[thechat] I want a new job!

William Anderson neuro at well.com
Mon May 28 19:40:39 CDT 2007

Kevin Stevens wrote:
> I don't know if it's a mid life crisis or that I'm just fed up with the one 
> I've got, but I want a new job. My main source of income is from litho 
> printing, up until now the web design has just been a hobby, but I would 
> like to make a go of it as a full time job. Unfortunately, I haven't been in 
> the job market for about 15 years and any interview skills I may have once 
> possesed have been totally forgotten, so I'm hoping you guys can give me 
> some pointers.

Just Fucking Do It, is my advice.  Don't think about it, find another 
job that suits you and do it.  Apply for lots, get lots of offers and 
cherry pick.  The easiest way through interviews is just think buzzwords 
and the job description.

I started working at Linden Lab this week (the folks who make Second 
Life ... was that an announcement from me?  I should have done this in a 
separate mail!) and I made it through the (many) interviews by 
highlighting the stuff I've done in the past which seemed relevant (ISP 
and service facing firefighting, on-call, customer support, consultancy, 
long term telecommuting, particular skill sets, etc) both in describing 
my experience and tagging me as suitable to do the job as per the job 
description.  I also highlighted that while I don't know the solution to 
every problem off the top of my head, I am very good at finding 
solutions via docs, books, man pages or simply by asking other people. 
Perm employers like that, as it shows you can learn new tricks and also 
shows you have no massive ego problem (I KNOW EVERYTHING!).

The second thing to do is don't bullshit if you're sticking with perm 
work.  Never, ever blag your way into a perm position. "Yeah, I can code 
in language X" won't fly and you'll be caught out very quickly - this is 
what probationary periods in employment contracts are for.  If going 
contracting, on the other hand, lie your fucking arse off and learn on 
the job.  Get contracts lined up, and learn to love your agent. 
Cocksucking vampires they may be, when you're contracting, they're like 
gold.  Docs, books, Google and especially mates in similar fields also 
come in handy.

Also you may find if your skillset matches a particular contract, you 
can go from application through interview(s) to job offer within 12 
hours.  Contracting interviews IME rarely involve actual tests of skills 
as you're expected to be able to land running.  Perm interviews for tech 
roles, OTOH, often involve technical tests to make sure you're not 
bullshitting, hence don't bullshit and waste the time of the employer, 
or yourself (or the agent either where applicable - they hate being 
fucked about).

> [snip]
> Ideally, I would like to work for a small firm where my current skills would 
> be enough, but where I could learn new languages and gain experience as the 
> company grows. I suppose that is the sticking point, experience. I have just 
> had a look at the jobs on The Register, and it was pretty daunting. Most of 
> you work in the industry and I'm hoping you can offer some pointers on how I 
> can play to my strengths, improve my weaknesses and, most importantly, good 
> places to look for jobs.


_ __/|  William Anderson      |  Tim: Your cheese game is strong.
\`O_o'  neuro at well dot com | Zane: My cheese game. It's all about the
=(_ _)= http://neuro.me.uk/   |       cheese platter.
    U  - Thhbt! GPG 0xFA5F1100 | -- Tim Westwood, Zane Lowe, R1, Dec 2005

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