Friday, April 04, 2008

Jobs

With the news that 80,000 jobs were lost in March, it is time to tell my story about my job.

I was laid off in November. Fortunately, I got a nice layoff package that pays me full salary through part of May.

While I did not start job hunting until January, it took me a little over three months to find a job, which I will be starting later in April. Obviously, I was lucky to be able to have time to look without facing financial hardship.

But I did learn some job hunting tips, which I will share:

1. LOOK IN YOUR AREA FIRST. I know this is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating, specifically for the first word: LOOK. If you don't look, you won't find it. Also, make sure you use ALL possible resources, from friends and relatives, to newspapers, to business contacts, to...

2. USE THE INTERNET. Use all your resources, including the internet. I recommend Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, but use any website where you can post your resume. I got mine through Kelly Services, but that worked for me because I was willing to accept a contract position. Which brings us to...

3. BE FLEXIBLE. If you go into job hunting saying, "I will ONLY take a job in my field within my industry within 10 miles of my home", you probably won't find a job unless you are incredibly lucky. If your line of work can transfer to another industry, then look in other industries. For example, most job skills under Information Technology can be utilized in all industries.

4. BE WILLING TO RELOCATE. 12 million Mexicans can't be wrong. If tip #1 above doesn't work for you, then tip #4 is crucially important. For some people, finding a job with their skill set is just a matter of changing employers. For other people like me, finding a job where I live is close to impossible ( there are plenty of IT jobs, but there is also an overabundance of IT workers).

The first two tips above are common sense for any job hunter. The last two are necessary when you are having trouble finding a job.

To use myself as an example, I got laid off from an IT job working for a bank in Alpharetta, GA (about 30 minutes from Dawsonville, where I live). I found an IT job in Savannah, GA (about 5 hours from Dawsonville) working for an airplane manufacturer. While I will have to move my family to Savannah, I will also be getting a 31% salary increase over what I was making before. Did I mention Savannah is on the Georgia coast? Hello, deep sea fishing!

Recession? Ignore it. There are opportunities out there IF you are willing to go after them, no matter where they are.

15 comments:

Rodak said...

"Ignore it"?

That's easy for you to say. Your unemployment story is incredibly unlike that of most people who get laid off in this country. Many, many people look just as hard as you did (although they have to start pretty much immediately) and still run out of unemployment eligibility months before they finally find a job.
Congratualtions to you; but don't try to translate your experience into the standard one, 'cus it ain't that. I've been there.

EdMcGon said...

Rodak,
I went through the period when I felt sorry for myself. Part of my point is to not let that control your actions.

The other part is to be willing to relocate for a job. If you're living in an economically depressed region, get out of it.

I will agree with you on one thing: my experience is not the standard one. That is because I was willing to look outside my area. If more people would do what I did, and there is no reason they can't, then a lot of this country's unemployed could easily find jobs.

Rodak said...

That is because I was willing to look outside my area.

No,it's not. It's because you had a severance package that gave you full pay for six months, and because you had the wherewithall to look outside your area. Most people who lose their jobs have neither.

William R. Barker said...

You're both right. The severance package was KEY. But so was Ed's willingness to move - a willingness I'm assuming he would have had even sans severance package, thus relying on savings and if need be loans. (*SHRUG*)

Yeah... luck's involved. No doubt. But no doubt skill's involved too. (*SHRUG*)

Ed... sounds like you're a big winner! From Alpharetta to Savannah... BIG WIN! (*GRIN*) (I love Savannah!) And with a huge salary increase to boot...?! GREAT! Congrats!

That said... I'm with Rob. Most people won't be so fortunate. Certainly most people who are being downsized from mature industries won't be - and to my mind these are the folks who make America great.

Anyway, Ed, I'm happy for you and your family that things worked out. God bless.

BILL

Rodak said...

thus relying on savings and if need be loans. (*SHRUG*)

Many people have neither savings nor collateral.

William R. Barker said...

And whose fault is that, Rob...???

What's your point...???

Ultimately, Rob, individuals are responsible for themselves. That's what I believe and unless I miss my guess that's what Ed believes.

An ideal? Perhaps. In any case, discussing it simply as an ideal, it seems to me that you actually WANT to move individuals away from self-reliance and responsibility onto government dependence. (*SHRUG*)

If I misread you... feel free to correct me.

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Would either of you care to explain the 12 million Mexicans coming across the border looking for jobs? Last time I checked, none of them had severence packages.

A severence package makes the job hunt easier, but it doesn't get you a job.

