Unoffical empeg BBS

Quick Links: Empeg FAQ | Software | RioCar.Org | Hijack | jEmplode | emphatic
Repairs: Repairs | Addons: Eutronix | Cases

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#132454 - 31/12/2002 09:55 Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows?
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
As the new year approaches, I'm starting to have a lot of thoughts swirl around in my head about where my career is going. I thought that since a lot of you work in the same field I do, and have dealt with these issues, I might get some good advice.

Here's my background. I am gainfully employed in the IT department of a large mutual fund company as a software engineer. I write security software which performs authentication, authorization, and access control on our public and private web sites. I've been here for almost 4 years since I graduated college, and each year have gotten good reviews. I was promoted within my first year, and since then, have basically been at the same level since then.

Since my company's success is tied to the success of its funds, well, let's just say that times are lean these days. We haven't laid anyone off, but any thought of getting a promotion or raise in this climate is ridiculous. So because of this, and because of poor management decisions and short-sightedness, I feel like my growth and progress has been somewhat stagnant in the last year. They want to cut costs by replacing our internally-developed security software with something off the shelf. So they've been bringing in a lot of people from elsewhere in the company to fill technical lead positions that I was hoping to grow into. Basically, because the focus of my group is shifting away from in-house development and towards COTS integration, I'm hung out to dry. I have considered trying to transfer to another department within IT, but there aren't a lot of jobs which would let me do both C and Java development under UNIX, which is where I want to be.

So I'm starting to consider my options elsewhere. I realize that the job market stinks right now, but I have the feeling good jobs could be out there. In this climate, does it make sense to find a job placement agency to try to find me a job? I have always been skeptical of head hunters, but it seems to me that they could help find a match between what I want and what's out there. I have a pretty easy timetable since I still have a job, and I was thinking I could just let them find stuff for me. Has anyone ever worked with one of these places, and if so, do they actually work?

I guess my other question is... If you were in a similar situation in this economy, would you even bother tempting the fates to look for a better job? Or would you just hang on tightly to what you have until times get better? I absolutely hate where my department is going, and I don't see myself happy if I have to stay here for much longer... But it's a job, it pays the bills, and it's a known quantity. If I go somewhere else, I could end up with a lemon... In this economy, are there really going to be GOOD jobs out there for me to find? Should I just suck it up and go Stepford Wives on the whole thing? There are a lot of variables, I know... I'm just curious if anyone else has had this experience and how you managed to go about the decision making process.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132455 - 31/12/2002 10:35 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4140
Loc: Cambridge, England
In this climate, does it make sense to find a job placement agency to try to find me a job? I have always been skeptical of head hunters, but it seems to me that they could help find a match between what I want and what's out there. I have a pretty easy timetable since I still have a job, and I was thinking I could just let them find stuff for me. Has anyone ever worked with one of these places, and if so, do they actually work?

First of all, unless the US tech industry is even more unwell than I thought, headhunters are paid by employers, not by jobhunters. Signing up with one or several costs you nothing: there's no downside. Or at least, no financial downside: I did get a lot of spam last time I tried this, as the headhunters themselves aren't terribly technical and so can't immediately size up whether a job they're trying to pitch has any relevance to you or not.

In practice, I've never actually taken a job via a headhunter, but that's only because I always found better jobs each time via friends (hi Hugo).

I guess my other question is... If you were in a similar situation in this economy, would you even bother tempting the fates to look for a better job? Or would you just hang on tightly to what you have until times get better? I absolutely hate where my department is going, and I don't see myself happy if I have to stay here for much longer...

No-one ever leaves a company except six months later than they should have. Would your company "hang on tightly" to you if they thought you were bad for their long-term goals?

I recommend going fishing in the job market. At the very least you'll have the fun of getting your ego boosted by the headhunter, in whose interest it is that you land the highest-paying job possible: I had a headhunter once who, when I told him what I was earning, snorted and said drily, "Well, I think we can do a bit better than that, don't you?"

