The job hunt continues…

Still unemployed, though things have kinda picked up a bit lately in terms of possible prospects. At least a couple of the dozen or so contract houses that are looking to place me somewhere have called with possibilities, some of which were long shots. For example, one of them would have put me back at the same company that just ended my previous contract only this time as a Unix System Admin for one of the departments I used to do PC support for. My former cube mate, Joe, is a Unix Admin and I called to talk to him about it as I haven’t done anything Unix related in 10 or so years and I was an Operator back then, not an Admin. He said given my background and the general cluelessness of the people in that department who were already doing that job I would probably be just as effective as they are. An amusing, if somewhat scary, thought. But the fellow who made the decision felt I didn’t have enough Unix experience and so that one fell through.

Then a couple of days ago I heard from a contract house that I hadn’t spoken with previously. They got my resume off of the Michigan Works website where I had to post it as part of my unemployment qualification. They saw that I’d had previous experience doing Executive Support at one of the other Big Three Automakers and they had some positions doing just that available they wanted to consider me for. So I went down and filled out an application form and the sheet that asks you to list every bit of software and hardware and skill you’ve ever had and how many years experience and the last time you touched any of it and now I’m waiting to hear back on whether or not I’ve got a job.

Meanwhile I called my current contract house about that internal position I interviewed for some four weeks ago or so. I had been told that I would hear something within two to four weeks and so far hadn’t heard anything. So I called up my Rep and he said that the last he had heard the fellows who did the interview had really liked my background and my enthusiasm, but that I might need to come in at a lower-level for some training before taking on the job I had interviewed for. Beyond that he didn’t know if there’d been a final decision made yet. So that has me hopeful that maybe I’ll still win out on that option. It’s the most appealing in part because I’d stay with the contract house I already know and love, but also because the product I’d be learning about and supporting is pretty cool from the sounds of it. It’s exactly the sort of job I’m hoping to land: One that uses the skills I already have and provides lots of opportunities to grow entirely new skills. I have the most fun at work when I’m learning something I didn’t know before or figuring out a tough problem I’ve not encountered before.

Still, as the days drag on by I’m getting more and more nervous and that makes you willing to consider anything that someone offers you. My last paycheck was about half of what I expected due to a wrinkle in how vacation time is calculated that meant I didn’t get the other 68 hours I expected to get on the check. Ouch. I just wish I would hear back from more of the places I’ve dropped off resumes for. I’m about to sit down and pour through the job listings again in hopes of finding a few more places to apply with. Someone out there surely must be able to use a good tech.

5 thoughts on “The job hunt continues…

  1. Hey…check out the WSU jobs website

    Tech type jobs are housed under the professional/administrative header.  I’m not sure how we compare in pay for the field, I work HR not in the tech area.  I am pretty sure we have a couple tech jobs posted. 

    Good luck! smile

  2. I have the most fun at work when I’m learning something I didn’t know before or figuring out a tough problem I’ve not encountered before.

    I hope you get a job with a good ratio of this to scud work.  My field is utterly different, but I love the new and challenging too.  Then again, who doesn’t, except for porn peddlers and the staff of Garfield?

  3. I don’t mean to sound pesimestic, but it took me 8 months to find something after I was laid off two years ago. That was two years ago, but still…

    At that time, I heard the “average” time was about a year. So I suspect I was under the average. However, my bank account was quite happy for me being under the average.

    While I was off, I started up a computer support business. Nothing major, just advertised in a couple of local rags and got a small amount of business. Just enough to break even really, but at least I had something to do while I was waiting for a nibble or two.

  4. Bundle yourself up some spyware tools and advertise as a spyware-killer-for-hire.  You can charge a hundred bucks a hit easy for 3 hours per machine. (20 bucks an hour after the first 3)

    While you’re there you update service packs and patches (bring those on CDs to save time) and a better browser set as default, plus your own special pamphlet on safe sex safe surfing.

    Of course if they’re really defenseless, say, with not even any antivirus, you can sell them the whole shampoo/cut/perm with your favorite solutions at full retail.

    Right now people’s annoyance level on spyware is pegged to max – they need you.

  5. There are jobs available and in some areas there are severe job shortages where signing bonuses go up to $15,000.,17863,1028254,00.html
    Since you are, I suppose an IT person, one place of boom is at Washington DC where program managers are getting 15% pay rise due to a shortage of IT workers in the region. For more info on other boom towns just search “top 20 boom towns” unless you happen to have a subscription to Business 2.0 since that list is for subscribers only but some people have posted the list online.

    Also Michigan’s economy while growing is expected to lag behind the national average. Couple this with the the looming danger that General Motors bond will soon be junk bond status, there is a possibility that it could have a bad impact on its workers in Michigan, even if the company does not adopt the bankruptcy route as a means of survival. So if GM does reduce its workforce in Michigan it will not only impact its suppliers in Michigan but it could have a larger impact on Michigan as a whole. So you may consider checking out other areas and getting out before summer.

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