April 11, 2012

Snippets and Snapshots

Today began with this article in my email:
I'd seen the study results saying recruiters only spend 6 seconds on each resume. This basically elaborates on where those 6 seconds are spent. I promptly reworked my resume, adding bolded subheadings that hopefully will draw attention to the actual work I did as opposed to simply the title I held.

Afterwards, I went about my day. I added my newly updated resume to job sites, searched those sites for potential positions, and applied if I found one even remotely close to my qualifications. That was the plan, anyway. I did get my resume updated on one site, and I did find several potential positions. What I did not find, upon closer inspection, were any even remotely close to my skillset. This prompted me to Google "junior DBA," which is the position I'd really like to have (a DBA is a Database Administrator). That's when I saw this article:

Note specifically the section in the red box. That's right, I'm screwed.

I'm smart, but I've made some really poor choices relating to my career and job hunt. I chose to put off the job hunt in favor of finishing school and helping my Dad (which I do NOT regret). The problem is, recruiters do not want to entertain the thought of hiring someone who's been out of work for over a year. They actually want someone who's currently working, because people who survived downsizing are the people who are really GOOD at what they do. They also haven't forgotten how to do it due to lack of use.

I chose to hold off on teaching myself the actual skills I would need to change careers. I thought I would have more time. I was tired from physical labor. I had trouble mentally wrapping my head around both school and self-directed learning. (FYI, I'm having to learn how be good at self-directed learning. Give me a class any day.) Now I find out I apparently chose the wrong skill set to learn anyway.

I understand these are excuses, and results are what matter. I understand I can't change the choices I've made. I can't make recruiters look past the time I've been unemployed. There's nothing I can do about that. What I can do is teach myself a skill that actually will help me get a job. If I need a job as a junior developer in order to get a job as a junior DBA, then that's what I'll do. A lot of the junior developer jobs I see posted are looking for .NET, so I'm switching my focus a little. I'm still going to play with the website I mentioned. I'm still going to learn PHP and SQL. I'll need those for the DBA position. I'm also going to learn .NET and C#, for the junior developer position. For those to which this is all gobble-de-gook, those achronyms are all programming languages.

I did have some good news today. In addition to the job hunt, I spent quite a bit of time gathering and scanning documents for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. I've actually been emailing back and forth with a live person, who told me We may still be able to help you for 15 months (MPA/mortgage payment assistance) total mortgage payment made by the program. Only barrier would be if your property is actually 5 or more units. That barrier is moot, since while my building does in fact have 8 units, I only own one of them. If this happens, and if my food stamp application goes through (the web site says the Department of Jobs and Family Services acknowledged receipt on the 9th, but I haven't heard anything from anyone yet), I may actually have the time I thought I did to study. The JFS will help me find a job, which may not be exactly the one I'm looking for but at this point any job will do.

I also ran close to 3 miles in very close to 30 minutes. Funny, since I almost talked myself out of going. I don't know the exact time and distance because my GPS went wonky again. It announced one mile at somewhere close to 2.5 miles, then announced 2 miles somewhere within 500 to 1K feet of 3 miles. This is a route I run often, so I know these things. The time spent running said 30.++ minutes, which I'm assuming really means I was close to 10-minute miles the whole way. I didn't feel quite so much like I was dying, either.

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