Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Doing what it takes

I'm thinking that at some point (and perhaps it's already happened), these posts will be getting monotonous. There are things you need to do on a daily basis to find a job:
  • Check the emails or rss feeds from any automated job agents you may have set up. This is like panning for gold. You slop through a lot of stone to find the gold nuggets.
  • Review and evaluate position postings. Basically, once you see the gold, you have to figure out if it's fool's gold or real gold. This involves researching companies.
  • Initiate and maintain contacts. A lot of this is emails and the rest of it is phone calls. If you're not initiating these, they you're responding to them.
  • Watering and pruning the resume - every day you can find new ideas on how to improve your resume. The secret is to figure out what advice is useful and what advice is noise.
  • Clicking "send" or "apply for job". Right now this is hard for me. Not that I don't want to apply for jobs, but most of the jobs posted involve some compromise in location, salary or position from your ideal job. I know I will begin to compromise these things, but in the first week or two, you like to believe that you'll find that perfect job next door to your house. The reality is that you won't and every job involves some kind of a compromise.
  • Building and maintaining your self-confidence. All of the job descriptions are looking for the perfect candidate. I am not perfect. There are experiences I don't have. There are certifications I don't have. I haven't worked in every industry under the sun. However, I need to be able to convince prospective employers that I am the right candidate for their job and if I'm to do that, I need to convince myself.

So, other than those daily steps, I made more connections to former co-workers, arranging for a lunch or dinner meeting in one case. I sent my resume out to a couple more contacts. Oh yeah, I contacted the outplacement agency that my former employer signed me up for. I'll meet with them next week. I'm not sure what they can provide in terms of help, especially since I've dealt with this firm at least twice before (that sounds sad). Some of what I know about finding a job comes from them, but it has been 7 years and they may have some new ideas to offer.

Another activity yesterday was emptying out my briefcase. It was filled with stuff I had grabbed from my desk as I left my former employer. I didn't take much, just some pictures and personal items I brought in. i found a box in the basement that contained similar stuff from other jobs and dumped the briefcase contents there.

I also worked on organizing my contacts. I tried to synchronize my Outlook contacts with Google contacts using Plaxo, but the results were not what I wanted. Plaxo holds both contact lists, but they aren't merged. It's probably something I did or didn't do, so I'll take another look at that later.

Today the wedding plans are beginning to creep in. I'll be on-line most of the day, but tomorrow, my hours will probably be about 4 and the none on Friday. So if you don't see a post, don't worry. I'll be having fun!

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