Of course, some of this only applies if you don't suck. But how much could someone suck who has such great taste in car audio?

Peter

Top
#132456 - 31/12/2002 10:48 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3977
Loc: Manchester UK
I am in a similar position, I graduated from uni in 2000 and got my first job within the BBC as a communications engineer, I stayed in this job until our outside broadcast commitment dried up.
I then moved onto news engineering in London, a dire, boring job which was made bearable by me doubling my shifts with overtime which netted me close to 75,000 PA, i should point out i was working 14 hours a day with 2 days off every three weeks, so would have probably killed myself if i'd done it for much longer. I then moved in Broadcast Control Systems my basic salary increased but I lost my overtime, but hey, the hours were exteremely flexible.
I've now been this position for 18 months and so far had no promotion or salary review even though I've taken more responsibilities and learnt plenty of new skills. Because the BBC is publicly funded they have to be very careful about where they're seen to be spending their money, so the typical over-inflated private sector IT salaries are nowhere to be found. This is good because it means no-one wants to take a severe paycut to do the same job, admittedly we've not come across anyone from outside the BBC who are any good anyway, the last two recruiment drives resulted in no new appointments.
I've resigned myself to the fact that if I stay in my current job I will never be earning the big bucks. But then again, I enjoy my job, i've travelled all over the world for different projects, and I'm on a permanent contract. The thought of being an IT contractor does not hold much interest for me.

Bottom line, if you still enjoy your job and there's no immediate job-security fears, then stay where you are. If you've really had enough then it's time to leave. I've managed to paint myself into a corner with my job, the only chances of employment outside my current job are 200 miles away down in London.
_________________________
Cheers,

Andy M

Top
#132457 - 31/12/2002 11:44 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
In reply to:

I have always been skeptical of head hunters




I've been on a total of 10 job interviews via headhunters.... ALL of them wild goose chases, they are terrible at matching your skills to a job... they sent me to interviews for entry level positions when I have over 7 years in the field... of course when you ask them "is this an entry level position?" they say "I don't think so, but it'll be a good job" all in all my experience with headhunters has been nothing but a waste of time. They either send you to jobs that your over or under experienced for or temp positions that only last a few weeks.

The best way to find good jobs is to network... meet people and go from there. A friend of mine actually goes online and finds local tech organizations goes to meetings and meets people that way and he's actually had a good amount of luck finding jobs that way. I always found jobs via word of mouth and through friends.
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#132458 - 31/12/2002 11:48 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: peter]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
First of all, unless the US tech industry is even more unwell than I thought, headhunters are paid by employers, not by jobhunters.

Correct. Typically they charge the company 30% of your first year's salary or something crazy like that.

Signing up with one or several costs you nothing: there's no downside. Or at least, no financial downside: I did get a lot of spam last time I tried this, as the headhunters themselves aren't terribly technical and so can't immediately size up whether a job they're trying to pitch has any relevance to you or not.

Well, that's been my experience. I was always getting contacted by them way back when I had my resume up on Monster and they were always sending me jobs that had nothing to do with my skills. I figured if I picked one, actually met with them face to face or at least clearly explained what I want in a phone call, I might get better results. The thing is I don't know anyone who's ever actually used a head hunter to get a job, so I'm kinda unsure if it's worth the hassle. True there's no financial downside, but I have a limited amount of time each week to be job hunting, and I'm not sure if it's better to let them do it, or for me to do it myself.

No-one ever leaves a company except six months later than they should have. Would your company "hang on tightly" to you if they thought you were bad for their long-term goals?

Both good points. The thing is I have this fantasy world in mind where the strategy they're banking on comes crashing down and I come in dressed like John Wayne and save the day. This company has a LOT of benefits, and a profit-sharing program that kinda puts golden handcuffs on. If I could close my eyes and sleep through a couple bad years, I'd probably have an ulcer, but I'd have racked up a lot of shares of our profit sharing, a great retirement plan (the company is itself a leader in retirement funds) etc. They're also paying for my masters degree right now, which I'll finish in May, but then I'm supposed to stay a year afterwards or they come after me for the money. Not like I'll pay, but still.

