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After hibernating in the job market for 8 years, I decided to get out and sense how things are now a days. I think it’s a very good idea, regardless if you want to leave your current job or not, to keep your resume updated and go for interviews at least once a year. I say this because of 3 reasons:

  1. You will get better in your interview skills
  2. The process of looking for a job and scoring an interview will force you to create and maintain a useful network
  3. You will get an honest appraisal of yourself (your skill sets)

Interview Skills:

This is more than just being able to answer what an EJB is or how to construct an inner class in Java. Organizations that are serious about values, forward looking and sophisticated are more inclined to hire people with “people skills”. Yea… don’t give me shit about Office Space’s “people skills” interview dialog. Those days of 1999-2000 are gone. You need a hair cut, brush your teeth and a proper attire. If you want to be a nerd or that cool geek, be my guest and chances are you would be looking for a job forever. If you have one already, you would never be promoted and when the time comes to reshuffle you would be the first one to go. If you found some “gig” and you think you are making a good progress, chances are the organization you work for is a small one or financially it’s not doing very good. Businesses now a days need people who can imagine and create solutions to a problem vs. solving a problem. And, if you are a “desi” (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, etc) like myself, we really need a lot of people skills :-). Of course, not all “desis” are same but a good majority would require a lot of changes. Here is a good site to work on your interview skills http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/a/wininterview.htm

Networking:

I don’t think I need to explain a lot on this. A good majority of you should know the importance of it and if you don’t I feel sorry for you. Go to all the local user group meetings that are some how tied to your job. Talk with people when you get out. Be the first one to introduce your self. Don’t hang up the phone when a recruiter calls you but don’t try to rely on them either. Use them find out the trend of the market, organizations that are hiring, etc. Find out about their policies before sharing all kinds of information. Be clear on what exactly you are looking for. Once again, don’t rely too much on them. Keep in touch with your old friends, old coworkers and even the contractors. Be nice with all of them all the time. You never know when you would need someone’s help. I was called by a very large organization for an interview because a contractor who worked with me a while back said good things to his friend who worked for that company. Strange thing is I happened to keep in touch with him via email once a year and he still cared and respected me. Online tools such as linkedin (www.linkedin.com) would help you a lot to create and manage your network. Give it a try and you will see what I mean. No… I don’t get any commission from that site.

Appraisal of skill sets:

This is not just about what you are worth in the market now a days. You will find out what you are missing, what you need to learn or know more, what is hot what is not, etc. So don’t get disheartened by rejection, take everything about the job searching process as a learning opportunity. If you do the gap analysis like, where you are in your career and where you want to go or what you have and what more you want, you will stay current with the market and well ahead of the average guys around you. Once again, skills are not just all the latest open source tools under Apache or Sourceforge. Learn all the latest about different development methodologies, if you are in the software industry. Learn about all leadership skills. Learn to imagine, think of multiple adaptable solutions to a problem. There is a difference between just solving a problem vs. creating solutions to a problem. Businesses can and (more likely) will pay cheap Indian Rupee or Chinese Yuan to solve a problem with functional specs. They will need top dollar earning Solutions Architects to imagine, who understand, think and talk both business and tech, who can provide futuristic solutions that are not time dependant, who can provide solutions that are dynamic. Now if you still think being a geek is cool, you can take care of “stuffs” and get “shit” done, once again be my guest, prove yourself. I haven’t seen a millionaire geek lately.

Cool job site:
http://www.indeed.com

 

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