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Following the McD's thread

(this http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=167588&ixReplies=13 thread)

After a seriously long unemployment period, what do you do to get back on your feet? What other jobs will you be looking for?  How can you reinvent yourself?

Any personal experiences are extremelly helpfull.
Thanks

RP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I was unemployed for 15 months after I lost my job at a famous dot.com.

What a waste of 15 months of my life. I got a handful of job interviews either from people scamming for free work, asking technical questions about my former employer's technology even after telling me I hadn't got the job or asking questions they didn't know the right answers to themselves.

The situation in London seems to be dominated by agencies advertising fake jobs and requiring 5 years each of 15 buzzwords and a PhD! The only employers I could find myself were the odd bod ones with odd bod projects.

In the end I got a job via a university graduate association job board. The pay is good, but the work technically compromised. Still I've managed to do sensible work for 40% of my time here and did the extra work to smooth out the stupidity of the design handed to me as much as I could.

Savage
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

How long has it been like that in London? The Register said that IT employment in the UK had reached a 2 year high. Are things that bad?

RP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

My knowledge of the recruitment market is 10 months ago since that was the last time I was looking for a job.

However it is a constant that there are a load of scummy agencies advertising for tens of years experience of 100 different buzzwords. I got such an email from a job agency yesterday.

I might have responded but the email said they greatly prefer people with PhDs.

Savage
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Hmmm. I'll be moving to London to live with my girlfriend. I definitely will need something to earn my pay.

RP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Don't ignore local newspapers if they have a good recruitment section. You are far more likely to see genuine jobs advertised there and they should be (reasonably) local.

You are always at a disadvantage applying for a job when you don't currently hold one. Try to turn that to your advantage by emphasising you can start the new job at very short notice. Worked for me after almost a decade out of IT....

Freddie boy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

IT is an umbrella that covers a multitude of dirty jobs, especially in London.

If someone is reporting a boom in open jobs in IT in London, I'd imagine they'd be at the lowest skill level.  There's the average steady requirement for middling developers and the usual outrageous requirements, such as 3 years of C#.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

well, i was off for 12 months.  i took a couple .net courses (while job searching), but didn't go through with the certification process.  i wish i had.

i also wish i'd started some independent projects...

Kenny
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Kenny, you living in London? What were your previous qualifications?

RP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Me too Kenny. I was unemployed for 15 months and I wish during that time I had done some independent projects. I just did one small project that took me a few weeks.

The thing was I didn't know how long I would be unemployed for and kept thinking I would get the next job I interviewed for, which I didn't. In the end I signed up for a part-time university course. The week after I signed up I got a full-time job which meant I had to cancel the course.

I jokingly think that maybe because I had resigned myself to do a part-time course I no longer cared about getting a job and so lost my desperate attitude, which meant I got offered a job at my next interview!

Savage
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

You guys are scaring me to death.

RP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I'm not saying this is an explanation of RP's situation specifically, but we'll be seeing a ton more of this over the coming decade, so it would be nice if some answers were found about how to transition to different ways to survive after the job is really gone.

Even now years after the dotcom stuff, there are still way too many people working in this business who don't have the right kind of brain for it, and ultimately they'll be out on the streets.  Reality is starting to sink in, and people are finally learning that throwing warm bodies and a "process" at an idea makes garbage, and takes too long to do it.  Lots of the more clued in money people are starting to notice that a few really good programmers can replace a team of 50 and their managers and make better stuff faster.  Even India can't offer that kind of economic payoff.  Eventually almost everyone will notice, and the people who don't will run their companies out of business.  That's a lot of unemployed people who used to make big salaries.

Meyal
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I don't even earn that much. All I need is a job, but this thread has gotten me depressed about moving to London.

RP
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"Lots of the more clued in money people are starting to notice that a few really good programmers can replace a team of 50 and their managers and make better stuff faster"

Do you have any documented proff of this?

AnonX
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

RP - situation is not that bad ...  my contractor friends reckon rates are going up (ie more demand), agents have started cold calling looking for candidates to put forward for jobs., throw a cv at a job ad and you get a response etc...

I'd say if you're not working then you're being a bit choosy ...

What sort of position are you looking for?
Co. I work for are recruiting ...

blargle
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"Do you have any documented proff of this?"

Anon, start with the beginning of the history of computer science and work your way forwards.

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

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