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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Looking for work in a tough market

For over a month, I’ve been pretty quiet. No new posts, comments, tweets, etc… The reason behind it was that I was too busy looking for a job. Yep… A month and a half ago, I was “Right Sized” by my previous employer and was places into the ranks of millions of unemployed Americans.

Being laid off is definitely a learning experience, one that I would not wish on anyone. I got a chance to rethink my ideas on job security, professional relationships and job searching. After 6 weeks, I've started a new job that is quite a bit different then my previous one. I will be doing a lot more software architecture than management (Comes with the Sr. Architect title :). I will also be doing a lot more Java and no .Net development. I will also be working out of New Jersey instead of New York City. That's a lot of changes, a lot of things I didn't quite look for originally, yet all are good. My commute is expectantly shorter, I am doing what I like, and I am expanding my technology footprint.

My experience of looking for a new job was eye opening as well. There are tons of guides to get you through the time when you are looking for work. I don’t have a guide, these are some comments from my own recent experience.

  • Ask everyone / Network – Talk to everyone you’ve had good relationship with. Friends, Recruiters (Good Recruiters), Vendors, Technology Partners, etc…
  • Use Networking Sites – LinkedIn.com works wonders. Facebook, twitter, plaxo, etc… Do not ignore the sites because you think that no one will notice your post. People do notice, and they do help!
  • Be Flexible – Don’t ignore an opportunity because its not a perfect fit. This relates to technology, organization and salary requirements. Don’t be afraid of a different technology. As a manager, specific development language matters a lot less then you think. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be for you to talk to people. You might be pleasantly surprised about the opportunity you might have turned down otherwise.
  • Be Patient – This might be the toughest one. There are tons of thoughts that go through your head. It would be great to get a response to your resume the same day – but you will probably not get it that fast.
  • Don’t burn your bridges – This is, VERY IMPORTANT. The world is much smaller then it seems. I guarantee you, that you will meet people that know someone who knows you. And every relationship you kept, will be remembered.

To those who are now looking for work, good luck. Please contact me via linked in on http://www.linkedin.com/in/tfanshteyn. If there is anything that I’ll be able to do to help, I’ll gladly do so.

For those managers, who decide on the hiring and firing. Don’t make your decisions lightly. Don’t ignore resumes – people are waiting. And don’t ever let someone go easily.

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