An Update on the Job Search

Well, it’s been 3 months of unemployment. It’s a weird job market out there. Some companies don’t seem to know what they want, while others post jobs with no hurry to fill them. And with more layoffs happening all the time, the competition is only increasing for the real ones. I think I had one person per week in the first 2 months reach out to me to let me know they also got laid off. Many of them have already found a new job, and I’m very happy for them.

There’s a lot of job postings out there, and I’ve applied for a lot. If I don’t have someone internal recommending me, I pretty much never get a response beyond the automated “thanks for your application” email. I have had a lot of great conversations, almost all based on either someone I used to work with being directly involved or a friend introducing me to a friend. Some of those conversations came really close, but in the end there’s never been the right mutual fit.

The best opportunities I’ve considered have started with “we could really use someone like you,” indicating that my unique background and cross-discipline skillset can help a business cover multiple bases at once. I think the variety of my experiences are hard to match directly to a position unless the person making the decision can truly see what I’m capable of. And that’s a tough place to be in the era of automated recruiting decision making.

Through all the conversations, I’ve gotten excited for roles that would take me back to the technical pre-sales side, roles that focused on product management and strategy, and roles doing product or technical marketing. While the search hasn’t help me to narrow down which of those fields I want to focus on (my ideal is still to do all three in a combined role), it has shown me that getting excited for the role is the most important part. I am still interested in doing another start-up, but at the same time have found myself excited to get out of the heavy grind with a role that would allow me bandwidth to do more personal and freelance projects. I have also found myself excited to get out of the infrastructure/cloud game and explore other areas of our industry.

Overall, I’m still pretty positive on my situation. I had a loose summer that included more road trips than we normally would’ve allowed ourselves. This has been great, since two of our three kids spent a sizeable amount of the summer away from us.

This month, I’m moving into Phase 2 of the job hunt. This phase will involve a little more focus, now that the summer is over. I’m also opening myself up to even more possibilities than before. In this phase, I’m also actively accepting freelance projects and already have a couple of fun projects lined up for this month.

My network has always been the best job search engine, so I would welcome any conversation that could lead to an interesting job opportunity, whether it be permanent or short-term.