William R. Barker said...

Ed,

The apparent big difference between you and me is that I actually give a crap about my fellow Americans below me on the socio-economic scale.

The Mexicans are taking jobs that should be done by un/under-educated Americans, mainly black Americans. They're taking jobs that Americans should do ourselves, that our teenagers should be doing as part of their socialization into the American productive class. And even when they're not directly taking jobs, they're depressing wages.

You're in IT, right? The Indians are coming for your new job, buddy - don't fool yourself. (And actually, Ed... with the internet they don't even need to come here - they can do your job from their cubicles in India.) (*SHRUG*)

But back to the illegal Mexicans...

Even *if* they're working, are their contributions (even assuming they're paying social security taxes on a fake social security number, even assuming they're paying state and federal income taxes) to our tax base meeting, let alone exceding, what the American social safety net provides them and their children? The cost of medical care - whether provided at emergency rooms or clinics - the cost of schooling, averaging what... between 7K-12K a year per student?

What's the societal cost of the latchkey kids of illegal immigrants - what's illegal alien fueled gang activity cost society? What're the costs to our criminal justice system of illegal aliens?

You're shortsighted, Ed, with a very "me" intensive, parochial view. What you don't seem to get is that you're being screwed but worse, people who can afford it even less than you are being screwed even more than you.

Rant off. (*WINK*)

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Bill,
You're missing the point about the Mexicans. What I'm saying is the Mexicans can't find jobs in Mexico, and with little or no money they are coming here looking for them, travelling far greater distances than America's poor would have to travel. Are our poor people so much worse off than Mexico's poor? I doubt it.

I am NOT praising the Mexicans for breaking the law. I AM holding them up as an example of what poor people are capable of when they try. Are our poor so lazy that they are unwilling to travel to look for a job? Unlike the Mexicans, our poor would not have to break any laws to find jobs, but most of them will NOT do it!

The apparent big difference between you and me is that I actually give a crap about my fellow Americans below me on the socio-economic scale.

Am I to care about the unemployment of someone who isn't going to TRY to do anything they can to find a job? I'll happily wear the insensitive label in that case.

William R. Barker said...

With respect, Ed, I'm not missing your point; you're missing mine - either "missing" or simply dismissing, I'm not sure which. You mistake me if you've somehow concluded that I'm fixated on Mexicans. No! I'm fixated on America and Americans!

"Are our poor so lazy that they are unwilling to travel to look for a job?"

"Lazy?" Maybe. Ignorant? Yes. Afraid? Yes. Unprepared by upbringing, experience, skills, and mindset to take this route? YES!

But, Ed... THESE ARE OUR FELLOW AMERICANS!!! Adding illegal alien competition to the mix of economic and social factors that contribute to intergenerational poverty is only going to make things WORSE for our fellow AMERICANS, Ed. Why can't you see that...???

"Unlike the Mexicans, our poor would not have to break any laws to find jobs, but most of them will NOT do it!"

Ed. I'm all in favor of doing everything possible to ensure the closest thing to full employment attainable, but again, since I assume you're not in favor of "cleansing" our underclass, then in our own self-interest it seems to me that we want to do whatever we can to ASSIST the underclass in raising their status, which doesn't seem to me consistent with putting MORE roadblocks (in the form of illegal alien competition for jobs and the downward pressure on wages this creates) in their way.

"Am I to care about the unemployment of someone who isn't going to TRY to do anything they can to find a job?"

Yes, Ed... YOU ARE!!! You just don't frigg'n get it, do you?! Again... it's AGAINST your interest as a middle class American to have an intergenerational underclass. Beyond the costs of "supporting" the underclass - be it social welfare programs or prisons - poor, unhappy, desparate people have a tendency to lash out with violence against "the system" they blame for their fate. Ed... buddy... you and I and Rob are all part of "the system."

BILL

William R. Barker said...

* BTW...

This is a VERY good thread; at least I think so. Any lurkers out there... I'd really be interested in hearing the views of more people than simply myself, Ed, and Rob.

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Ignorant? Yes. Afraid? Yes. Unprepared by upbringing, experience, skills, and mindset to take this route? YES!

Bill,
Are our poor any more ignorant or unprepared than the Mexican immigrants? Of course not.

As for fear, that's no excuse. This country was built by people who overcame far greater fears in order to make a better life for themselves.

Adding illegal alien competition to the mix of economic and social factors that contribute to intergenerational poverty is only going to make things WORSE for our fellow AMERICANS, Ed. Why can't you see that...???

