Twitter me this

•September 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever tweeted?  This isn’t the tweeting your grandparents did when they practiced bird calling.  This is yet another method of communication in the 21st century.  Twitter is a micro-blog that is free for anyone to use.  It is called a micro-blog because unlike with this blog, where I can type to my hearts content with every post, Twitter limits your post to 140 characters.  Until recently I honestly did not care about Twitter at all.  Why the change?  Too many other people care about Twitter.  The most recent number I found said that as of March 2009 Twitter had more than 8 million users.

Twitter is used by a variety of companies and individual to do everything from educate the public about a new product, advise consumers, create a dialog with customers, promote ideas and even let everyone know what you had for breakfast this morning.  I had Cheerios in case you were wondering.  So how can Twitter help me in my quest?

There are two ways that I will use Twitter to start.  Firstly as a promotional tool that allows me to share what resources I find that I see as valuable in hopes of finding readers that may help me in my search.  And secondly as a way to find out about jobs that may not be posted on other boards.  More and more employers are posting jobs on Twitter.  Here are some other sites that I found useful.

http://www.twitterjobsearch.com/

http://www.examiner.com/x-13119-Denver-Job-Search-Examiner~y2009m7d2-Find-a-Job-Using-Twitter

Too much “good” advice

•September 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Everyone has an opinion and they are always more than happy to give it to you.  In the past you were most likely to hear the opinions of those closest to you or those who could broadcast to the public (television, radio, books, magazines, etc).  In both cases you had a basis for how to evaluate the veracity of what they were telling you.  If the advice was from a friend or family member you could think about what you know of their history, education and life experience and decide if you wanted to take their advice to heart.  If it was a broadcaster or author it was not hard to find if they were qualified to speak on a particular subject.

Today the web is flooded with millions of opinions when all we want is one.  I am glad that we live in a time where everyone can have a voice.  I only wish that I had a filter so that when I need an opinion on an important subject I could easily find the voice in the crowd that has the information I need.  My goal is to try out creative methods of finding employment and avoid the great resume black hole.  I do not plan on giving my opinion on what should work and what should not. I only want to give an accounting of what really happened.

Here are a few example of advice from around the web.

http://www.yourjobstop.com/blog/job-hunting/101-ways-get-hired-recession

http://jobsinthemoney.blogspot.com/2008/12/creative-ways-to-get-firms-attention.html

http://www.wgnsradio.com/creative-ways-to-get-a-job/8079/

http://www.phcconsulting.com/WordPress/2009/08/17/6-creative-ways-to-stand-out-in-the-job-search/

Ethics in a time of crisis

•September 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A moral being is one who is capable of comparing his past and future actions or motives, and of approving or disapproving of them.
— Charles Darwin, English biologist (1809-1882)

Searching for a job in the current economy is not unlike the great quests immortalized in the epic poems of ancient Greece.  This is not to say that it contains the same glory as slaying the hydra or recovering the golden fleece but it is not a journey void of peril.  Everyday in the search you are met with trials, tribulations, pitfalls and most importantly temptation.

Temptation is found in many forms.  For some it could be contemplating an embellishment on their resume.  For myself it came in the form of a job that I knew I could get but would not want to stay at for long.  I knew that if I took the job I would have less financial worries but how would my decision effect the employer?  The resources required for the hiring process are not insignificant.  This drain of resources is even harder on a small company.  What would that have said about me if I took their time in the hiring process and their time for training only to leave a few months later because I found a place where the grass was greener?

In times of high unemployment and stiff competition for jobs how do you stay on the right track.  In my situation I am very lucky that I have a strong support system surrounding me.  With good friends and family showing constant support and giving encouragement it is easy to stay the course.  One purpose of this blog is to encourage and motivate myself.  I also hope that this will encourage and motivate others and give them at least a small support system they may not have otherwise.  Here is a link to a PDF with some thoughts on ethics in the job search.  It is aimed mostly at recent college graduates but I think it can apply almost everyone.

http://careers.vassar.edu/pdf/Ethics_and_the_Job_Search.pdf

The beginning of the great hunt.

•September 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The goal in America is not to have a dream but to live the dream.  The dream surrounds us and envelops us every day.  When I look around I see many people with a nibble of their dream and a taste for more.  An eternal optimism hides within them even while the times are less than sunny.  Often it is hard to see it as they put forward a mask of pessimism with their “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” attitude.  Often it is hard to see the optimism in myself.

I was ill prepared to start on my trek through one of the worst job markets of recent years. It was almost 10 years ago that I last embarked on a similar search.  At the time the unemployment rate was 1.7%.  Finding a job back then was no more of an adventure than the kiddie rides at your local theme park.  While walking to your car you could be hit in the face with more than one opportunity.  Back then I felt invincible. This was in part because we all feel that way at 20 but also because I could play to my strength.  I am a people person. I enjoyed the interview process because it gave me a chance to shine.

Today I am met with the great resume black hole.  Without a way to break down the door I have almost no chance to be employed.  My guess is that 50% of the applicants have a more attractive resume while mine has the all the panache of a wall flower.  Why don’t I fix my resume?  Believe me when I say I work on it daily.  The most common method of searching for a job is looking for listings posted either on-line or in the newspaper and sending in your resume.  I could not tell you how many how many jobs I have applied for with almost no call backs.  I have received the occasional automated message with a “Dear John letter,” but not much in the way of a real response.  You are wondering about how bad my resume really is or if am I applying for jobs well above my skill level.  In response I would tell you that the unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 11.7% while boasting one of the highest percentages of College Graduates per capita in the nation.  I will share with you all of my resume’s many messes at some point but not right now. 

The status quo is unacceptable to me.  The thought of stay unemployed for much longer is a painful one on both a financial and intellectual level.  To try and change the status quo I have come up with a plan for a practical and intellectual exercise.  The plan will serve two function.  First and most importantly it will hopefully lead to gainful employment.  Secondly it will serve as a learning tool for others that are faced with the same uphill battle.  My hope is that in analysing my process and results the next person to embark on the great hunt will have a smoother ride.  Be warned that I plan to try any and all conventional and unconventional methods to acquire a job.

Still not sure you want to read more? Here are the best reasons I can think of right now.

Reason 1:  Why do people rubberneck?  You want to read because you want to see the carnage. This is a real process with real consequences.  I am not a paid author and I am not living vicariously through a friend.  You can want me to succeed or fail but know that I am a real person with a real family to support.

Reason #2:  You could learn something.  Even if you are not currently looking to a job there is a good chance that you will need/want to look for a new job at some point and maybe one of my crazy stunts will help you in your endeavor.

Reason #3:  You could teach me something.  Maybe you have gone through the same trials and tribulations that I am currently facing.  Do you have a trick or strategy that could help?  Let me know and be a mentor.

Reason #4:  You have a crazy idea that you think could work or fail.  If you have an idea that you think could work but just don’t have the guts/resources to try please feel free to suggest anything.  Even if you have an idea that you think is disastrous and are just curious to know if I am dumb enough to try i want to hear the idea.  Maybe I am that stupid.

Reason #5:  You are filthy rich and don’t have much to do other than read random blogs on your laptop as you sit by your pool drinking a cocktail.

Most importantly keep in mind that this should be an interactive experience.  Comment and let me know what you think.  If your only reason to comment is to plug you blog then please at least make the comment something useful.  You can also follow my odyssey on Twitter via http://www.twitter.com/jobless_in_sj

 
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