resorted to this quite yet.


Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

Early on, even before my previous employment was terminated, I was looking around and had 1 interview, through the ever-epic Eddie ‘PimpDaddy’ Rocker from the legendary days of PhalNet.  I thought I was for sure going to get an offer on that role, however, as it was explained to me, hiring was put on hold.   For a while I was a little skeptical of this, but I see the role I applied to constantly reposted and reposted and reposted on the job boards – so it looks like they’re just keeping it warm but not pulling the trigger to bring anyone aboard quite yet.


Hiring & Firing is a Quarterly Affair

Job hunters should understand that most companies operate on budget reports and departmental performance quarterly executive updates.  This is often when full-time staffing alteration decisions get made.

Companies like to line up hires for solid budget periods (quarterly) – that’s why contracts are often 3, 6 or 12 months – easy time slices to work with.   So you usually won’t hear much near the end of the quarter – I certainly didn’t.   May 1st though, WOW, out of the woodwork!!  You will hear from recruitment agencies – I have some friends & business associates in the biz that I relied on before to get me people, and they’re just as willing to return the favor and get you in front of companies during the quiet times.


Protect Yourself In Your Employment Agreement

Understanding the preceding observation on quarterly timing – any employment agreement should be reviewed to find out if there are some LOW-ASS LIMITS on your severance entitlement.   Consider baking in a minimum of 12 weeks in case you are packaged out at an inopportune time of year – Sometimes it can take a quarter for the right role to come along.   I really despise the thought of going in somewhere unsatisfactory to me just to ride out 3 months until I can find something better…. but it could easily come to that – if I don’t land something this month, there could be another very quiet month and a half ahead until a possible hiring flurry in July.   Sacrificing my ideal role/pay/industry/etc might net me a couple bucks but comes with the huge hassle of trying to juggle work & interviews, then having to bail on a company – just feels wrong.    Folks say there’s no loyalty in corporations, and for the most part, I agree, it’s an entity, the only loyalty they really have is the leaders being loyal to the shareholders and/or board of directors.   The employees are cogs in a profit & productivity machine.

So in summary, if you’re going to be a cog, protect yourself just a bit because no one will do it for you.


Leave the Baggage at the Carousel

I reflect on my interviews – it’s important as I find I’m easily caught up in both the excitement of the opportunity and the applicability of my experience to bring benefit to an organization.  Reflecting gives me a chance to replay everything without the rose-tinted glasses and clouded judgment.

You don’t realize until you replay it just how jaded you can sound if you bring any kind of negativity into talking about your previous employer.   In my earlier discussions (thankfully with more understanding recruiters) I tended to dump on them – I’ve definitely dumped on at least 1 manager in company interviews before I caught myself.   It’s a little embarassing, and it’ll easily cost an offer.   Nobody wants people going around giving their organization negative press after the fact, even if they’re not consciously thinking that, it’s there.

In Summary

I actually received my first offer while I was writing this post!  It’s a good salary and a nice location downtown.   I will decide Monday after the remainder of my interviews.

Stay tuned!

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