Of course, some of this only applies if you don't suck. But how much could someone suck who has such great taste in car audio?

I know I don't suck. In fact until this past year I proved it on a regular basis by surpassing senior developers with 10 years of experience and basically doing their jobs better than they did. I just don't know if there's enough of a market for my skills. In my company, technical people are looked at like Betamax VCR's. Obsolete, despite their measurable value in the past. Now all they want is project leads and pseudo-managers to sit in rooms and update statuses and argue over requirements. And most of all, to buy products off the shelf and get rid of "expensive" developers. It makes me wonder if I'm as hot of a commodity as I was when I started here.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132459 - 31/12/2002 11:49 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11869
Loc: Sterling, VA
My father manages a trade association in DC (where I'm working). They regularly hire for their positions via some sort of agency. The problems he's run into is the sometimes the company will lie on behalf of the searcher (which may be good in your point of view). The company would send my dad a resume that claimed the searcher had skills that they just didn't have. These are very different positions from the one you would be getting, though.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#132460 - 31/12/2002 11:56 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: Dignan]
lopan
old hand

Registered: 28/01/2002
Posts: 970
Loc: Manassas VA
I'm in Northern VA.... Does your dads company pay well? Can I give you a resume? I have a good job but it never hurts to keep your options open.....
_________________________
Brett 60Gb MK2a with Led's

Top
#132461 - 31/12/2002 12:10 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: lopan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11869
Loc: Sterling, VA
Haha, I guess it depends on what you're looking for. We're talking administrative assistant in a 17 person office here, so it's basically office work. He does have an opening, though
_________________________
Matt

Top
#132462 - 31/12/2002 12:10 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: lopan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
The best way to find good jobs is to network... meet people and go from there. A friend of mine actually goes online and finds local tech organizations goes to meetings and meets people that way and he's actually had a good amount of luck finding jobs that way. I always found jobs via word of mouth and through friends.

Yeah, that's always been the case, but I don't have a lot of friends in high places. Most of my close friends work in non-technical fields. I've got a lot of friends from college who work in IT, but none are local, or at least, none are in areas I'd necessarily want to live. At this point in my life I'm not ready to relocate just yet.

I had thought of the networking via professional societies and organizations, but it seemed like too much of a time commitment for me with work and grad school. The times always conflicted with my classes. Did your friend actually take any of the jobs he found this way?
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132463 - 31/12/2002 12:44 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
In my area (RTP, NC), in my year-long bout of unemployement that ended a few months back, the only job interviews I got were from headhunter-type agencies. The ones I spoke with were knowledgeable enough to figure out what sort of job I was looking for and what my skills were. Unfortunately, most of the jobs they called me about wanted 15 years of experience with Sun E10Ks and in-depth experience with We're-the-only-company-that-uses-it-ware. However, they did find me the job I have now, which is not bad.

It seems to be that when there are a lot of people looking for a few jobs that unless you've got someone on your side hounding an employer, your resume will never get seen. And these type of people seem to be the only ones who are going to do it.

In addition, as long as you can make sure that they're not going to submit your resume to the company you work for now, there shouldn't be any drawback to talking to them. I'd say go for it. However, don't hold your breath. A friend of mine got fed up with his job and quit. He finally found a new one a year later. (And I'm not just reiterating my experience.) Another friend with two master's degrees got laid off of his job designing ASICs and is now doing Windows desktop support.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

Top
#132464 - 31/12/2002 13:06 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: wfaulk]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
However, they did find me the job I have now, which is not bad.

