Looking Out

I’ve forgotten how hard it is to look for a job.  I remember chatting with my colleagues several years ago.  They had updated resumes ready to go in case “something” happened.  They found time to network and to keep up with the industry.  Over time I stopped doing a lot of this.  Now I’m kicking myself for not carving out some time to do this.  Maybe I got too lazy.

But I can’t change the past so life goes on.

My sister lent me a book on resumes (she writes resumes for others as a sideline).  I compared some of them to mine and was aghast at how horrible mine was.  It wasn’t too long ago when I was the hiring manager reviewing resumes.  I spent about 10 to 15 seconds per resume.   I’m pretty sure most people spend even less time.  So I’m rewriting it again.  I think I’m going to have 2 basic versions.  One that focuses on transferable skills as I want to keep my options open.  And the other one with a focus on IT management skills.

And finally, I do get anxiety attacks – relatively mild.  I just take a few deep breaths and face them head on.  I started to freak out about my financial situation.  Then I took a good look again at my finances and assumed what would happened in a worst case scenario, best case and most likely case.  I felt better after that.

I still have a few weeks before they kick me out.  I better make the most out of my remaining time.

I’m not ready for a sugar daddy… yet.

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20 thoughts on “Looking Out

      • These were the types of things I should have found time to do. It’s not easy building up a resume from scratch. I stopped networking because I got tired of this industry and it’s also time consuming. But I should have paid a lot more attention to career planning. That’s why I’m disappointed.

      • Here’s 10 recommendations.

        1. Always have an updated resume / LinkedIn.

        While you’re still in Taiwan, get a head start on your job hunt. Get your resume & LinkedIn updated. Focus on accomplishments (awards, recognitions, promotions, things that can be quantified (like improve profit by x%, reduced error rates by x%, increased productivity by x%), skills that are adaptable to a variety of jobs and industries. Clean up any social media sites that might affect your job prospects.

        It’s easier to keep it updated while the data is still fresh.

        2. Identify resources (books, websites, workshops, mentors) that can help you with writing resumes, polishing your LinkedIn & interviewing skills. There are so many different styles of resumes out there – find out which ones will suit you and your targeted companies.

        3. Be prepared for gotcha type questions at your interviews
        – unexplained gaps in work / school (e.g.- It took 5 yrs to get my 4 yr degree because I had to work part time)
        – for you, you could say your trip to Taiwan was not only to learn Mandarin. Highlight your desire to learn the culture, adapt to new environment and the planning you undertook. You could have learned Mandarin by going to night school but this was a richer and life changing experience.

        4. Assuming you have a job, keep a list of skills you need to be successful at the job.
        e.g. Say one of the skills you need is helping people when they have questions about obtaining and renewing drivers license. Level 1 would be – I have a conceptual knowledge. Level 5 would be, I can explain this and can train others. Make up a list of skills that are relevant to the job and others that are transferable (writing, making presentations…). Figure out which skills you need to stay updated on. You don’t need to be an expert / level 5 at everything. Make time to update and improve yourself (like you’re doing now). I think I didn’t do enough of this especially when I was working 60 hrs a week.

        5. Stay updated about your company and the industry. Look at industry trends. If you’re in helpdesk, what are the latest tools? Who are the leaders in your field? How does your company are against the leaders? There are business magazines that you might want to become familiar with (Fortune, Forbes, Economist, WSJ, Bloomberg…)

        6. Stay in touch with others that might help you with your career and help others when they come to you.

        7. Understand the office politics in your workplace.

        8. Learn to manage your managers. Learn what your managers need and how to communicate to them. Each have different communication styles. And some are hopeless…

        9. Work Life balance (this was one of my weakness). Make time for yourself.

        10. Have an elevator speech ready. By that I mean a very concise way of telling an exec about something (yourself, project status, a problem etc…).

        Hope this helps.

      • You’re very welcome. Feel free to take what you need. Some are likely more relevant to you than others.

        I didn’t really know what to write when I first read your comment. After I got home last night, it sort of just came to me. It reads more like a list of my mistakes.

  1. Still wishing you the best in your job situation. Believing something good will come along soon. Don’t give up! Keep searching!
    You are way to young for a sugar daddy, Matt!
    I, however, am not. But, I haven’t found one, yet. 😉 😛
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  2. wait, i thought J is your sugar daddy? or it is the other way around? ;p
    honestly, networking is one of my weaknesses. i really am not a people person. not good at starting or continuing a conversation. prefer to just be the listener, as i tend to ramble when i got nothing to say. i’m more comfortable being the ‘behind the scene’ kinda guy who never need to be the center of attention.
    i do hope you stay positive, even when things seem rather upsetting to you. you and J have each other for an emotional support. that’s something that many people don’t have. i’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. hope the next job opportunity is in a very near future and one that would make you happy.

    • hahaha – no, J is younger than I am. Networking just for the sake of making a contact is not easy for me but I guess I’ll need to treat this as part of my career.

      Thanks for the good wishes – much appreciated.

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