Home » Careers » Page 4

Careers

Job hunting on your own vs. using a recruiter

A former coworker contacted me last week. He’d been employed in the same place for the last 16 or 17 years and he couldn’t remember how to look for a job. Who better to ask than a guy who’s changed jobs 9 times in the same timeframe? One obvious question to ask regards job hunting on your own vs. using a recruiter.

In fairness to myself, government contracting causes a lot of job-hopping. And in fairness to him, the game’s changed a lot since the last time he had to play. IT Recruiters existed back then, but back then when you wanted a new job, you found it yourself.

I still use both methods.

Read More »Job hunting on your own vs. using a recruiter

Non-competes and me

I’ve read the stories this week about how fast-food chains like Jimmy John’s are forcing employees to sign non-compete agreements.

I’ve been asked to sign a non-compete exactly twice in my career, and signed one once, but neither of them was back in my teenage fast-food days.

Read More »Non-competes and me

IT personnel and knowing things they aren’t supposed to know

On Slashdot, a newcomer to the IT field asked a really good question: What do you do to avoid seeing things you’re not supposed to see?

Clearly, some people do it better than others, but it seems to me it’s a fact of life that eventually you will see things you’re not supposed to see. How you handle it is the bigger problem.Read More »IT personnel and knowing things they aren’t supposed to know

Losing the luster of Christmas–and something of a cure

The Kansas City Star published a forlorn editorial this week about the struggles of many people this Christmas.

I can relate. I’m much better off than many people, but this is the third Christmas in a row where my job has a hard end date attached to it. And this year, for the first time in my career, I made less money than I did the year before. For me, Christmas has been the worst day of the year for a very long time, because I know I can’t live up to everyone’s expectations of me.

But I’m better off than a lot of people. Right now I have a job. Some of my former coworkers took bigger pay cuts than I did this year, or they’re still looking. And, as bad as this year has been, I think everyone needs to go without work for a month or so sometime in their life. I think I have something that can help, but I’m gonna make you read something first. Or at least scroll a lot.Read More »Losing the luster of Christmas–and something of a cure

What to do when the layoff comes

An IT pro I went to high school with–he was a year or two ahead of me, so we weren’t quite classmates–got a layoff letter this past week, along with the rest of his department. It was a large, successful company making purely a financial decision to offshore a bunch of jobs, and unfortunately he got caught in the crossfire. It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, so now’s as good of a time as any.

The details about his layoff and my layoffs are unimportant. What’s more important is what to do next. There are definitely things I know now that I wish I’d known years ago, so I’ll share them now.

Read More »What to do when the layoff comes

How to maximize a Computer Science degree

Yesterday an interesting question popped up on Slashdot, asking for an alternative to a computer science degree for an aspiring web developer. He complained that what he’s learning in class doesn’t relate to what he wants to do in the field.

Assuming that by “web developer” he means someone who can code stuff in ASP and/or PHP with a database backend and do stuff in Javascript–as opposed to a designer who just does HTML and CSS–I think he’s best off staying where he is and asking better questions.
Read More »How to maximize a Computer Science degree

How to get your first job in IT

I helped a friend of a former coworker with his resume this week. He’s looking to get their first jobs in IT, and found it difficult, even though he was applying for an entry-level helpdesk position.

His resume certainly indicated he was educated and able to hold down a job, but that wasn’t quite enough. Here’s what I had him do to beef up that resume to get past those initial rounds of screening and get interviewed.

Read More »How to get your first job in IT