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ProbableIceCream posted 4/8/2014 16:11 PM

I felt like maybe posting about this would help me get through it and feel less overwhelmed. For background, see my other thread on relocation.


More anxiety today. Feels sort of like I got punched in the stomach and it's taking me twice as long to do stuff because I have to double check everything for basic mistakes.

I assume it must be related to the (probable) changes coming up. In particular, to the pressure I now feel to look for a job.

I guess this means I need to break it down, right?

So the goal of this process is to get interviews not only to find opportunities but to become familiar with what's available in my field and screen companies. This gives me more options later. I really should be doing this at least a couple times a year, I just have avoided doing it because it's so damn scary.

Broadly speaking, I can potentially get interviews through people I already know, through submission of resumes to job postings, both at my company and at other companies, and through directly contacting "interesting" companies.

My next big step would be to update my resume, which means adding my current job to it. Fortunately, knowing this day would come, I have saved all my performance reviews (and have work notes all the way back to 2011 if needed). So I suppose I could rough out achievements and responsibilities one year at a time, and then edit the result into something cohesive.

So my next smallest possible step would be to process my first performance review.

cayc posted 4/8/2014 19:32 PM

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? I would include that as part of your resume prep step. To either get one or update the one you have. It'll be your "public face" in your industry, HR managers will pretty much expect to see it, and it can also be a useful way to connect with people you don't know in your field. Much easier than cold calling and meeting them in person!

ProbableIceCream posted 4/8/2014 20:54 PM

Good idea. I have one that I've been sporadically updating. I'll update it along with the resume. I've already gone in and sent out some new contact invites (one thing I did keep up with was contacts, fortunately). I currently have 38 connections. Obviously the strength varies, but these are all people I'm on a first name basis with. Vast majority are at my company, of course.

I read through my performance reviews and I'm kind of surprised how much stuff I've done (or at least I hope it comes across that way! Interviews never bothered me. Just resumes.)

SeanFLA posted 4/9/2014 08:20 AM

Been through the same process. On LinkedIn what you may want to do is with whatever company you want to make contact with or become more familiar with in terms of HR, search for the recruiter of that company on LinedIn. Then send a friend invite to them. Many times there are three or four recruiters in the same HR departments, so friend them all if possible. Start your own database of "friend connections" with them. All internal corporate recruiters will generally accept your friend invite. It's also how they find people to fill jobs. So it works for both of you. Remember that their job is to find people. LinkedIn makes that easier for them. When you see a position in that company you want to apply for the first thing they want is for you to apply online (regardless if somebody referred you or not). So go to their company websites ahead of time and fill out an employment profile with them. They aren't going to contact your current employer so don't worry about that until the time comes. It's just the way the corporate HR world works these days. Then once in their data base feel free to send a separate email directly to that recruiter telling them you applied for that job (cover letter style) and bullet point your qualifications for it. LinkedIn will generally have their direct email address once you become friends. It helps recruiters weed through the hundreds of resumes they may get for one job. Plus if I was a recruiter and received a letter directly addressed to me I would be more impressed with the fact that you went out of your way to find out my name and addressed me personally and professionally.

Make sure you are able to tailor your resume to the job posting. You may wind up having 10-15 resumes for different jobs. Add key words and phrases to it that match the job description. HR departments these days generally use software to scan resumes for key word that match job descriptions to help them identify potential candidates to pull from. They get hundreds of resumes per week these days. Especially with the weak economy. Somehow you need to find a way for your's to stand out from the rest.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/9/2014 14:24 PM

SeanFLA, thanks for the advice. That's pretty interesting stuff.

So I wrote an initial description for my current position and did a re-edit of the rest of the resume (except I still need to populate skills). I still have some anxiety and some mood stuff going on related to the anxiety so my writing doesn't have as much personality as I would like. I can improve this over the next few days I think. I'll take whatever I have on Monday and start actually using it for job applications.

I do think I have a lot good material. I took the descriptions on my resume and used them to flesh out my LinkedIn profile more.

To reveal a bit more about myself, I'm a software engineer, but I don't just write programs / do web development (that's maybe about half of what I do). The other half is real engineering stuff--e.g. process improvements identified by experiments in an internal production environment. (The environment happens to be mostly software, but still... there's a bunch of hardware involved too.)

I've also taken responsibility for a lot of miscellaneous stuff when needed, but I also am capable of transferring that stuff to other people . (In that vein--I mentored an intern project.)

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 2:25 PM, April 9th (Wednesday)]

norabird posted 4/9/2014 14:52 PM

It sounds like when finished you will have an AWESOME resume!

ProbableIceCream posted 4/10/2014 09:51 AM

I can only hope so! :)

Today I find out more about the big ominous news or whatever it is, but even if it's nothing I'm going to keep doing this. I think I've hit a nerve in myself and it's best to just get past it.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/10/2014 17:12 PM

Update: looks like job search is definitely the way to go.

So my project is being moved to a low-cost geo (basically a country where they can pay people a lot less) to save money.

Transition occurs during Q2 and Q3 of 2014. At the end of Q3 I will have two weeks to decide between a severance package (probably three months of pay and probably COBRA) and a period of time lasting two months in which I get all pay and benefits and I have priority for internal jobs over people not in this pool, as well as job placement assistance. (either severance or doing the pool thing, but not both)

At any time during Q2/Q3 I can get an internal job, but as per company policy I need to finish the transition in my current project before I can start in the new position. Alternately, at any time during Q2/Q3 and beyond I can get an external job (I believe either two or four weeks' notice is customary).