Any specific strategies for dealing with them? If I tell them exactly what areas I want to work in, and exactly what my requirements are, is that enough? Am I going to end up getting suckered into job interviews for jobs I'm overqualified or underqualified for just so the head hunter can make another buck? Any particular ways to keep the ball in my court? I know it's always in my court because I can tell the guy to eat it, but it seems to me a lot of these places are just rapid-fire setting people up with interviews and hoping they match. I could do a better job finding things myself, right? Do these places REALLY have access to jobs that aren't externally posted? It always seemed to me that I would get jobs sent my way by the agencies and then see them on the company's web site anyway.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132465 - 31/12/2002 13:30 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: wfaulk]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Of course the other option is to hide away in a PhD program somewhere for a few years... Not sure what I'd do with my PhD afterwards, and it'd probably actually hurt my chances for employment at most places, but you can't beat the price of beer in college towns.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132466 - 31/12/2002 13:53 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
In my experience, they're fairly up-front about stuff. The thing is that, as far as I know, they on'y get money when someone gets hired, and sending people out who are not thei right person for the job only makes them look bad in the eyes of the prospective employers, so they're not too willing to do that. That's not to say that they won't make mistakes, especially since they don't know the ins and outs of what we do for a living, but most of the jobs I saw had fairly explicit requirements. Most of the time no one person is going to meet them all; they're looking for the perfect person, who doesn't exist, but in this job market, they can get much closer.

In my experience, you'll call and talk to someone at the recruiters' place. Once they find a job that looks like a match, sometimes initially, they'll call you in to interview with them, so that they can get a better idea of who you are. It's not a technical interview -- more of a get-to-know-you -- so don't be nervous and do make sure to be personable and distinctive so that they'll remember you.

In my experience, they don't have access to many, if any, jobs that aren't externally posted, but employers do respond better to those agencies because they've done some initial screening to find appropriate candidates instead of getting resumes directly from every schmoe who's out of work, especially in these times of high unemployment, since the population of schmoes has increased dramatically. To illustrate, as part of my unemployment benefits from the state, I had to apply to at least two different employers each week. I never heard any responses from any of those contacts at all.

It's also apparently bad form to get one's resume to an employer twice (probably due to deciding which agency's fee to pay, or none, if you sent it in directly), so try to avoid doing that. Most reputable agencies will ask explicitly before sending your resume anywhere, each time. That's usually as part of a call to see if you have particular skills the employer wants.

Of course, this is all just my experience, both from getting jobs and hiring a few people here and there; it's far from comprehensive.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

Top
#132467 - 01/01/2003 06:12 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: wfaulk]
muzza
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 1765
Loc: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
as part of my unemployment benefits from the state, I had to apply to at least two different employers each week.

Only Two per week? Piece of cake! Unemployment benefits in Australia are paid if you've called 10 employers per month, all of which are logged in a 'diary' they provide and checked every 6 months. you can have your benefits docked or reduced if you don't have this complete
But I digress.
Tony, have you been doing any courses or training of your own during your employment? It might pay to enrol in a course to keep updating your skills in some way, either in the tech field or in managment principles. Your current employer may look on you favourably then as you are trying to be better for them in the future.

Keeping an ear to the ground for other prospects may be fruitful too, but it may be better the devil you know. You don't *know* that the job you're about to move into is any more secure at the moment than the job you're in.

It's a tough call, but i'd advise to look in to some reneducation.
_________________________
-- Murray I What part of 'no' don't you understand? Is it the 'N', or the 'Zero'?

Top
#132468 - 01/01/2003 09:29 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: muzza]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Tony, have you been doing any courses or training of your own during your employment? It might pay to enrol in a course to keep updating your skills in some way, either in the tech field or in managment principles. Your current employer may look on you favourably then as you are trying to be better for them in the future.

Aside from my master's program, I don't really have time for classes outside of work. At work, I've kept up with training, I've taken various software development methodology classes, as well as classes on a few tools we use at work (Rational suite, etc.) Not that I actually liked any of these, they were kinda forced on me by the company. As for "management principles" I'm not planning on going into a management track. My group is already way too top-heavy. Too many chiefs, not enough warriors. Training is definitely not the limiting factor in me getting a promotion.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132469 - 01/01/2003 09:29 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: muzza]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1437
Loc: Arizona
Yeah, if your job has any kind of education benefits, I would suggest taking advantage of those before looking for another job. Any kind of certification or other degrees would generally help.

