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coreybv
2009-Nov-19, 01:18 PM
Oh boy...

Well, the owner of the company I've worked for for the last 15 years called me into his office last night for a talk. I knew that our entire industry has been having a rough time for the last several years, but apparently we're doing even worse than I has suspected. Long story short, the company is going into "survival mode". Every expense that can be cut will be cut. This even includes our office. My task for the next few weeks is to move our IT infrastructure into his garage, where the company will now operate from with a minimal skeleton crew. Worse yet, I am now going to be working on an "as needed" basis. Being the highest paid employee, my salary is an attractive target for cost cutting. Basically that means that I'll be called in when something breaks, but the vast majority of what I do is "on hold". I'll be lucky to get 3 or 4 hours a week.

So, obviously, I'm now looking for a job. I know you're supposed to always keep your resume updated and ready to go. Heck, I give people that advice all the time, so I feel appropriately foolish for not having one on hand.

I guess the first thing I'm wondering is if there are any good resources online for putting together a good resume. I know what I see as positives and negatives when they come across my desk, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to brush up a bit in this area.

Also, are there any good online resources for locating open IT positions? So far I'm checking the local help wanted ads, hot jobs, monster.com, and dice.com. Missing anything?

Ugh. From what I've seen, there's pretty much nobody hiring right now. The jobs that are available are either in a highly specialized niche that I have no experience with, or are general helpdesk / support positions at less than half of what I've been making.

Things are going to be interesting for awhile...

Thanks in advance for any tips, hints, pointers, etc... anyone may have.

megrfl
2009-Nov-19, 01:30 PM
AstraZeneca. You can check out their job listings by state or country.

http://www.astrazeneca.com/careers/job-opportunities/

Buttercup
2009-Nov-19, 01:43 PM
:( Really sorry to know it. And I'm sorry but no, I don't have any advice off-hand. My best wishes are with you.

coreybv
2009-Nov-19, 03:17 PM
Thanks for the replies. Kind wishes mean a great deal at this point. The gravity of the situation is really starting to sink in this morning.

A month ago my wife and I were both making enough that either one of us could have supported us if the other became unemployed. This morning we're both sitting at home looking for new jobs. She became a victim of the economy a few weeks ago. The owners of her hotel decided that rather than having a general manager at each location, they'd have one person oversee all of their properties. The fact that this is a serious breach of their franchise agreement doesn't help us much at the moment.

Looking things over, it looks like we can get rent paid at the beginning of the month and buy a few weeks worth of groceries. Beyond that, the appropriate words to describe the situation would never clear the language filter... So while I am certainly hoping to find something in my field, the job search is open to anything and everything that will generate a paycheck. If one of us doesn't land something very soon, there's a real potential for not being able to put gas in the car to go to work even when we do find new employment.

Anyway, thanks for the space to vent. It helps keep my mind clear so that I can focus on the task at hand without panicking too much.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Nov-19, 03:22 PM
One advice is that if you can't find anything else, take the helpdesk job, everyone I've heard talk about it thinks it's a lot easier to find a job if you already have one, so accepting a sucky job for a while will give you a better chance of getting the one you want later.

Swift
2009-Nov-19, 03:31 PM
I guess the first thing I'm wondering is if there are any good resources online for putting together a good resume. I know what I see as positives and negatives when they come across my desk, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to brush up a bit in this area.

First coreybv, good luck. My wife has been looking for a few months. It is tough out there now.

Second, all the big job boards, like Monster and Careerbuilder have information about resume tips.

coreybv
2009-Nov-19, 03:54 PM
One advice is that if you can't find anything else, take the helpdesk job, everyone I've heard talk about it thinks it's a lot easier to find a job if you already have one, so accepting a sucky job for a while will give you a better chance of getting the one you want later.

Thanks, that's very good advice. Advice that I intend to take to heart. At this point I'll take anything that brings in money. I'm heading down to the local bar this evening to ask around about farmers in the area that might be looking for a hired hand. Haven't done much farm work since high school (20 some years ago), but I think this beat up old body can still handle physical labor for awhile. :)

The really frustrating part is how suddenly this all came on. A month ago we both thought our jobs were secure, and we both made enough individually to support the household if something were to happen to the other. The notion that we would both end up unemployed at the same time seemed ludicrous.

Oh well, that which doesn't kill us just makes us stronger, right?

jokergirl
2009-Nov-19, 04:05 PM
As an IT prof, how about starting your own and being consultant, based on the previous company as your first "customer"?
I realise that this brings a lot of its own problems and might not really be the best thing for your nerves. But it might actually help tide you over.

*hugs and sends good wishes*

;)

coreybv
2009-Nov-19, 04:19 PM
Thanks swift and jokergirl.