I have a strong preference to live somewhere else even though XWW lives here (there is an incentive to live near XWW for DD's sake). I've lived here almost 14 years and I'm really tired of it. I have a favorite place in mind where my company has a large presence, actually, and I'm going to look at what I can find there.

So while still somewhat scary, also maybe an exciting new beginning.

I'm told that decent people in my field generally don't have a lot of trouble finding employment. I'm new to all this. This is my first professional job out of college (yeah, I'm 32.. I took a while to finish).

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 5:43 PM, April 10th (Thursday)]

ProbableIceCream posted 4/10/2014 19:20 PM

I rewrote my draft short form thing (every time I do this I put it back on LinkedIn so at least I have my best effort up there).

I've got some of my long form thing written but my brain is just not working well today. Sort of off in lala land. Nervous.

I'll keep at it..

ProbableIceCream posted 4/11/2014 15:51 PM

Applied for an internal job in my preferred location because it looked very similar to what I'm doing now, so I figured it would be a good place to get my resume to a checkpoint where I could actually submit it somewhere (I'm too much of a perfectionist sometimes).

ProbableIceCream posted 4/11/2014 17:14 PM

Updated my profile with my "current best" resume and my preferred location.

Got two recruiter pings within an hour. Stuff that's pretty closely related to my skill set. Jeez.

(also did a quick search and jobs that I seem qualified for are comparable in pay to my current job)

ProbableIceCream posted 4/11/2014 18:32 PM

Third ping asking if I'd consider staying in my current location.

Talked to one of the first two pings. Guy asked me to add ridiculous amount of detail to my resume and take an online test. I did both. (the resume seems way too long now, but whatever? I'm not sure I'd want to send something like that straight to a hiring manager. Maybe recruiters prefer it.) I'll update my Dice resume with whatever the recruiter edits my resume down to.

I'm surprised at how much money seems to be thrown at software based on the interest level I'm seeing.

After taking the online test and talking to the guy I'm thinking I need to consciously study and practice all my stuff before doing interviews or tests. I did well on the test (it was very basic) but I had to look up a core construct in my most commonly used language. Might also be a factor that I've had a very stressful week and I'm very tired.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/11/2014 19:06 PM

I'm thinking that I've just learned that I need to not reveal my current salary when talking to recruiters. I could probably do much better by just figuring out the market and aiming a little high.

I have enough time that I think it will be best to just do my best and treat these first contacts as practice if they don't work out the way I want or I feel I've made an error.

Amazonia posted 4/11/2014 20:21 PM

It sounds like it's going well, PIC! Hopefully those pings turn into offers soon.

Don't discredit the possibility of playing multiple offers against each other for a better salary/benefits package too.

Use your current salary as the bottom level of your range when asked about salary. Since you have some time to look, you definitely want this to be an upward move, not a lateral one.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/12/2014 00:29 AM

Things feel manageable again, for now. :)

I'm going to take a break from thinking about or talking about this subject this weekend I think.

Facing fears can be rewarding! So far!

Leia posted 4/12/2014 07:39 AM

Job hunting really sucks. Just saying. Sounds like you're doing good with the whole networking thing. I've spent the last three days sending out resumes cold, but then a couple of jobs popped open that are close, and workable with my custody schedule. There's hope yet! And what is with this on-line testing thing, anyway? I'm applying to answer the phone, not to run the company!

ProbableIceCream posted 4/12/2014 15:56 PM

Leia, you were online tested too?

I guess what's going on is that the companies make the process very convenient for them and very nerve wracking for you, and adding testing doesn't hurt them.

So I said I wouldn't think or talk about it this weekend but I've been feeling super nervous so I figured posting about it might help.

I have this ridiculous feeling like even the stuff I've used a lot I won't be able to talk about in a way that's good enough for an interview. That's my emotional side. It's the usual self doubt, etc.

However, logically --

1. Any near term interviews don't really matter; they're just giving me practice.

2. I ALWAYS underestimate myself. I never have had problems with interviews.

3. If I am rusty in some things, partly due to having an increased operations focus (less development) over the past year and partly due to struggling with sleep over the past few months.. well, my sleep is better now and my current boss is moving me back to being tools focused. Plus I am always free to practice stuff at home. This brings up another fear that I have low motivation/low ability to concentrate.. but honestly, that's fickle and considering everything I've been through in the past two years and STILL got a promotion.. maybe I'm too hard on myself.

(In case anyone hasn't noticed, I'm using this thread as a journal and a way to vent. :) )

ProbableIceCream posted 4/13/2014 05:06 AM

Late night thoughts.

If I do transition to a job in another city, I think I need to allow ideally about 8 weeks to switch jobs, find a new place to live, give notice, and move, smoothly. I was going to do 4, but that seems really tight. (I tend to plan this stuff ahead because of how much can go wrong.. I don't have a job offer or anything at the moment.) So 8 weeks would hopefully give me enough time to coordinate everything and get stuff switched over and what have you, while at the same time minimizing the time I'm not working.

Fortunately I have friends + my sister living here, and a good friend living in the place I'm looking to move, so... that makes things seem more possible. Just trying to be realistic, and figure this stuff out early.

ProbableIceCream posted 4/13/2014 05:28 AM

I also feel bad about potentially being the one to put my kid in a situation where she has to live in two different states every year. I _could_ stay here. It's a large metro area and there are jobs.

I have an IC who has given excellent advice about family-related stuff before.. I'll run some of this by him.

Amazonia posted 4/13/2014 21:15 PM

Why would you be moving every 2 years?

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