Top
#132470 - 01/01/2003 10:57 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
lectric
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/01/2002
Posts: 2081
Loc: New Orleans, LA
That seems to be the downfall of a LOT of tech companies. My old job was the same. Over %60 of all paychecks were to "non-productive" presonnel. I know, I know, they work, but they produce no actual income for the company. Luckily I bailed b4 they went to 60-70 hour work weeks. Now that I work for the government, I pull a killer 35 hour week. With holidays.

Top
#132471 - 01/01/2003 14:13 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: lectric]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Hmm. Can you get me a job with the gov't?

We have so-called 37.5 hour work weeks which extend to 45-50 regularly. Yeah, our IT department really just grew too fast. They hired like CRAZY in 1999 and 2000, and right as everything slowed down, all the managers started bringing in other managers and project leads (basically all of their friends from other jobs) and they just kinda forgot to hire the people who would actually be doing the work. We have entire teams which consist of a manager, two project leads, and ONE actual "doer" of the work. Don't get me started on the trend towards spending three times as much for contractors who can work overtime hours and take all the good work away from full-time employees. It actually makes me sick going into work these days.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132472 - 01/01/2003 14:47 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3977
Loc: Manchester UK
In reply to:

Don't get me started on the trend towards spending three times as much for contractors who can work overtime hours and take all the good work away from full-time employees.




That's the one thing I like about my job is that because there's only 14 people in the department when I say something is a POS, then my boss has to listen. Usually because my colleagues agree, then he can't argue. The job is so specialised that he can't hire new people without spending a fortune in time & money getting them up to speed. Last time it happened we had to let them go after two weeks because the fundamental understanding wasn't there.
_________________________
Cheers,

Andy M

Top
#132473 - 01/01/2003 15:30 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
BleachLPB
enthusiast

Registered: 01/11/2001
Posts: 354
Loc: Maryland
all the managers started bringing in other managers

Ha, that sounds almost EXACTLY like my former employer. Our IT department, although very productive, consisted mostly of a core of managers that all knew eachother before hand and through some loopholes, even got the hiring bonus for hiring a friend. But our department was actually functional - there were departments on our org chart in which there were no actual employees. Just 1 manager or VP that would be the "head" of that ficticious department. I won't even go into the top-heavyness of this crap company... They can eat it for all I care. In conjunction with the poor economy, multiple bad management decisions and a lack of direction and vision for the company all contributed to its downfall - and several RIFs.

Unlike most other tech companies in the sector, we had $1.6 BILLION in the bank from 2 IPOs. You think they could figure out something to do with that but no - they bought several piddly little companies that proved to be mostly bad apples. They blew most of that wad and are now scrambling to survive.

Well... enough of that rant. And now for the useful part of this post... As far as finding a job - networking (talking to other people... ) is the way to go. There are some contingency-based recruiters that you pay, but your payment to them is contingent on them finding you a job (hence the name...) - so its not like its a total gamble on your part. I was sent to an outplacement firm that assists people who were laid off as a result of my job loss (Lee Hecht Harrison), and they have all sorts of resources - the other day I looked through a book of recruiters (The Directory of Executive Recruiters 2003) and they have lists of recruiters (both retainer and contingency) and several indexes so you can search by geographic location, industry area, type of position, etc. Its so old fashioned flipping through a book index, but it works. I'm sure there's probably some resource on the Internet somewhere that accomplishes the same purpose.

