25 February 2010

Gaining Momentum?

Good day, everyone. The job hunt is of course an on-going battle until I land a job. I thought perhaps I should share some knowledge I've been gaining based on reading some books and researching things on Google.

Getting started and staying organized:

Everything I read states that is basically imperative to find this mystery person known as the hiring manager. HR is there to screen you out, not hire you for the job. (That is the job of the hiring manager, hence "hiring manager.")

So, it's time to get our heads out of our safe, little turtle shells and take some action! Apparently people don't get jobs by just laying around all day becoming one with the couch. Nope! I myself am working on it. Getting out of my own comfort zone, calling people I don't know, being as proactive as I can currently. That's what I'm striving for.

I thought some links might help you with finding the mysterious hiring manager:

Career Adventure: note that there are 4 articles regarding "Job Search Tip: Finding the Hiring Manager." I suggest reading them as they are short, but having possible immediate impact. Tip #3 is about using LinkedIn in your quest.

Quintessential Careers: practical ways to get the information you are looking for.

Beyond: more thoughts on finding him/her.

I hope this helps your search. I am mulling over some other strategies to employ. One idea is forming a job hunting club. Care to join? Let me know. If you know somebody who may want to join me, let me know that too.

It's time for a break. I feel I actually earned one today.

22 February 2010

Headhunting: Manic Monday

I called 5 recruiting firms today all located in Boston. I left 2 voicemails, talked to 2 "consultants" (aka recruiter), and submitted my resume on one's website per the person I spoke to on the phone. Apparently, it will be about 3 business days before I hear anything on that.

Turning our attention to my immediate feedback, the gentleman I spoke with at one firm told me that basically the investments industry only seems to be recruiting for people that currently employed (no lapse of employment in general unless there is a valid reason). But, I shouldn't think that hiring isn't picking up. Rather, if an organization is paying $10-20k (his figures), then that poached person better be worth the premium.

Therefore, I need to apply on my own. I'm already doing that.

Next step: networking. I already mentioned this, but the gentleman told me it was my best shot. His advice: LinkedIn. I'll try that angle more. I am also researching what firms exist in Boston that may be of interest to me.

If anyone out there in blog-o-land knows anything, please hit me up!

*PS In case you're wondering why I felt compelled to say that this challenge of finding a job is on like Donkey Kong! As an MBA, we understand the credo "You cannot manage what you do not measure." Thus, I was compelled to say that I am documenting my experience, but it just doesn't always show up in the blog as it perhaps should.

**PSS Analytics on my own job search. (I am a nerd!)

20 February 2010

Job Search Got You Down?

If so, I understand. I have been in a slight rut lately myself. But, not the giving-up sort, I am re-thinking my goals and my strategy.

Here's what I'm up to:
  • Reading a book on searching tactics
  • Asking people that get interviews for tips
  • Networking
  • Researching companies
  • Looking into using recruiters
  • Finding job fairs
  • Looking into professional designations
Wow! I have to say looking at this list makes me feel better. I was a bit down earlier in the week, but I am starting to see things come together a bit more after seeing it on screen.

But, if you have any advice to bestow upon me, please do so. I would love it! Or any information about investment or management consulting firms in large cities (currently I'm researching Boston and NYC) please hit me up with that info too. Thanks in advance!

*Also, I like to read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for practical advice that does make me happier. Here's a link to another article about being unemployed.

16 February 2010

A Peek into My Passport

I don't believe I've mentioned this previously, but I have joined a local chapter of Toastmasters International. I figure that 1. I'll improve my public speaking skills, which are already quite good 2. I can meet new and different people 3. I get out of the house instead of always constantly thinking about my job search.

I gave my first speech today. I was one of two speakers, and for what it's worth, I was voted as having the better presentation. Also, my evaluator thought it was an excellent and unique speech. Here's my "ice breaker" speech:

A Peek into My Passport
Like my passport, many labels have been applied to me. Some stamps have seared themselves into my core and others fade quickly or are over-written with something more potent. Many of the impressions of the true me are hidden by the eagle that dons the cover of my American passport. But, don’t judge a passport by its beat-up, worn, withered, crinkled blue jacket. There’s more to me than just the bald eagle that first appears.

