On job searches and bad metaphors.

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to have a bit more control of my career. I had, until that point, basically went wherever I was taken in the moment. I ran a job until it was done and hopped to the next. I forget what spawned the thought, but I recall reading someone talking about in life people often live adrift at sea. They generally go where the currents and winds take them, and sometimes wonder why they heck they didn’t make it to the place they wanted to be.

The metaphor was extended into a sailing one. That it is ok to drift to the side, be blown around a bit and generally tack and change courses, as long as you knew where you wanted to be. You pointed yourself and worked that way. Sailing is a good metaphor since the wind is often cross-current to you destination.

It’s a fine idea. And it encompasses a lot of the thought on why I was willing to try starting a business in Denver and later move from Pennsylvania to California. I had long since been blown haphazardly away from the audio-media education I had chosen for myself. My preferences on where I would like to be have shifted as I have gotten older, yes, but at least now I’m trying to sail toward them.

Boating allows a fortuitous mixing of metaphors: One cannot sail to your Happy Island of Dreams if the boat sinks. And that is what you worry about when out of work: how long before your HMS Titanic turns turtle and you get to the scene where the rich old-lady gets all misty-eyed about the likely syphilis-laden underage tramp she sthupped for 2 weeks before he drowned.

So you worry that the phone won’t ring. You worry that your resumes will end up getting round filed and eventually you’ll become a hermit in some place ranting about what font works best on a curriculum vitae.

Knocking on wood and adding all the precautions possible, I don’t think I am going to have as difficult a time this go-around.

I had been planning on taking a week or two just to decompress and concentrate on personal time and time with Sue. I had been very-slowly preparing for the search. At the beginning of this week it began with updating my linked-in status as free and set the ending date on my last job.

That was IMMEDIATELY picked up on by a consulting company I had worked with. In the past I had expressed interest in them, and they in me. Several emails and phone-calls later I was asked to come in for an interview in 2 hours. 2 HOURS.

I got them to push it back to 3 hours. Why? I had yet to clean my resume. And I had to make sure I had a clean and appropriate outfit. (On the east coast, it was ALWAYS a suit for interviews. Out here, it can vary wildly. And showing up overdressed can lose you a position.) I found a decent slacks, shirt and tie combo in my closet, but just in case Sue and I hit giganto-mall to look for better ones.

We were lucky enough to get a good set of sherpa guides in giganto-mall and made it to the summit of several different mountains. Unfortunately, all of the mountains have trended to sending clothing in my size to the big-expensive-huge-expsive-tall-expensive-and-did-we-mention-expensive-mens stores, of which there are none nearby. So we thanked our guides for their trouble, I successfully drug Sue away from a literal color-wheel arranged table of ties, and I hopped in the car in my backup-clothing and made the interview.

The interview went well. At least I feel it did. My personal reactions to interviews are not always accurate, but they called me back for a second round.

Before going to this interview, I pinged another company that had been trying to recruit me out of my job previously. The hiring manager tossed me four different positions, all of which I could do. So within hours of doing interviews for company A, I was phone screening company B. Apparently multiple departments of company B are interested in me.

This afternoon I completed round-two of the interviews for Company A via phone. The vibe wasn’t as good as the first, but that could have been because the interviewee was sitting in an airport in New Mexico and it closed when his flight boarded. On the other side, I’m not sure but I think my history with this company has opened the door for this and the interviews are being handled mostly as a formality. That might explain the feel.

So yesterday morning I was expecting more leisurely days off. By this evening, I am busily overhauling my web pages so any curious engineers who google me might find current projects. I’m almost at the offer-or-no stage for company A, company B will do the round 2 tech interview in a day or so, and I’m passing my resume off two a few other prospects.

From worrying about the boat sinking to having multiple companies after me in a day or so. I’m going to get whiplash.

7 Responses to “On job searches and bad metaphors.”

  1. cashewlou says:

    Congratulations! And maybe pass me some of your good luck vibes? I am back in the market again, it looks like. o(:oP

  2. Hey, whiplash is at least pretty easy to recover from!

  3. joshuwain says:

    Wow. I need to start taking life lessons from you!

  4. kagur says:

    Talented folk are always in demand:) Very good to hear that multiple companies are calling. Your skills and good nature make you a very desirable employee! Good luck:D

  5. suerankin says:

    Yeah, y’know… Any worrying you ever do about jobs and joblessness will henceforth be referred to as “quaint”.

    Love you! @:)

  6. padfootsm says:

    Watch as the wind fills your sails and you get knocked off your feet!

  7. mongologue says:

    Impressive indeed. Glad to hear you’re in demand, and I hope you find the right next place. 🙂

    I managed to do fairly well myself after a layoff, having a new job lined up literally three hours later. Albeit, part-time and it vanished after a month, and the _next_ job took two months after that…

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