Monday, March 9, 2009

Finding Employment - Making Calls

Roughly six months from now I hope to be working at a new job. This is because I'm on a non-renewable contract that ends May 31 and I'm taking three months off to expat-it on another continent. Life, my friends, is way too short.

My process started like this: I did a lot of investigation into who I might like to work for. I sent a casual message to a friend who has an in, someone I went to school with. He contacted his in and I got a phone call from my first choice.

I'm going to another city to do somewhat of a trial-run (it's complicated, but I can do that with what I do right now). It may result in being hired, point blank. However, to cover my bases, this weekend I'm going to write and send CV's and cover letters to a reasonable number of places, potentially placed through any connections I may have where I'm going.

I also called a mentor/professor from my alma mater and asked about who he thought was really hot (and hiring). It was suggested I just start going for lunch with people, as opposed to applying outright, and soliciting advice. A little ego stroke goes a long way. It was also suggested I drop his name early in conversation to get more difficult lunch dates locked down.

I don't network on purpose, and in fact I'd love to be better at it. My networking thus far results from: being social in general and volunteering. I have trouble asking for what I want and I'm not looking forward to salary negotiations. I feel like a lot of people are more natural than I am at making key connections quickly.

My Other, for example, could be a politician. He connects to so many people so easily. I've had Presidents of his professional organization privately rave to me at dinners about how fantastic and genuine he is (I agree - he got me to date him, right? He saw me at a fundraiser and tracked me down until propinquity kicked in. The guy knows what he wants).

School taught me a lot about kicking down doors versus having them opened for you. Over the next year, I have a variety of professional development goals: some programming I want to complete, perhaps a run at toastmasters, and really amping up an effort to make and maintain professional connections.

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