First and foremost, I am a 5th generation Montanan and the youngest of 5 Faught kids. The label “baby” is often applied to my name when my family introduces me. This mark cannot be expunged from my permanent record.

I grew up in Missoula, went to Big Sky High School, and managed to graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Japanese. I owned a house, 3 cars, and a myriad of other stuff that somehow defines happiness or success. I found the marks of so-called success by society given to me to be absurd. Why should I allow others to brand me? But in the end, I traded it all, including my husband, for an adventure of a lifetime.

The first stamp onto my fresh passport was on a holiday to Japan. The love I felt for Osaka, Japan’s 2nd largest city, was deep and was not to be erased from the blue pages of my government issued document. All those years of studying an intensely difficult language finally seemed to be paying off. That was 2002.

Fast forward to 2004, I applied for a teaching position in Japan with the blessing and consent of my husband. Unsurprisingly to me and surprisingly to him, I got the gig. I was awarded with a 3-year visa that was inserted onto a blue page. That sticker still adheres to me everyday. But, my husband did not. For whatever reason, he choose to remain behind thus ending our 5 year marriage.

Don’t worry, I’m happily divorced. It doesn’t appear anywhere near the bird on my passport rendering it almost invisible to most people even upon inspection. But, the brand is hidden amongst all of the other stamps as to not be the first thing that strikes people when they meet me.

There are other concealed signs of who I am within my frayed document. The French student visa is on a page further back, on a page that the U.S. embassy added to my almost full booklet in Osaka. I needed more pages to take a ferry from Osaka to Shanghai, then to board trains spanning from Shanghai to Beijing to Hohhot, Inner Mongolia to Ulan Baatar, Mongolia and eventually to Moscow, Russia before flying to Nice, France. Many pages were inspected and stamped at various points before I was able to begin graduate school.

After thousands of miles of railroad tracks, 10 months in France, a couple stamps from Morocco and South Africa from class trips, a long flight from Nice to Dublin to JFK to LAX, a good mark on my final project, and I can finally add the latest brand to my name, an MBA.

Some people may have other labels for me currently that are not embossed permanently, such as unemployed, escapist, but the labels from my life experience are continually collecting in my passport. The plethora of impressions on my pages are not just from the 20+ countries I’ve been to, but each unique life experience. Each stamp, each visa gives a new zest to my life. As my pages become more and more filled, I find that most people may only see the embossed symbol of the U.S. when they meet me, but there’s a lot more to me inside the pages if you care to read.

14 February 2010

Holidays Abound

Today is Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year (Happy Year of the Tiger!), Presidents' Day weekend, and I'm not sure what other holidays. As you noticed, I took about a 2 week hiatus, which was not intended at all. I had friends that I had not seen in 10 years that were in town amongst other madness. By the time it dawned on me that I was behind on the blog, a week and a half had passed. Oopsie.

To get you up to speed, I have been reading a book on job hunting strategies. My thought is that if I do end up going through a recruiter where I am footing the bill, that perhaps I should invest time into understanding just the best way to go about getting a job. I may save money and, perhaps more importantly, I will learn more about myself and other opportunities. I am of the general belief that I like to do things on my own just for the learning curve.

Now I am reading and working through this book. Per usual, I feel that perhaps I am over-thinking the job search. It started just with quite literally where in the world I want to live. It's a huge issue to me, but on the other hand, I am extremely flexible and can put up with almost anywhere if it's temporary. This puts me almost back at square one; however, I am learning a lot about my limitations (often in the form of work visas), my strengths, and where my interests truly lie.

I am thus seizing this opportunity to reconnect with people and enjoy some holidays, which are brightening my outlook. Sometimes it's good to change the routine.

Go Year of the Tiger!!!!