Thursday, February 12, 2009

job hunting = mysterious woo

I had lunch with a former co-worker (same company, let go in the summer and then replaced with TWO new people...what's up with that?!). She's been following the advice that all the experts give about job hunting...networking, cold calls, web sites, LinkedIn, outplacement centers, blah, blah, blah. She's been out of work since July. Has great skills, but missing one small component in her field. Which she can only get with on-the-job training (there are NO courses or classes). Only no one will give her a chance to learn what sounds like a simple task. Stupid.

So, I wonder...are the experts really right? Or is a successful job hunt really dependent on being at the right place at the right time? There seems to be an awful lot of luck involved. Yes, the networking is important...someone knows someone who knows someone. But what are the odds that a cold call will result in anything but a time filler for the bored, unemployed person? I suppose that all the hardwork is worth it IF you do land something that way. But what if you don't?

Right now, there are about 5 different technical writing jobs being advertised (really, that few). But, they appear a gazillion times from a gazillion different recruiters, with different titles so they almost look like different jobs. What are employers thinking? There's absolutely NO need to clutter up job boards with redundant listings. IT'S AN EMPLOYER'S MARKET, YOU IDIOTS. Stop registering with every Tom, Dick, and Harry that you think will get you a good candidate. Advertise once and you'll get them all. WE'RE ALL LOOKING AT THE SAME JOB BOARDS! (I can't tell you how many friends have fowarded me listings from the same web sites that I'm browsing).

And, one has to wonder what's preventing employers from filling these few, paltry jobs. There are tons of great candidates out there. Interview a few and get it done, and get your job listing off the job boards! But no, these same 5 jobs are advertised over and over and over again for weeks and weeks.

And some employers don't seem to hire anyone.

Right now, there's one job that is appearing on every single website you can imagine, multiple times. I found out from a friend of mine that she knows someone who was supposedly a "final candidate" for the job back in November. Then the job went on hold. And now the job looks like it's back...but they haven't hired the person they said was a "final candidate." Huh? You found someone, you have an opening...fer cryin' out loud..HIRE HER already. What are you waiting for...God's gift to Technical Writing? And it's a contract job...low risk, folks. If you don't like the contractor, you can get rid of her and find another.

And don't get me started on the job boards. They have the audacity to post a job as "new" when it's really old and often doesn't exist anymore. What a waste of time. There has to be a better web crawler or search engine that produces REAL results. I wish I had a filter where I could specify which redundant jobs listings to hide from view. Get rid of the job board clutter

For me, it's one week inti my unemployed status and the next week or so looks pretty bleak. Very little activity. I've contacted a number of recruiters and they've got nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I'm mulling over the idea of applying for a job at a start up in Boston (and of course, it's no where near the commuter rail station so the commute would be long and brutal). Then again, applying for the job doesn't mean I'd get my foot in the door. Based on the description, I'm wondering if they would take someone with my years of experience (too costly, probably). But, I'll probably apply just for the heck of it. And write some wacky cover letter, just because I think it doesn't even matter.

Awhile back, I decided to have some fun with my hair and add some funky purple streaks, just for something different (I've wanted purple hair for awhile). Then, I thought...wait, what if I get an interview ...would a prospective employer think I'm weird? I've decided that since job hunting seems to be a lot of mystical "woo,", I'm going to get the purple streaks. Maybe that will cause the job hunting gods to throw something my way. You know how it works...if you buy insurance, nothing happens. If you decide not to buy insurance, disaster will, of course, happen.

Seems just as good a way of finding a job as any other tactic.

Onward and upward through the fog...

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