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Job search - need to vent.

By silvioandpauly ·
arrrggg - getting fed up with this job search. Too old, over paid, clueless headhunters, not enough experience, too much experience, need and expert, need a generalist, AHHHHHHH!!!

Maybe I should've been a friggin' plumber! Do they outsource that? - LOL

I feel a little better now.........

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Change your approach

by amcol In reply to Job search - need to vent ...

What I'm going to say may sound unsympathetic, but that's not my intention.

I'm 52 (too old). I make a six figure income where, without getting too specific, the first digit is greater than one (overpaid). I'm routinely presented with opportunities by headhunters who have no idea what I do nor any idea what the requirements of the job are (clueless). Last year I took a position as a CTO where the bulk of my responsibilities are infrastructurally related having spent most of my career on the software side (not enough experience). My job before that was in an area of software development I'd been doing for about two decades (too much experience). My current organization went looking for an infrastructural guru and for some silly reason decided to hire me (needed an expert, got stuck with me). My previous organization wanted someone who had broad based development experience, which I do have, but then I ended up working in one particular area (needed a generalist, got stuck with me).

That was not an exercise in horn tooting. I'm merely making a point, which is in my entire career I've never had a problem finding a job. I've never been out of work, and I've never searched longer than six weeks even in the worst of times for a job. Not because I'm the cat's meow, not by any stretch of the imagination, but because of the way I approach the job search process.

It all boils down to focus and discipline. You're a salesman, and the product you're selling is yourself. Professional salespeople don't wait for prospects to walk in the door, they go out and find them. They do research up front to make sure they're targeting the right prospects, those who have the greatest likelihood of purchasing the product. They understand all the features and benefits of their product, so when the time comes and they get to speak (interview) with their prospect (hiring manager) they're able to ACCURATELY AND SUCCINCTLY DEMONSTRATE why the prospect should buy the product.

It's not tricky, and anyone can do it. So many, many people on these boards complain and carry on that they don't have the personality to market themselves, that they just can't possibly go out and actively seek opportunities. Horsefeathers. ANYONE CAN DO IT. It takes focus and discipline.

In another discussion I gave the following example. Let's say you're typical of most of us who are middle aged and think the Total Gym in the corner of the bedroom is the perfect place to hang the laundry. Can you swim a mile? I can't either.'re on an island, the tide is rising, and the beach is a mile away. Those Red Cross doggie paddle lessons are going to come back to you in a real big hurry, aren't they? And you're going to get wet or die.

Proper motivation is the key. Telling yourself you can do it is 90% of the battle. Then you make your vision a reality.

You know exactly what to do. Forget about headhunters, online job boards, newspaper classified sections, and resume blasting services. Your odds of finding a job with all of those methods combined is about 7 out of 100 (that's a documented fact, not my opinion). Go to Las Vegas...would you play any game with those odds? Accept the reality that these methods don't work and you will NOT be the exception to the rule, which is exactly what most people fool themselves into thinking and why there are so many people who are unhappy and unfulfilled.

Target companies. Do the research. Find the hiring managers. APPROACH THEM. Package and sell yourself. Take a chance on yourself and put yourself out there. You'll get a lot of rejection...big deal, those are just the folks who don't recognize your talent. Forget them. Review your approach and tweak it to improve your chances of success at the next sales opportunity. Then keep doing it, over and over and over until you the job you've been looking for finds you. As they say in have to throw a lot of you-know-what on the wall before some of it sticks.

Imagine how much better you'll REALLY feel after all that. Best of luck.

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Wow, what great advice!

by IT Mgr/packer fan In reply to Change your approach

I have been out of work five months, and have had interviews and callbacks, but have been the second in line several times. I have an interview today, and your post was wonderful-- was looking for something to get my attitude going in the forward direction, and this was it! Are you retired military, by the way? Curious about your nickname-- my husband is a retired Marine Lt Colonel-- just curious!

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Not military

by amcol In reply to Wow, what great advice!

I'll out myself here, having had the question asked before. AMCOL does not stand for "American Colonel", much as I wish it did. I'm sorry to say I did not have the opportunity to serve my country in the military, and I have the utmost respect for those who lay their lives on the line to protect the freedom we all take so much for granted.

AMCOL actually stands for "A Meaningless Collection Of Letters". I generally have a bit of a problem with people who speak in MLA's (Multi Letter Acronyms) rather than plain old English, so I made this one up just to amuse myself.

If you've taken something positive from my post, good for you and thanks for the compliment but please don't give me any credit. You are the master of your own destiny and the controller of your own attitude. You're the one who's using something you read to make your life better, and that's always a credit to you and not the source.

Good luck in your job search.

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Thank you!

by IT Mgr/packer fan In reply to Not military

For the post about our military-- it is near and dear to my heart, in addition to my husband's service, have a son in Iraq right now. I won't use acronyms any more than I have to, in an interview or anywhere else- wise advice, there, too. The best advice I have heard today was yours, and the other thing that I must remember is that I don't have to talk as if I am bringing manna to the Israelites, when I am in my interview-- answering the questions, and telling them what value I can bring to their organization, and not overselling, is something I have to remember. In a few other interviews, think I have tried to oversell-- and that betrays a lack of confidence. Good advice, then, for me to be self assured, and just state what I know to be true-- I would be very good for this company in the position I am interviewing for! Getting in to see the hiring manager is the hardest thing of all-- do you have any recommendations as to how, outside of knowing someone? Today's interview, I got by calling the head of HR, and saying, "Jack Frost recommended that I contact you about this position"- I left that on his voicemail, and had a call and an interview in an hour, where I had submitted for it two weeks before, and nothing was happening.