I do see that. I am NOT supporting the Mexicans, but rather pointing them out as an example of "it can be done". If Mexicans can find jobs in this country, why can't our poor do it?

then in our own self-interest it seems to me that we want to do whatever we can to ASSIST the underclass in raising their status

The flaw in this statement is that too many of our poor are more than content to play the victim card, which too many of our politicians promote. You can't assist someone in raising their status if they don't want it. For people like that, they can rot as far as I'm concerned.

Beyond the costs of "supporting" the underclass - be it social welfare programs or prisons

Part of my point is these programs need to be limited. At some point, we need to tell these people "you're on your own".

As for prisons, that's a perfectly valid cost.

poor, unhappy, desparate people have a tendency to lash out with violence against "the system" they blame for their fate.

Then off to prison they go.

Does our "system" fail some people? Absolutely. But historically, there have ALWAYS been poor. What makes our system great is that it keeps the number of poor to a minimum. But our system will NEVER completely eliminate the poor.

William R. Barker said...

"Bill, are our poor any more ignorant or unprepared than the Mexican immigrants? Of course not."

And round and round we go. (*SAD SMILE*)

"...too many of our poor are more than content to play the victim card, which too many of our politicians promote. You can't assist someone in raising their status if they don't want it. For people like that, they can rot as far as I'm concerned."

Ed. Agreed. The first part that is. The problem is - as I've patiently tried to explain - is that there's an intergenerational component.

Here... let's try to put this so simply that even if you were from Arkansas or Rio Linda you'd get it:

1) Birth. You're born.
2) Birth thru adolescence.
3) Adulthood.

Now, Ed... think about the SEQUENCE... think about it very CAREFULLY...

Notice: #1 comes before #2.
Notice: #2 comes before #3.

God-Emperor Bill would of course be rescuing children from disfunctional homes and socializing/educating them properly. God-Emperor Bill wouldn't just "let scumbag adults rot," he'd give 'em the choice of getting their act together or die. (*SHRUG*)

Ed. Pal. Buddy. There's no "God-Emperor Bill." The situation is what it is.

What you KEEP ON MISSING is that most of these f--ked up adults you're willing to let rot were themselves F--KED OVER by their parents and society as youths.

Beyond that, Ed, what you KEEP ON MISSING is that letting scumbags simply "rot" means that these scumbags - many, perhaps most of whom will have children of their own - will be raising THE NEXT GENERATION of scumbags to be as they themselves "rot."

I don't know, Ed... (*SCRATCHING MY HEAD*)... I'm patient with you... I try to impart simple to understand lessons to you... (*SHRUG*)... but I keep on failing. (*SAD EXPRESSION*)

"...historically, there have ALWAYS been poor. What makes our system great is that it keeps the number of poor to a minimum. But our system will NEVER completely eliminate the poor."

Agreed! But, Ed... this still leaves us with the fact that illegal immigration MAKES THE SITUATION WORSE, not better.

Anyway... that's my last word on this thread.

BILL

EdMcGon said...

this still leaves us with the fact that illegal immigration MAKES THE SITUATION WORSE, not better.

Bill,
I never disagreed with you on that point. My point is that if poor Mexicans can travel hundreds or thousands of miles to find a job ILLEGALLY, why can't we expect American poor people to do the same LEGALLY? My point is that we are coddling our own poor people. We expect nothing from them, and nothing is what we get.

As for the "intergenerational component", taking kids out of dysfunctional homes and putting them into a government-run childcare system is the "out of the frying pan into the fire" solution. Unless Emperor Bill plans to take care of all these kids himself? ;)

William R. Barker said...

"Anyway... that's my last word on this thread."

Allow me to take that back. (*GRIN*) (*WINK*)

"Bill, I never disagreed with you..."

Now - all you need to do is create a macro so that with the touch of a key you can append the above to all your future posts! (*HUGE FRIGG'N GRIN*)

Seriously... the reason I'm "retracting" my "retirement" from this thread is to answer your comment on "God-Emperor Bill's" willingness to rescue kids from disfunctional/dangerous homes - the homes of scumbags as you and I would term it in "shorthand" language.

You're right. The foster care system is a disaster. What we need to do is bring back orphanages. (*SHRUG*) Most would be privately run yet under governnment and ultimately public review. Where there would be a need for "government orphanages," we'd have those too - again, open to public inspection.

Obviously I'm not giving a detailed plan here, but I'm giving the bare bones concept.

BILL