I've done the private consulting thing in the past. I'm plenty talented at what I do, but I've never been much of a salesman. The work is easy, but I struggle with bringing new clients on board. It is a goal I have in the long term, but I'm not quite sure how I could put together enough of a client base to get money rolling in soon enough.

That said, it's definitely a good idea. I think I'll put together some sort of an ad and at least post it on craigslist, and check into how much it will cost to run a few ads in the local papers. At this point even 20 bucks a pop for doing virus/spyware cleanup sounds better than nothing. :)

jokergirl
2009-Nov-19, 04:22 PM
*nods* Sounds like a good plan, as long as you don't give out your private phone number to those customers.

Check if there are any job network mingling events near where you live. I went to one yesterday (XING, for what it's worth - it's a European thing) and there were several people here who'd have hired me on the spot if I did IT support. That kind of network is worth solid gold.

;)

coreybv
2009-Nov-19, 04:34 PM
*nods* Sounds like a good plan, as long as you don't give out your private phone number to those customers.

Check if there are any job network mingling events near where you live. I went to one yesterday (XING, for what it's worth - it's a European thing) and there were several people here who'd have hired me on the spot if I did IT support. That kind of network is worth solid gold.

;)

Already have a separate google voice account set up just for the purpose. :D

I definitely need to check into some networking opportunities. One thing that I haven't mentioned is that my wife and I relocated a few months back (so that she could take this job, no less. grr...), so I don't really even know many people in the area. Just occured to me that perhaps it's time to go ahead and set up a LinkedIn account, too...

If I was still back home, this wouldn't be nearly as frightening. I know the lay of the land there well enough that I could have "something" in a few days. It's close enough that I've been able to keep my old job and work from home, running down every few weeks for things that need hands on attention, but it's too far away to commute every day. I may expand my search to include that market, though. I still have my house there, and could stay in town during the week and come back here to spend weekends with my family. Obviously I'd really like to avoid that if at all possible, though.

Fazor
2009-Nov-19, 04:41 PM
All I can really say is "good luck", and look for the silver lining. If there was anything that either of you two would rather have been doing for a living, now's a great time to pursue it.

jokergirl
2009-Nov-19, 04:45 PM
I noticed that there's a huge increase in "social entrepreneurs" (read: one-man/woman startups) right now. And almost all of them need IT support, even if it's just for setting up a server, or debugging their blog platform setup. They're often internet-based and huge on social networking, but not that deep into the tech aspect of the medium.

Maybe that's a lead?

;)

Buttercup
2009-Nov-19, 04:49 PM
Check your Private Messages inbox: I've sent you a link to a possible job lead. :)

ABR.
2009-Nov-19, 04:50 PM
Just in case you hadn't thought of such a thing...are there computer learning businesses in your geographic area? My wife took a break from teaching math a few years back and landed a job at one of the New Horizons branches where she taught computer applications such as Excel, Word, really all Microsoft products, many database packages, etc. They also had a number of courses on computer history, repair, and all things IT, if I remember correctly. My wife had no prior experience with computers, but they were excited to get a person who could teach. If we hadn't moved, she would still be working there.

With the downturn in the economy, I would think a lot of people would be turning to programs like this to develop computer skills so someone who already has the skills might find themselves in high demand.

In any case, good luck.

Fazor
2009-Nov-19, 04:52 PM
Brilliant ABR.! I like that idea.

My g/f has considered teaching photography on the side, but she has to either complete her BA., or wait until she's had a little more professional experience.

coreybv
2009-Nov-19, 05:02 PM
Thanks Buttercup! Much appreciated!

Good idea, ABR. I'll check into that. You're talking to a guy who took an extra year to finish college because he kept dropping the mandatory speech class, though. :lol: But I have had jobs that required me to conduct training classes, and I got through it. Was even told that I did a good job of it. I'll definitely see if there's something like that around here.

redshifter
2009-Nov-19, 11:32 PM
I got laid off last January from a job in the software industry. I went back to work last August.

Saving and looking over my annual perf reviews was probably the biggest help in putting together my resume. It really helped to remind me of all the accomplishments and to get them on a resume.

coreybv
2009-Nov-20, 10:37 PM
Well, some good news today! :)

My wife now has a job! We can live on what she'll be making, although it'll be tight. We won't be back to our usual lifestyle until I find something too, but at least we'll have a roof over our heads and food on the table until I land something.

On my end, I'm doing the whole job hunting routine. There are a few things that look promising, but with the job market as it is, I'm sure my pool of competition is very large.

ETA: Thanks again to everyone both for advice and for the kind words. I have several pages of ideas to follow up on. Some are ideas directly from others, some are things that occurred to me only because of something someone said. It's all very much appreciated.