If I think of anything else as I'm out there looking... I'll let you know. But the market sucks now, so be happy that you have a job - I wouldn't even dare thinking of ditching a job unless I had another one lined up.
_________________________
BleachLPB ------------- NewFace MK2a

Top
#132474 - 01/01/2003 19:20 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
One thing to note: there can be a downside to using too many headhunters. If they all send your resume to the same company, the person hiring might get sick of seeing it. I don't know if this is a big problem,but I was warned about it when I was looking for a job a few months back. Incidently I found my job on Monster, I had my resume posted and they contacted me. I don't think it could hurt to have your resume out there.
_________________________
-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

Top
#132475 - 01/01/2003 20:01 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
lectric
pooh-bah

Registered: 20/01/2002
Posts: 2081
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Hehe, as far as my job, there are only 3 of us in the dept. Myself, another tech, and the web administrator, whom I'm marrying in 3 mos. The 3 of us are close friends, and our supervisor is the assistant director of another department. This actually works quite well, because since we are all close friends, we cover each other, pick up slack when needed, and have never ever had an instance of stabbing in the back. On the flip side, if something F's up, it's MY responsibility, which is fine, because it's my work. I don't mind taking crap for a boner I've pulled, just don't stick me for something someone else was responsible for. That's the bizaare thing, this office is actually more productive than ANY I've worked for. Oh, and there ARE days I have to work 12+ hours, but at least I make overtime.

On the downside, I make about 2/3 of what I would make in the private sector, minus the 10% hit going to retirement, minus the %10 more I funnel to deffered comp. But to me it's a fair trade. I have my life back.

Top
#132476 - 01/01/2003 22:26 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5284
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
all the managers started bringing in other managers and project leads (basically all of their friends from other jobs) and they just kinda forgot to hire the people who would actually be doing the work.

Hmmm... makes me even more glad to be working where I am.

Probably 30 people working in the building (including part timers) and only one person with any managerial responsibilities or even aspirations towards management. And that manager is universally acclaimed as the best any of us have ever worked for. The downside is... if he goes away, chances are the whole operation will fall to pieces.

When he retires, I'll probably do the same.

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

Top
#132477 - 02/01/2003 02:33 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tanstaafl.]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4140
Loc: Cambridge, England
only one person with any managerial responsibilities or even aspirations towards management. And that manager is universally acclaimed as the best any of us have ever worked for. The downside is... if he goes away, chances are the whole operation will fall to pieces.

When he retires, I'll probably do the same.


Funny, I've never seen you around Empeg Towers...

Peter

Top
#132478 - 02/01/2003 06:04 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: wfaulk]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5676
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
It's also apparently bad form to get one's resume to an employer twice (probably due to deciding which agency's fee to pay, or none, if you sent it in directly), so try to avoid doing that.

Yeah, one of my mates was involved in recruiting developers for a while and they always had to discard potential recruits if they had got their detail from two different agencies, however good the recruit was. They had got embroiled in expensive legal fights in the past, with agencies sueing then for fees when they took someone who was also referred by another agency. Crazy.
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

Top
#132479 - 02/01/2003 06:45 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: tonyc]
Dylan
addict

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 498
Loc: Virginia, USA
I've dealt with a lot of head hunters and contracting agencies over the years. After being sent on a couple of bad interviews early in my career I learned to take control of the process. Here are a couple of suggestions.

1. During your initial communication with the recruiter you should ask them not to submit you to any job without your approval. Some of them feel that once they've spoken to you for 5 minutes they have permission to send your resume to whomever they feel like it.

2. Get as much information as you need to know to decide whether you want to be submitted for a position. First of all, find out the name of the company they are submitting you to. It seems obvious but many recruiters are hesitent to give out this information because they are worried you will circumvent them. Assure them you won't do this and insist on knowing where you will be submitted. If the recruiter doesn't know much about the job then ask them to get more information. You should know enough about the job and company to at least know whether it's a possible match.

3. Keep notes on your conversations with recruiters and the jobs they submit you for. You do not want two recruiters to submit you for the same job. This can create a messy situation for the potential employer that would make it less attractive to hire you.

4. Ask for a brief phone screening before you go on an interview. This only needs to be a 10 minute phone conversation with the employer that will allow both of you to discover whether it's worth spending several hours doing an in-person interview. This step, in particular, will save you from wasting your time on interviews that aren't a good match for your skills/experience.

