Tag Archives: employment

My Derailed Journey Back to Nokia

This is a highly personal post so for those whose eyes roll or minds reel at the thought, click past this one and I promise more juicy tech stuff next.

As regular readers know, I lost a great job with an awesome company in January of 2009.  As of this past Monday I started a challenging new role with what seems like another awesome company so far.  In between, I worked at something that didn’t work out while keeping an eye on Nokia opportunities the whole time.    Continue reading

LinkedIn: It’s not just for the unemployed

I joined the professional network LinkedIn early in its life, and immediately reached out to a handful of colleagues and former co-workers to get started.  And then essentially stopped.

Oddly enough I had been drawn to it as a tool for finding subject matter experts in our mammoth, matrixed company, but let it more or less idle afterward… until I needed to look for work again.  Fortunately during that period I found another opportunity at the same employer, and then again when more business changes occurred.  With no need to search, I linked out.

Until the third time turned out not to be a charm, and I was back amongst the ranks of the unemployed, desperate for any edge to separate me from an unusually high swelling sea of job seekers.  Continue reading

Technically Employed: the Survivor’s Tale

I’m going to take a break from the Nokia ecosystem analyses tonight and return to the topic that launched this blog early last year: employment.  Particularly, in engineering, information management and related technical fields.  My career comfort zones.

Some personal bits: I freely admit to being a geek.  I actually love electronics.  And hardware.  And databases.  And designing.  And programming.  And process stuff.  Stitch them together and you’ve created my dream job.   Amazingly enough, I’ve come really close at a few employers.  At The Stanleyworks (now Stanley Black and Decker) I was a drafter who ultimately worked his way up the technical ladder to manage product data and requirements for the Mechanics Tools division.  I was in geek heaven.  Did I mention I love tools, too?  Continue reading

Chewing and walking gum

The above title doesn’t make any sense, does it?  It’s a transposition of a silly old expression… but it’s indicative of the mixups that can occur when a person takes on too much at one time… and recent data proves once again it’s no laughing matter.

Multitasking, however, is the job requirement du jour it seems, expected of practically every employee as companies carve into the bone in desperate attempts to cut overhead.  And even if cost reduction is not part of the rationale, the goal remains to increase efficiency.

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The Job Search: when HR fails itself

I’m very busily employed now, four weeks into an IT change management role, but still receiving occasional thanks-but-no-thanks emails from former prospects.

For the most part I’ve let the 100-or-so job application dismissals I’ve received go without comment, but feeling frisky with two shiny paychecks under my belt I felt compelled to respond to one today.  I was polite, but wondered: where was my phone screen?

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The Incredible Shrinking Nokia

Like one ex-colleague, I wonder what Nokia will look like when the economic dust settles.  I’m told that the last remaining Irving (Dallas, Texas area) building is experiencing a sort of settling– dwindling employees are being shuffled swiftly downward as lower office space opens up, emptying the upper floors.  My prediction of the site downsizing into a regional sales support office appears to be bearing out.  Where else is this occurring?  Offhand I don’t know… but I keep hearing that global roles are heavily impacted, which continues to confound me.  Is this really signalling a retreat back to Finland?

I still see new openings in other areas, but I remain curious about the overall picture, i.e., what is the loss-to-gain ratio?  When a company leaks employees here and there rather than laying them off wholesale, getting a picture of the headcount becomes difficult.  I’m sure that’s by design in this case.

The question is, can Nokia execute well enough or are too many key employees being let go?  The company now estimates that 2009 will see a 10% reduction in global handset sales.  One could argue that such a drop necessitates an equivalent or at least proportional cut in headcount.  But does that factor in the hoped-for area of growth, Internet services?  The slow rollout and misfires of Ovi.com suggest that the venture suffers a resource issue of some sort.  Is it fully staffed, or just running like a skunkworks project?

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Job search over?

After seven and a half months looking, and five and a half months actually out of work, I finally received an offer.  I’m taking a few days to consider it.  But thank God it’s there!

The job search: What NOT to do

Today I was discussing my discouraging job search with a blogging buddy who is in the same sinking boat.  Somehow we got on the subject of blog topics and he suggested I write up a list of job-hunting tips.

Problem is, seven-and-a-half months of hard effort have not yet garnered a job offer so while I am certainly a reluctant and repeated veteran of the unemployment wars I don’t feel qualified to suggest anything positive to other career seekers.

However, I do feel up to providing a bulleted breakdown of things to avoid, so here goes.

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The job search: Hiring the unemployed

I’m going to make another quick request of hiring managers:

If you have a choice of 2 equally-qualified people to hire, and one is unemployed while the other is looking to change companies, please make every effort to hire the unemployed person.  On one hand I’m saying that as someone out of work going on five months who lost out on at least one opportunity to someone who was already employed at another company.  On the other, there is a net benefit to society by pulling from the ranks of the unemployed but not so much by accepting someone who is already working somewhere else.

Thanks.

150+ and counting…

A few days ago I posted that I was up to 130 job applications since losing my position with Nokia.  Afterward, out of sheer frustration over lack of progress I began digging deeper than ever, turning up companies I had never heard of before but listing positions I could perform.  A few look very promising… at least on paper.

So as of today I am over 150 applications, and setting a goal for myself of 10 per day.

Perhaps I need to make it clear at this point that I am not spamming any employers– yet.  So far every job to which I’ve applied I believe I can do.  But as I exhaust the typical possibilities I am going to have to broaden my scope– both up and down.

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