Sunday, December 8, 2013

Busy All The Way - Part 3

Days 5,6,7 (Working Day 3,4,5) since I am free.

Never thought that jobless days would be as busy or even more busy than a regular day at office.
With the number of calls and emails being answered, it is quite a tough time to catch up with everything.

While overall the prospects are looking good, it is definitely a period of apprehension. The motivation to keep going is the good feedback that I am getting from my Interviews. I finally stopped all job hunt on Friday and decided not to continue with it until Monday.

Some things that I did to focus on the search are

1) Configure outlook so that my emailing has an office feel to it (and also to get rid of the Yahoo blue indentation while replying or forwarding emails
2) Configure Google calendar to sync with my Android mobile phone. Gets me organised with tasks and meetings. The plus point is that SMS alerts can be set for the meetings and I will get the location and reminder by SMS even if I have turned of mobile data to preserve power.
3) Update email signature, linkedin profile.
4) Add numbers to phone contact list as soon as I receive a call.
5) Tweak SOHO for job search

Had a technical interview on Day 7, more details later.

So long, friends.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Busy All the way - Part 2

Day 4 (Working Day 2) since I am free.

Had an exhausting, but productive day with 2 interviews and two meet ups. More questions and more evaluations.

One was with a new recruitment agency for a role that was not probably a good fit in terms of my expectations, but it was really just an opportunity to meet with a recruitment agency representative for them to get to know more about you and the kind of opportunities that you are looking for. This gave me a chance as well to get to know the agency and its operations.

I was doing some research on laws in Australia for independent contractors and understood that there is a fair bit of paperwork to be taken care of. I found out about payroll or contractor management company and met up with CXC Global in Brisbane. ( Understood their high level operating model and it was quite reasonable, hence I signed up so that I do not miss out on any short term contract opportunities. And I am happy to source that paper work to people who know it well so that I can concentrate on my career.

Then I had a proper interview for a Dot Net role. Was quite an interesting one as the questions were more at a code level and I could see where I have knowledge and where I could do with a bit more of research. I reckon it is an occupational hazard of working more in products that we have some hiccups in our relationship with the "language of code".  

Another takeaway was to try and reverse the use of "we" instead of "I". Working in operations and especially as a vendor imbibes that habit in us to use "We" instead of "I" to convey that we are nothing but a representation of a team. There moments where I was asked in the interview to clarify the use of we and I guess it is a difficult feat to suppress what you have been practicing for quite a while. With the focus currently being given in many organisations for collective intelligence and then a sudden change in situation is in one way a good eye opener for you to think about gathering your thoughts on the "I" bits and the "We" bits separately so that one can be ready to face specific questions on individual and team contributions.

Story boarding and situation mapping is another area which requires a lot of attention while preparing for an interview. Because especially when you are applying for senior roles, a few of the technical questions will be situation based and the only way in which you can answer that question is to do a storyboard for the situation mapping to plausible technical solution elements. I am big fan of this method while I am delivering sessions, however, it is one thing when we are providing training, but when at an interview it could be one of those freezing points that fills  your head with static.

Packing these gems of wisdom in the backpack of my mind and moving on to the rest of my organised job search.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Busy all the way

Does lack of paid work make one less busy?
I guess it depends on personal nature, choices and circumstances.

Day 3 (Working day 1) since I'm free.

Had my first meet up with a potential employer who did not have a set role in mind which they were trying to fill. The reason was that I contacted them to check if they have any vacancies and though they did not have an advertised position, kept an open mind to talk to me and find out about what I can offer them for anything that might come up as potential opportunities. Because they had no present vacancy, for once the questions were about my abilities and finding the right place where I would fit in or the places I could be utilized.

I guess it was a good start for my full time job search period because such open questions initiate is more of an introspection than a session to implement the art of responding to interview questions. This is because I knew that they were not trying to tick off a checklist and so I did not have to fashion my answers against this real/imaginary checklist. Now that I think of it, I don't think I can even try to do that because, for me, I would always be happy about losing a job due to setting the right expectation compared to trying to match up-to a job gained through wrong expectations.

So for a person like myself who is quite deep when it comes to thinking about oneself, an open ended question like "what sort of role are you looking for?" is a multi-threaded  process. While i try to answer the question in the most appropriate way, it also creates a disturbance in the back of my mind on what exactly will I value in my next role and what are the options and trade offs that I am willing to consider.

Stability, career growth, remuneration, office amenities, work culture, ease of travel, technology relevance, role relevance, long term plans, location etc.. I am certainly not going to discuss my thoughts on these matters, it would be good for you to have a think bout the difference in weightage for each of  there parameters and how we will respond to theese queries. Bye for now.