5. A lot of recruiters will reformat or even reword your resume before they send it. Most of them do this just to remove your personal information and to give it the common formatting style that their agency uses. Some will change it in an attempt to make it more effective. If the recruiter is good at their job, then this can be a valuable service. But I've also had recruiters change my resume so that content and meaning were altered. I now tell them that I want to approve the resume if they are going to change it in a non-trivial way.

All this being said, recruiters can be a very valuable resource. There are a lot of jobs that never make newspaper or online listings. This is particularly true with small companies that often farm out their HR. Recruiters and personal contacts are the only way to know of many opportunities.

My personal job hunting strategy is to send my resume out to as many recruiters as possible. The only cost to me is that I have to field a lot of phone calls for a few days. But since I learned to take the steps above I rarely get submitted for inappropriate jobs and I haven't been on a pointless interview in many years.

Good luck. And, as others have said, there is no harm in fishing as long as you can do it discretely.

-Dylan


Edited by Dylan (02/01/2003 07:01)

Top
#132480 - 02/01/2003 08:16 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: muzza]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
    as part of my unemployment benefits from the state, I had to apply to at least two different employers each week.

    Only Two per week? Piece of cake! Unemployment benefits in Australia are paid if you've called 10 employers per month, all of which are logged in a 'diary' they provide and checked every 6 months. you can have your benefits docked or reduced if you don't have this complete
Well, two per week is about 9 a month, so not too much difference there. I also had to fill out a form which I had to show up at seemingly irregular intervals to provide. They supposedly spot-check them, but I can't imagine that they do. (``Did William Faulk send you his resume?'' ``I don't know; it might be in the pile of ten thousand that we threw away without looking at them.'')

There is also a ridiculous requirement that those two be contacted on different days. Of course, all the new job listings come out on Monday, and by Tuesday they've already gotten as many resumes as they're going to look at. So I just sent all my resumes ASAP, and if I didn't happen to have two different days for the week, I fudged it.

The real problem, though, is that since most employers don't really look at self-submitted resumes and getting two copies of the same resume causes legal issues, I was effectively blocking myself out of those jobs. So I tried to send my resumes to employers I didn't want to work for so that I wouldn't kill myself for those jobs that I actually wanted.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

Top
#132481 - 02/01/2003 10:08 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: Dylan]
BleachLPB
enthusiast

Registered: 01/11/2001
Posts: 354
Loc: Maryland
've dealt with a lot of head hunters and contracting agencies over the years. After being sent on a couple of bad interviews early in my career I learned to take control of the process. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Excellent advice... thanks for the list, some things there I hadn't even thought of. Again, this bbs proves itself as an invaluable resource.
_________________________
BleachLPB ------------- NewFace MK2a

Top
#132482 - 02/01/2003 10:13 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: Dylan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7057
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks, Dylan, This is great advice. This entire thread has been very helpful, actually.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#132483 - 02/01/2003 10:40 Re: Career Pathing: Lay Low or Chase Rainbows? [Re: wfaulk]
g_attrill
old hand

Registered: 14/04/2002
Posts: 1172
Loc: Hants, UK
There is also a ridiculous requirement that those two be contacted on different days. Of course, all the new job listings come out on Monday, and by Tuesday they've already gotten as many resumes as they're going to look at. So I just sent all my resumes ASAP, and if I didn't happen to have two different days for the week, I fudged it.

Sounds like the UK really then... I was made redundant in Jan '00 from a prominent Y2K software company (what the hell, Greenwich Mean Time aka Check 2000 PC).

I went to sign on and was introduced to the wonderful world of Job Seeker's Allowance, where you must fill in a diary fo what you are doing to find a job, what the response was etc... I won't go into detail - just speak to anyone who has done it, everyone else I have spoken to who has been there has a better story.

I said I was looking for programming jobs, having only been employed for 3 months I was pretty open to anything. I said I hadn't looked at the job boards in the office because I knew they don't have any IT posts. She searching on her system and said "I've got one here - what about Project Manager, European Space Agency". When I stopped laughing I gathered up my Job Seekers Pack and stumbled out.

Gareth

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >