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.
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.)
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.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
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)]
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.
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)]
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..
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)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. :) )
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.
I have an IC who has given excellent advice about family-related stuff before.. I'll run some of this by him.