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You're already on the right track

by amcol In reply to Thank you!

First and most important, your son will be in my thoughts and I'm sure he'll not only acquit himself honorably but will return safe and sound to you.

The best way to handle an interview is to remember that less is more. You want to answer the questions you're asked, being respectful of the interviewer's time and attention. Maintain focus and provide complete and accurate responses that are on point. You can go off the point...BRIEFLY...if you think you can gain some advantage by doing so. You may have a quick story you could tell that would establish rapport or provide a commonality with the interviewer that would allow him/her to better relate to you personally, nothing wrong with that.

Pretend you're testifying in a trial. The more you say the more trouble you get into. Almost all responses should be somewhere between 30 seconds and three minutes...any less than that and you may come across as too brusque, any more and you run the risk of being perceived as unfocused and too loquacious. These are all just rules of thumb, of's all situational and you have to trust your instincts to steer you in the right direction.

The best thing to do is be yourself. When you get the job you'll have to show up every day as yourself, because playing a role eight hours a day five days a week is too tiring. Don't sell a product you can't deliver, if you know what I mean.

You called the HR director and referenced a mutual contact. Excellent. You networked your way into an interview, which is the single most effective job hunting technique by far. Look what referenced a mutual acquaintance which got you a quick call back, while going the "standard" route got you nothing more than your resume tossed in the very large pile of all the other resumes that had been received.

You don't have to know anyone at the company to network. Do the research...all companies have websites, and most list the names of some people who work there. Cold call those folks and respectfully ask for no more than fifteen minutes of their time for a general industry discussion. Do the research...go to the meeting with some ideas you can share on the basis of what you've read, making it clear you're not there to apply for a job but just for an intellectual discourse. Assuming you impress the person with your knowledge and insights you'd be amazed how often that leads to you being told to call this person or that person who may have an opportunity for you.

There are all kinds of networking techniques, and if you haven't already read "What Color Is Your Parachute" I strongly recommend it. It's the job seeker's bible, updated annually with all kinds of new information so it's worth the 25 bucks to pick up the latest edition.

BTW, although deep down I'm a cheesehead as a recent transplant to the DC area I'm now forced to root for the 'Skins. Sorry.

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More good advice!

by IT Mgr/packer fan In reply to You're already on the rig ...

Thanks, Amcol-- I have a tendency to give too much in interviews and oversell myself-- and I have to remember that I am a commodity worth having-- street smarts are everything, and your comments are well- taken- and right on! And I can forgive you about the Skins--when in Rome, I know the program- used to live in Detroit, and was a Lions fan, in the Fontes era. I just watched the Pack at practice, yesterday, and while we can hope for better things this year, time will certainly tell! As for my son- if he gets hold of the Iraqi's, well, what can I say? I pity the Iraqi's, he is a wonderful kid, but the toughest person I have ever met-- if there is someone to bet on, in this war, it is my Aaron! Thanks for your kind comments-- it is wonderful also to exchange posts with a patriot- we are doing good work over there. Thanks-- on to the the interview, will let you know how I do! Have a wonderful day!

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by JamesRL In reply to More good advice!

I applied to a government job and came second out of 500. Upon asking about why I came second, I was told I needed to sell myself more. I was taking the "don't want to look cocky" tack, and it was the wrong one.

I think you don't want to look desparate, but you don't want to be shy about selling yourself.


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Too true James

by Oz_Media In reply to More good advice!

If there's VEER a goo dtime to sell yourself and boast of your achievements, it's during a job interview. This is your 15 minutes of fame, make it a good one.

When you are asked what your qualities are, TELL THEM and don't be shy about it, and explain the benefits of those qualities too or achievements they have proven for you.

Be honest about your weaknesses and explain areas where you have proven to be improving on them, ackowledgement is far mroe effective than ignoranc on this issue.

Yes, I have bad habits, for example.....But I have noticed by focusing on.....I have been able to overcome/improve on these weaknesses and work conciously to overcome them."

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by DC Guy In reply to Not military

AMCOL is an acronym because you can pronounce it as a word. MLA is not because, unless you are Slavic, you probably pronounce it em-ell-ay rather than mla. MLA is just an abbreviation.

Interestingly, we COULD pronounce USA as a two-syllable acronym, but we choose not to. Only the Hungarians say it that way: oo-sha.

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I disagree

by amcol In reply to Acronyms

The dictionary definition of acronym: "A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as RADAR for radio detecting and ranging."

Doesn't say anything about pronunciation, but if you insist...I pronounce MLA "muh-LAH". Your name is an acronym, too, which I pronounce "DUH-kuh-gye".

However, since you're being technical here's a real acronym for you that passes your pronunciation test...YIPANTOD, which is pronounced "yih-PAN-todd". It means "Your Inane Post Added Nothing To Our Discussion".

Other than a little chuckle, of course.

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