Monday, August 26, 2013


So, a funny thing happened to me recently. They came and told me I didn't have a job anymore. I said a few goodbyes and packed my stuff up and left. I hesitated to say anything here, but I figure I should since you might think this would mean more time for blogging, but it's not really turned out that way. I seem to be blogging less. Looking for a job is a full time job. And when I take a break, blogging is not high on my list. I suspect it will ebb and flow.

I'm not ready to hit the panic button today, but I'm taking some cost cutting measures - no more lawn service, reducing my cable bill, stopped contributing to my daughter's college fund, stopped making additional payments toward my mortgage principle, etc. I didn't spend a lot on gas, but that should go down a little since I will be at the house. Also, my lunch expense should go way down since I used to eat out almost every weekday. Discretionary spending will grind to a halt. For example, the family routine of stopping at Starbucks on the way to church every Sunday has stopped. I probably won't run as many races (at $25-30 per) and when I do I'm going to register early to get the discounts.

You might also think this would be a good time to work on my Extra. I thought about that, but I've decided to look at some IT certifications. My recent background is general IT management in manufacturing. Given the change in/decline of manufacturing, I'd be open to working in other industries and for smaller companies. I think my first step will be getting the ITIL Foundation certification. If I want to be more technical, it looks like the CCENT is just one test and the CCNA is two. (I have an old, old MCSE and an even older Novell cert, but nothing from Cisco.) There is also a CompTIA Green IT cert that might be interesting.

Since my parents and my wife's parents are in Knoxville, I'm focusing here for now. I'd really hate to move away. I've been looking around and applied for a couple of positions, but no interviews yet. (I'm not to this point yet, but maybe next week.)

I should add that it has been very humbling to reach out to old friends, co-workers, and classmates and receive so many words of encouragement and offers of help.

Thanks for letting me vent a little. And to reuse a line from a comment I made on another blog... posting will be more or less frequent than usual. So, sorry in advance if I don't get back to you right away.


  1. Sorry to read that you have lost your job, good luck with finding a new one!

    1. Thanks! I hope it will all work out for the better and is just a matter of time. A relatively short amount of time would be better, of course. ;)

  2. I've been there sir. My last IT position was with a formerly large formerly online company with a big yellow running mascot (not to name names). When they decided to lay off, oh, I don't know, about 75% of their workforce a few years back, I was without employment for the longest period so far in my working life. 3 1/2 months.

    The early stages of my job hunt (which actually started 6 weeks before, since I had some notice) were somewhat fruitless. I finally decided to scrap my resume, and create a brand new one, using no pre-existing templates, but my own design based on looking through a dozen-or-so examples that intrigued me. I took an entire day, and sat in a Panera Bread (keeping a steady flow of drink and food so that they would not accuse me of loitering), and wrote the resume that landed me my current position. In the end, I picked this position over 2 other offers. When it rains it pours.

    Keep a positive attitude, and you'll be fine. Oh, and I obtained this position (and others before it) sans certifications. I have great references, and a nice portfolio of unique IT projects I have overseen. This is what people want. A tested employee with verifiable accomplishments.

    1. Neil,

      Thanks for the note and encouragement. I've been reading "resume" advice and tweaking mine. So far, the best piece of advice I've gotten is that you have to pass the six second test. Recruiters/hiring managers get so many resumes that your resume has to make an impression within six seconds or they move to the next one. No pressure there!

      I thought the certs might help me answer the questions about what have I been doing with my time "off". I was unemployed after I went back to school, but finished my dissertation just as I found work. That was pretty good timing. We'll see what happens this time around...


    2. I was going to suggest an eye-catching video resume, with a snappy dance routine, but unfortunately Miley stole my idea last night. But seriously, if you want a copy of mine, I'll gladly email it somewhere. You can pop me a message if you like: neil(at)neilgoldstein(dot)com.

    3. I had that same thought, but then decided to sing a song about Friday.

  3. Been down this road twice in my life, once with a lot of warning, and another with zero warning on a Monday morning. Anyway, every job I got a interview for I basically wrote and tailored my resume to that position. I think the days of just have "A" resume are over. I had several that I used, and tweaked for every position I applied for after a month of nothing.
    I hope you find something soon! I really enjoy reading your blog and check on it every day for a update as well as Han's.

    1. The more I talk with people, the more I realize (unfortunately) what a common thing this is.

      I'd rather customize the resume and cover letter in the hopes that a person looks at it than try to beat these HRIS recruiting filters/systems.

      Thanks for the message and for reading!

    2. Bad Bet.
      Even though I'm a Systems Engineer I see up to a dozen resumes a week and do several phone interviews a week. For me to see a resume it has been captured in a database, indexed for terminology and then popped up against a query searching to fill the requirements of a requisition.
      Resume scanning is the norm. Has been for more than a decade. Make it pleasing to the eye, but keep the font simple and standard, use bullet points. Short, functional sentences.
      If there is a requisition for a CCISP with a security clearance then you better have those strings on your resume. Military service is usually a good thing.
      Personal note: unlike the advice given by some resume writers, I react positively to such entries as Eagle Scout, NASAR certs (Search & Rescue).

  4. Are you on LinkedIn? Can't see you there. That's a great resource for jobs.

  5. You can pass the 6 second test by starting off with a snappy description about your professional self. Mine starts with (quickly translated from dutch): "I was in the IT bussiness when internet still didn't exist and configured my first computer when I was 14 years old.". It then goes on for a few lines about how broad my IT knowledge is. That will get their attention in most cases. ;)

    And the Linkedin suggestion is a good one. But don;t forget the HAM connection too. Many HAM's are in quite good technical spots in the industry.

    BTW, I'm now working for CGI(.com), if I can do anything for you I am more than happy to see how they respond to my question about getting someone an interview in the US while I am based in the Netherlands. :))))

    Robert (at)

    1. I have a similar start... it is few bullet points (just a few words each) laying out my experience and education. It has a little more detail than my Twitter Resume -

      I am working LinkedIn hard... I'm tracking my contacts in a spreadsheet, so I know when I talked with them -- I hate to annoy anyone, but I will follow-up after a reasonable amount of time has passed. I think LinkedIn will be great when I really want to target a specific company/job.

      I checked CGI, but there isn't anything in Tennessee. I'll keep any eye out. Your are on my list now! Thanks!

  6. Sorry about the work news and good luck for the future, as well as a big ten four to Mike for any help he can give.

    This resonated with me as being a TV technician and employed at a small country tv station for 11 years then getting a nearly instant go home now! I had all ways thought the company would see me right and be able to offer an alternative which is way I quit self employment and went to work for them in the first place as a larger australia wide. Not to be. I felt gutted and totally of no value at all, even my honest extra efforts and time spent over the years was all for nothing!

    Anyway I had to move 1/2 way across Australia to Sydney to get a job in a similar industry and my wife and I actually love it. I am now an tech for 4.7 million people and not the pissy 100K as previous. Separation from family is hard but one has to do what one has to do. I had this reliance on my employer and it was all just dust in the end. Very upsetting.

    Anyway after several adventures and near desperation we have survived and are probably stronger and better off than originally.

    All the best buddy from down under.

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