Sorry these are coming so late. We are having a pretty low key Christmas, with agreed upon spending limits and in one case, foregoing gift exchange altogether this year.
- Lego Agent sets
- Lego Star Wars sets
- A WebKinz eagle or a snake
- Lego Agent sets
- Lego Star Wars sets
- The new J.K. Rowling book, about Beedle the Bard
- Any of the Heinleins Juveniles or Andre Norton’s YA titles (I want to introduce him to these)
- Ben 10 Alien Force for the Wii
Getting the boys to come with ideas has been like pulling teeth this year, hence the brevity of their lists. Really, anything Pokemon, Star Wars or Harry Potter will go over well with them. Neither of them have any of the Agent sets from Lego so that is probably the safety bet when it comes to Lego kits. They have tons of Star Wars and Bionicle sets, they tend to buy those on their own with their allowance. Though it is Lego and most of what they get ends up in the massive bin within a week so duplicates aren’t a big deal.
Gift certificates for Barnes and Noble for the boys are also appreciated since we enjoy the experience of going to the book store and picking out something new for them to read.
I would also appreciate any contributions to their 529 accounts. Email me for details if you are interested.
Andrea’s and my Amazon lists are up to date. Andrea is also interested in a gift certificate for Knit Picks since she has gotten more into knitting. I also would appreciate gift certificates for ThinkGeek since I always ogle the catalog but never given into the frivolity.
After I received the job offer I wrote about in my last post, I received two more offers. It is funny, not necessarily “ha ha”, how the damn burst once I got that first offer. The other two offers came from companies that found me, rather than ones I found and to whom I applied. One of them is a large government contractor with a respectable history in aerospace and defense. I got a couple more contacts from high profile software companies after I received that first offer.
I won’t complain about the lateness of the offers and peak in interest. That is just the way of things. I am just grateful that my patience, optimism, and perseverance were ultimately rewarded especially considering the general state of the market.
I considered the offers for a few days and accepted one. I start work at that new job on Monday. I am understandably relieved though the new payroll is monthly and the start date ideally should have been a week ago to mesh seamlessly with our budget. We have enough in savings to bridge the gap but it reinforces that this will simply be a lean holiday season.
The new company makes educational software, is several years old, and has a large customer base. They are well recognized in their space but still small and growing. My role there will be a technical one with team management responsibilities. The environment is very similar to my favorite jobs over the past ten years. The role is also consistent with my professional development to date.
The best news I have had in just over two months. One of the companies I have been courting made an offer last night. Given where the company is at in its growth, the role and, to be honest, the state of the market and economy, it is a very reasonable offer. I have not accepted, yet, but have committed to make a decision this coming week. I have already started notifying the other leads I have been pursuing. I will be calling the rest first thing on Monday, since at least one has scheduled an interview for this coming week which we may want to either expedite or cancel.
The employer making the offer has impressed me from the start, not in the least because they moved very quickly and professionally throughout the interview process. The role is very consistent with the leadership responsibilities I have enjoyed throughout much of my career and maintains a central focus on the programming work. There is also a unique window because of the timing that will actually allow me to learn about their product and code before having to start leading a team. A little bit of a perfect storm.
I’ll post later in the week when I submit my decision but you can guess based on my writing so far how excited and relieved I am right now.
The timing of the offer is also serendipitous because Andrea and I get to keep our plans for an overnight trip this weekend, too, to celebrate our anniversary and spend time with friends. We had been preparing to cancel during the last couple of days due to the budgeting impact. This trip will be a nice reward for the rigors of the search and to celebrate the possibility of this new opportunity about which I am very excited.
I have completed three in person interviews this week, two alone today. I have another in person interview, tomorrow, and am trying to schedule a phone call to talk to someone I didn’t get to meet at my interview on Monday. These are all new prospects that have just developed in the last couple of weeks.
A couple of people I have talked to have remarked that many people looking for work right now are failing to secure any interviews. When I start to feel anxious about being unemployed and not having any reasonable offers, yet, this thought gives me some comfort. It also validates my theory that I am as strong a candidate as in past searches but that job market is very depressed and moving very slowly.
As far as I can tell, all of the interviews this week so far went well. The one this morning will require a second interview which I hope to secure and schedule this week. The one tomorrow morning also will require a second interview and I am equally optimistic about that.
Given this spike, it seems reasonable I may have some solid options by the end of the month. I am broadening my search and considering more leads than I normally would to increase my odds. Hopefully I can pin down a few more interviews next week to keep the momentum going until I have something firm in hand.
In this case, no news is exactly that, no news. I still have a small number of leads that may make decisions this week. I’d gladly accept an offer from any of them. I know I have said, in other places, pretty much the same thing last week and the week before. This is the nature of seeking employment, all I can do is present myself well. The decision making processing is out of my control after I’ve sent in the resume, completed the phone screen, and gone in for the interview.
In the meantime, I am back to sifting through the job boards and sending out applications and resumes. I found over a half a dozen interesting opportunities for which I think I am well qualified yesterday alone. I’m sure I’ll suss out a handful more by the end of the week. Hopefully some of those will also net me more phone screens and interviews. The more lines I have in the water, the more likely I am to catch a fish.
