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Every Day You See One More Card

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm technically still unemployed. It's weird, but that's what's happening. The #1 place was waiting on a references check yesterday before extending a formal offer and they couldn't reach anyone (pretty typical for after 1 PM on a Summer Friday in Boston) so the whole thing is still in limbo.

Which isn't horrible; it gives me a chance to reflect on the process and enjoy the whole thing. It also gives me a chance to regroup my head. I need some transitional Summer work clothes, the car needs to be inspected, there are things that have to get done and they are easier to do now so I'd better get cracking.

Monday is going to be, if that's at all possible, even nuttier than yesterday. On top of everything, I actually have a phone screen, still scheduled for 2:30 that day, with a wholly unrelated job (the Needham job I had mentioned previously). Of course I'll cut them loose, but not until after everything is settled with the other places. And if they don't settle by 2:30 well, I guess I'll do a phone screen. What the heck. Nothing to lose.

I also got the wireless router totally set up and the computer room is looking really sweet. I cleaned up and moved wires and now things can actually be found without too much trauma. My husband was actually on at the same time as me earlier this morning and that's exactly what we both wanted all along. We will be able to work at home at the same time, and if I get a laptop it will also hook in nicely with the wireless connection. It's golden.

These are the times to remember when life gets discouraging. I'm going to bank this feeling and take withdrawals when I'm feeling low.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 6/21/2008 11:42AM

    Our very professional computer room has, of course, a set up ironing board and a bookcase full of baseball trivia books. :)

Setting up wireless was surprisingly easy. We have a Vista PC and an XP and they both were done in about a half an hour. The longest time was spent trying to figure out how to get the wires to go (there are a few wires) so that no one would trip.

Todd -- that's what the bank's for.

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RATSAMONGUS 6/21/2008 11:16AM

    You set up your wireless yourself? You ROCK! I am so jealous! I need to go wireless and am pondering a laptop too but I have not kept up with my computer prowess and so now I need to have someone else set it up for me. arghhh.. lol Your computer room sounds awesome!

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THEOTHERHALF 6/21/2008 10:24AM

    Your last sentence is something we should all ponder and use - thanks - I need to make a withdrawal - Todd

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It's Your Business if You Want Some, Take Some

Friday, June 20, 2008

Man oh man how the world changes in 24 hours.

At 10:30 this morning I heard from the place that gave me the lousy offer. Since I had not yet heard from the #1 choice, I chatted with the guy at that place and pointed out that standard pay for my skill set is about $10k more than they were offering.

Well, the guy caved so fast I realized immediately I should have asked for more. He sent over a new offer letter and, sure enough, it was for $10k more.

Then he called again, at 11:15, just in case I had heard yet from #1 (I hadn't). The guy really wants to get me into a place where they do regulatory work. I'm not 100% qualified -- or at least I think I'm not, though I'm not telling him that -- but he seems to think I am. In any event, his colleague had told me about this back on 6/4 and it was already a rush then so it must be mondo-urgent right now. If I was all --and only -- about the money, I'd be leaning on him even more. I can smell blood in the water.

But it's not just about the bucks. It's about benefits, which are far better at choice #1, and it's about stability, which #1 has in buckets. For this other place -- I'll call it #2 to keep things clear -- is where they loan you out to other companies. That's all well and good (it's what I was doing in my last gig), but if they can't place you, eventually you're just not profitable to them, and you get laid off. This is what happened to me in the last place so I am determined to not be burned again. If #2 hires me without a concrete assignment (let's say I don't get the regulatory gig) then the clock starts to tick. How long would they hold onto me and my salary? A month? Two? It's hard to say whether July would be a good job hunting ground. The positives are that it's the start of the fiscal year (and brand-spankin' new budgets) for most places but the negatives are that the summer is usually an abysmal time to be looking for work in Boston.

But that doesn't get to talking about #1. Shift gears.

The recruiter on #1 called at about noon. There's an offer pending a references check. Great! But, of course, it's Friday afternoon so no one's in. I tell her I have another offer (though I don't tell her for how much). We talk money. She throws out a figure, asks if that would ice it. I say, "I think so." The figure is $3k more than #2 but frankly I'd be fine even with as low as $2k less than #2 as the benefits and the stability mean that much to me. I don't tell her that but we part amicably.

Other calls come in, from other places, including the cypher company. Now that I'm suddenly almost engaged, it seems the suitors are coming out of the woodwork. Nothing's breaking my focus.

1:30 PM - the recruiter for #1 calls again. She's sure that nothing will happen until Monday. Can I hold out until then? Sure, I say. She tells me she thinks the salary won't top out as high as she'd hoped (e. g. $3k more than #2). Not a total loss, I figure, though I don't tell her that. She wishes me a nice weekend.

Then I start doing everything I can to take my mind off things. I call my mother. I go and put gas in the car. I prepare lunch. I read the paper. And now, 4 PM, here I am.

