Thursday, October 18, 2007

Or maybe I killed all my competition hunting rodents

When I started this blog oh so long ago, I did a brief search to see who else was covering the same area, in the hopes that I could steal learn from them. The only blogs I found were corporate, by either job search websites or recruiters. I think there's two contributing factors here.

Reason number one bitchslapped Mandatory Vacation four days in: any person you'd want to take advice from will rapidly render their blog obsolete. People in the business of job hunting are the only ones that can keep it up for the time it takes to build a decent site. Even a perpetual contractor will job search at most two or three times a year, and the better he is at job hunting the less time he'll have to describe it. And even if you're in an industry with longer search times, no one knows how long their job search will take. I considered starting this blog many times before, but I was always on the verge of another job, and waited to see if the latest great new thing would work out. (It's not a coincidence I started this blog shortly before being hired. I'd hit bottom job-search wise, leading me to decide that founding this blog wasn't a waste of time, and to investigate avenues I hadn't considered before. As it turned out, those were the right avenues to investigate, and I could have saved myself months if I'd used them first. The lesson? Thou Art Not Too Good For Recruiters)

Reason number two is shame. Trying and failing to find a job hurts. Telling other people about it is opening yourself up to criticism. I probalby wouldn't have been able to do this if I didn't have a rock solid reason that didn't reflect on me as a person to explain the difficulty I was having. Thus, focused, useful, long running job hunting blogs from the perspective of the hunter are going to be thin on the ground. (Please don't let yourself get distracted by the image a man with a spear running through the Serengeti, stabbing the grass in an attempt to hit a small rodent, which easily dodges the spear and says "we were hoping for someone with C# experience." It's just not productive).

But sometimes you get lucky, and an existing blog transitions into a job hunt blog (obviously this is a happier event for job blog readers than the newly christened job blog writer). I haven't found one of those either. But there is Lazy Man, who fulfills half the bill. Like me, Lazy Man just got laid off from his programming position in a tech heavy area. Unlike me he has a large amount of accumulated wealth, several streams of alternative income, and a wife who earns six figures, rendering a new job optional, at least for the short term. Nevertheless, I suspect he'll still have some insights into the process, or at least some process. Advice on founding your own business might be even better than advice on finding a way to work for someone else.

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