If I get down to the end of my resources, I still have options. At the moment, I am being selective in the jobs I pursue. I am looking for the next permanent job for myself, not just something to pay the bills right now. In another couple of months, I will have to shift focus to something simply to make ends meet. In the DC metro area there is a lot of contract work of varying durations, for most of which I am very well qualified. Most of the cold calls I am getting from recruiters are for such contract positions.
I am still hopeful, despite the state of the economy and some belt tightening amongst my preferred employers, start ups, that I will find my next permanent job. If not, I am confident I can secure what I need to keep looking a longer term basis until I do.
By the way, if your employer is looking or you know someone who is looking for a developer well versed in building database drive enterprise and web applications, you can find my resume here.
I am starting week five of the search. Each of the past four weeks I have been busy with sifting through job listings, being screened on phone calls, and participating in face to face interviews. I’ve had only one offer so far, which I declined because it would require re-location, which I am not considering at this time. I have a couple of leads that are very far along but no offers, even verbal, as of yet.
Yesterday was an especially long day. I met with a new recruiter in Virginia, then fielded about a dozen more calls while sitting in my car after lunch. The sequence of calls was something like take one call and hear the call waiting tone, finish that call and check voice mail, hear call waiting tones while listening to the voice mail. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I had a final on site interview with my most promising prospect. I think it went well and the CEO and founder of the company paid me several compliments. He also answered the few concerns I had about the management and future roadmap of the company. Despite the nearly hour long commute, all by metro at least, I am pretty excited about this opportunity. I have to call the recruiter who brought it to me later today, I may have some good news as soon as the end of day, maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.
Since I was in Virginia, I brought some takeout over to my friends, Paul and Martha, who are brand new parents. I got to meet their new daughter, Eliza, aka Darth BonBon. I learned that Andrea is not the only one who has retained the magic baby touch as I unconsciously coddled Eliza into a deep sleep right before bath time.
Paul and Martha were very gracious when I somewhat impolitely took my last call of the day. Given that it sounds like a couple of leads may float offers this week, I have been trying to move the others along to a point where I think they might make a counter offer, when the first offers come, or I can rule them out.
I am still thinking over that call but I am leaning towards putting that lead into the latter category. This was also with a CEO and the study in contrasts is striking. The CEO of the earlier interview was focused and had quick, ready answers for my questions. The one I spoke with on the phone later last night was rambling all over the place. He shared some other thoughts about which I am concerned but it really boils down to a general lack of coherence in the business plan, or at least in his ability to communicate it which might as well be the same thing.
If I am able to become employed again, this week or next, then Andrea and I can actually go ahead with some travel we’ve been contemplating and thinking we’d have to decline. Needless to say, we are both eager for this to be over, if not now, then soon.
I am a few days into week three. I have submitted my severance paperwork but received no confirmation. I am considering calling HR at the corporate offices, again, since not knowing interferes with my ability to claim unemployment in Maryland. I’d rather have the severance but this question was effective last time I called to get my severance letter sent out and the waiver for the package actually compiled and sent, too.
I am getting anxious because I don’t know if my severance will be paid and if it will, when. My last paycheck was paid on time and in good faith, so I am optimistic but I have nothing, written or verbal, to go on. This frustrates and frightens me.
On the search front, I have had one verbal offer but turned it down as it required re-location. It was a lead I got through a personal referral and the whole process, even my decision to decline, was very friendly. I have a couple of leads for which I’ve completed a interviews and am now waiting on offers. I heard from both today and hope to either get offers or thank-you-anyway notes soon.
Each day I pore through the job sites and other resources and send out a few more resumes. One I sent last week netted a phone screen tomorrow. Nothing else I’ve sent out in the past week has generated any responses. The opportunities I am finding are interesting, jobs I’d really like to do like building the technology to support a political action platform or doing the same for a social media concern.
Keep your fingers crossed, first and foremost that my severance arrives soon.
I lost my job on Monday. Most of my family follows me on at least one social site but I figured I’d post an update for the rest who do not.
This is the first time I have lost a job, rather than leaving of my own volition. I wish I could say it was a reduction in force but it was not and I am not going to speculate in public further.
I have updated my resume. I had an immense amount of help in punching it up and editing it for correctness. Huge thanks to J.R., Allie, Paul and Alex (none of whom knew previously that this site existed, I think, but I cannot thank them enough).
I already have an interview lined up, first thing tomorrow, and a handful of people have my resume to shop around either with their own employer or interesting prospects within their own network. Paul and Martha, local friends here in the DC Metro area, are going gangbusters on the internal job boards at their very large local employers. I haven’t even had a chance, yet, to create the necessary profiles to follow up, let alone sift through the stuff they have sent me.
I have re-activated my profile on one job site, so far. I have to do so on a few more. Just on that one site, though, I have already gotten a handful of hits. One of them was the interview I landed for tomorrow. I haven’t even had a chance to perform my own active searches yet.
Given how fast things are going, I am cautiously optimistic. At all events, I am hugely grateful for the enormous support from my local friends, online friends, and acquaintances. My social network has expanded immensely in the last three years, largely through my podcast, and I am amazed at the depth and breadth of support that has provided in this stressful time of need.
I tried mailing this, but for those that received it, your mailer may have split the link across two lines, breaking it. Click here to see my Amazon wish list. Hopefully that will work better.