Poor recruiter for #2 will not be getting a call from me today unless I hear the final yes from #1, which at this point I'm doubting will happen today.

Monday is my day. I can feel it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RATSAMONGUS 6/21/2008 10:47AM

    This is getting exciting, lol.. how nice to have so much going on. And so true, it does seem like when you are not looking, that's when it all comes around. What's up with that? :) Hang in there, it's getting down to the wire now. Hoping you get what you are asking and then some!

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JESPAH 6/21/2008 9:43AM

    I had no idea I had it in me, to be honest.

I used to work as a lawyer and had to negotiate all the time, and I hated it and had zero confidence in my abilities. Now it's a whole other ballgame. I feel great and I'm sure it shows in that area, too.

Frankly, the thing I have to remind myself of these days is that I've still got a ways to go -- 60 lbs. off is lovely but is not even 1/3 of the way to the finish line. But I'm gettin' there. :)

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APRILSMILEY 6/20/2008 11:02PM

    rock~n~roll! btw I'm taking copious notes... I have A LOT to learn... awesome negotiating =) thx-A

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KARBIE18 6/20/2008 10:43PM

    Prayers and good wishes from me as well. Never knew being wanted could be so much work!


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TUESDAYS 6/20/2008 10:32PM

    You go! Wheew... all those negotiations make my head hurt. I hate bein' in that place --- and why does it always happen over the weekend?? LOL! I think Monday's your day too. Just be clear about what you want and make them fill YOUR dance card. I'm saying a prayer for you.

Looking forward to the concrete news!.....

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THEOTHERHALF 6/20/2008 7:45PM

    I'll be sending positive thoughts your way on Monday - continued good luck - Todd

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Boy You Can't Play Me That Way

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well, I got the offer from the loan out place yesterday, and it was less than stellar. In fact, it was lousy -- $1,000 less than I made at my last job and now of course gas (and in the Winter, heating oil will also be, I'm sure) is through the roof. So I would be losing money on the deal.

Better to hang on until the fiscal year begins and see what opens up -- academia jobs will probably really open up then. Here, of course, gown (of town and gown) is a pretty large employer. Hence that's an option.

And, I still haven't heard from the place where I had two interviews. They are still my top choice and if the money is good -- as in, at least $5,000 better than this one -- I'll take it. In the meantime, I'll also see if I can get anything else out of the loan out company as I'm sure this is an opening salvo and so perhaps I can push it for something decent.

As for the others -- the cypher, the Brighton place, the Needham place, the medical place and the temp Boston place, I have a phone screen with Needham today. For the others, I can send some emails, let them know that I have an offer on the table (they don't have to know that the offer stinks and I won't be taking it) so I'll see if I can get them to move more quickly. The hire out place certainly isn't dictating anything to me right now (they'll call on Friday but I won't duck their call or anything) but I would like to push this along and get some resolution.

If resolution isn't favorable, say, the two-times interview place says no, the hire out place doesn't significantly budge on money and the other five fizzle, it'll be close to the start of the fiscal year (only 8 business days from today) so I can sit tight and then start afresh. I have an overhauled resume, my cover letters are in the process of being updated/upgraded and I can still afford to live on Unemployment.

They can't play me for a fool.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 6/20/2008 10:49AM

    Today so far is proving interesting. Man, I had no idea I was such a negotiator. In fact, the dude caved so fast I bet I coulda asked for more. But let's just say that the place with the offer is now back on the table.

My head is spinnin'!

PS Still waiting to hear from choice numero uno. Eep!

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EMMASMART 6/19/2008 11:29PM

    Hey, mercury is out of retrograde. Tomorrow will be better than today was.


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JESPAH 6/19/2008 12:11PM

    I should have Unemployment at least until the Election, even without counting a possible extension.

In prior years, I'd've just jumped at the chance to work and swallowed my resentment. No longer.

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WOODLANDMYST 6/19/2008 11:49AM

  As long as your unemployment is still available, I have to agree - hold out for what you want. Blessings! Cyndy

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JESPAH 6/19/2008 11:45AM

    Thanks! I've told 5 places that I have an offer -- no need to tell the place that made the offer and no need to tell the place where I've interviewed twice. So ... I can relax. Maybe I'll go watch the parade on TV (Celtics victory thing -- I am SO glad I'm not going downtown today!).

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THEOTHERHALF 6/19/2008 11:24AM

    Keep the faith and hold out for what you really want - sending good thoughts your way - Todd

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And as I Continue You Know They're Getting Sweeter

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I think I'll be working soon.

I really do. No matter what, today I'm getting an offer so something is happening. The reason why I know this is because this is a company where you are hired but they loan you out to other companies. My last job was like that, and it worked out okay, but as is probably obvious, I'm a bit skeptical and so I am looking for something better, but this would not be a horrible way to land.

