Shhh… Be Vewy Vewy Quiet…

It is officially rabbit duck job hunting season.

How can you tell Hadas is unemployed? The garage is spotless, the blog is updated, her Words With Friends average score has increased, she’s taking an online programming class, and the cats are in a catnip rehab clinic.

I know people call this time “funemployment” but to me it’s just a lot of time on my hands to figure out what to do next. I gave myself an entire week to mourn the loss of my job. I caught up on Property Brothers and rewatched Season1 of The Gilmore Girls. I told a friend of mine that I was going to take my time in finding my next job. I feel like two weeks is a good amount of time…

Now, my new job is officially looking for a new job – and in that, I consider myself an expert.

As an example, to get the job at Nike I found out who the CISO (department head) was, I LinkedIn connected with him and then directly emailed him and told him to hire me – which he did. If only that tactic had worked throughout the rest of my employment things would have worked out better. Reaching out isn’t rocket science and the best way to get a job is to stand out from the other people trying to get that same job. Right now, EVERYONE is trying to get that same job.

Another “trick” I use is to go through placement agencies. In Portland for IT I cannot recommend VanderHouwen and TEKSystems enough.  They are the most knowledgeable about the industry and are well respected by the companies they place people at. Placement agencies are a no-brainer. For free you now have an entire company (or several) trying to get you paid to do stuff you are qualified for. I don’t care if you are a janitor or a CEO there are placement agencies for you and the more you let them do for you, the more Bejeweled Blitz you can play while the job-hunt proceeds.

Finally, I cannot overemphasize the importance of networking. It sounds like such a complicated thing, but really it just means having coffee and lunch with people you have worked with, or that work in companies or jobs you are interested in – and often having them pay for said food or coffee (I mean you are the one out of work after all). I have had 6 such dates and have two more this coming week. When at lunch, tell those people what it is you are looking for. If they can’t give it to you they may be able to introduce you to someone who can. The more up front you are with this the better off you will be; make sure you are clear with what you want. Don’t be wishy washy about it – save that for dating.

Which leads me to yesterday. When I first published my blog about losing my job I got an interesting tweet from someone I follow on Twitter saying to contact his law group for next steps, if I was interested. Never one to let go of a networking opportunity (or interesting story) I followed up. This culminated in having a meeting with Jerry Carleton of Immex Law.

I showed up 10 minutes early for our appointment and he met with me at exactly 10. We sat in the large front conference room and Jerry dropped his legal pad on the table in preparation. For about a minute or two (which seemed a lot longer) we kind of just smiled at each other waiting for the other person to start the meeting. I finally broke the ice with “So, I’m not really sure why I am here.” It’s a strong opening for networking. We ended up chatting about our various paths since graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School (different years). Jerry has a very successful law firm in downtown and is doing things differently – as a lover of start-up culture, I admire when people find a new way of accomplishing things successfully. In the end he invited me to a monthly mixer and I referred his company to a friend looking for some non-profit start-up help. Who knows if anything will come of this, but I consider it a networking win.

I then went to the gym and did 5k run, 5k row and 6mile Airdyne (like a stationary bicycle, only from hell). One positive of being out of work is all the time it affords me to be active.

This time around, instead of finding the next job, I really want to find the right company. So, one thing I am doing is looking up companies based in Vancouver and Portland. Did you know there is a company that will fix your grammar, online (this blog was not sent to them)? And a company that wants updated access to old-style nerdiness? As I filter through these companies I try to find something that attracts me and gets me excited about what they are doing and how they are doing it. Other great places to find those companies are Silicon Florist and Angel.co. It is where Portland Startups are listed. Then you can go to each company’s website and stalk get to know their people through LinkedIn and Twitter.

I have yet to find my next job, but I have a lot of really positive leads.

Now I am off to Blitz some Bejewels.

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