The advantages of this place are, well, first off that they want me, but also that you get to go a lot of places and learn new things. This means making contacts and that doesn't hurt, either. At my last job, the two main beefs I had were (1) the pay was lousy and the raises were terrible (so I'll know that about this place pretty much immediately, but I don't think it'll be an issue) and (2) once I got on the bench (e. g. the assignment ended), they could not find me anything suitable in the area, and after 3 weeks I was laid off. I fear something similar happening. While there are no guarantees, one thing that is helpful is that this group is strictly Southern New England so the places I'd be sent won't be super-far. Still, New Haven or Hartford would mean me living in an apartment during the week, and that's the last thing I want to do. Even if they paid me extra and all of that, I just don't want to be away, particularly taking my ill relative into consideration. So I need to ask a lot of questions today, about how committed both sides will be, and see if I can extract an assurance that I'd get work close by and not off in Oshkosh.

But there are four others (hence the song; the Harry Potter theme is just for added weirdness). One is pretty much unknown except that I know it's temp and in Boston, but they want my skill set and it's in financial services. So that one's a cypher. The third is in Needham, which isn't a horrible commute but with the price of gas that will loom large. They're doing a phone screen with me tomorrow and that may turn into a face to face next week if all goes well. I don't know how I feel about them; a lot will end up depending on salary, I hate to say, because I could see myself filling the gas tank every 3 or 4 days and that's $80 every time.

The fourth is in my same area of Boston, Brighton. It's not exactly in walking distance, at least not yet, given my fitness level, but it's not bad and so would be something to strive for. I don't have much about them yet and it's possible the easy commute is dazzling me.

The fifth is the place where I interviewed twice already: I'm expecting to hear by the end of this week, as to whether they will hire me.

And -- heh -- there are actually two others, now that I think about them. One is a place in Waltham which wants my skills but may or may not have an actual job. Waltham is closer than Needham so the price of gas is less of an issue but not absent as an issue. Then the last one is with a medical place, again doing data analysis. I don't know how well qualified I am for it but it's a possible fit.

So my five -- I mean seven -- prospects are very real and right now I'm more than a little nuts with all of the adulation. I realize that I have to pull back because right now my brain just can't process any more than this. So I'll pull back and not apply anywhere else until a few more things start to resolve themselves, one way or the other. I suspect that #6 and #7 are not going to go anywhere, and the cypher and the Brighton place might also fall by the wayside. That would leave Needham, the hiring out company and the place where I've interviewed twice. Of those three, I'd say I've listed them in reverse preference order, but my mind might change if money or commute or other circumstances intervene.

No matter what, I'm going to see if the hiring out place can hold off on me giving them a decision until Friday, 6/27. That might be a pipe dream and they might balk at that, but I have to see how things play out -- although if the place that interviewed me twice says yes on Friday the 20th, I'll be set then, assuming all of the planets align and all of that.

Something's happening. I will be somewhere, and soon. But where?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 6/18/2008 11:02AM

    Definitely. I don't think I've ever had a job search quite like this one before. Even in '00, when if you'd even heard of IT you could get hired, was not like this.

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THEOTHERHALF 6/18/2008 10:59AM

    Good luck no matter what you decide - at least it is nice to have options! Todd

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No Such Day as Tomorrow, Only One Two Three Go!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Man, I'm bushed after yesterday. But why am I not sleeping? Because (a) a recruiter called at 9 and it was a good job so (b) I had to get online to email him my references and then of course (c) I was confronted with all of the things I have set for myself to do today.

It was slow at the start of last week, but now, man, it's definitely not. Yesterday was a lot of walking -- way more than the hour I recorded -- and I'd love to sleep. But everyone wants something, plus I have to answer the half a dozen phone calls I got yesterday.

It's good to be busy and for so much interest to be shown in me but it's hard, given my state of wakefulness, to keep it all organized and straight. I have a phone call at 3 today, then tomorrow another recruiter meeting. Then -- what? Somewhere in there, a phone screen for one place, maybe also for the place I was called about this morning.

Plus my site got very, very needy last night and somewhere in there I have to work on that. I wish I could pass that off to the weekend but I don't think I'll be able to.

I ordered a wireless router and it arrived yesterday. There's no way I'm playing with it until the weekend, if then. I need to sleep. I know my body needs it. Too many demands. Too much going on. Slow down. Oof.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMMASMART 6/17/2008 9:03PM

    This sounds excellant to me make sure you get a good nights sleep. You may be working soon.


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JESPAH 6/17/2008 8:07PM

    I took about a 3-hour nap today once everything was done, and boy was it delightful. :)

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THEOTHERHALF 6/17/2008 6:44PM

    Balance, Balance - gotta think about balance and you definitely need sleep if you are to stay healthy - I know that one from personal experience! Good luck on getting everything accomplished but remember you are only 1 person and you can't do it all and remain healthy! Todd

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