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
Posted in Inviting Change, The Cat Corral, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Ways of Rocking
Tagged career, employment, engineering, hiring, information management, job, Nokia, Stanley, Texas Instruments, unemployment
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?
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?
Posted in The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged Apple, E71, employment, Irving, layoffs, LinkedIn, N97, Nokia, Ovi, RIM, Texas, TX, unemployment
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!
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.
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.
A while back I implored the warm bodies involved in job posting and hiring to improve upon a few aspects of the process. After an attractive hyperlink led me down the wrong rabbit’s hole this morning I decided to expound further on one in particular: job descriptions.
The offender today was a listing for an Operations Coordinator. As a current job seeker who has frequently found himself in such facilitating roles, even without the title, I eagerly clicked the link to view the description. But they weren’t really looking for an Operations Coordinator at all– they wanted an administrative assistant for human resources.
Okay, by some stretch one could get there… using the same logic that promotes plumbers to Sanitation Engineers. But wouldn’t HR Administrative Assistant be more accurate for the job seeker?
It reminds me of an anecdote recently related to me by the recruiter who helped get me into my original job with Nokia a few years ago. He was supporting a client in finding a Packaging Engineer and was passed a resumé that just flat confounded him. The goal was to find someone with broad experience ranging from product conceptualizing to marketing. Instead he received an application from a big-thinking grocery sacker.
Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be an Easter egg hunt. Once again on behalf of job hunters everywhere I am beseeching those responsible: for our sake and yours, please think these job titles through carefully. The time you save may be your own. 😉
Posted in The Write Stuff, Unusability
Tagged hiring, job description, job search, job title, LinkedIn, Nokia, recruiter, recruiters, recruiting, unemployment
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.
After a dry spell of job postings from late March to mid April I was able to kick up quite a flurry this past weekend. I’m assuming the end of March saw many employers freezing recruitment activities until stock was taken of first quarter financials. At a former employer when things got tough they would release temporary workers for a couple of weeks and then bring some back. I’ll let readers form their own conclusions on how well that yo-yo show affected the bottom line.
Of course I took advantage of the increase in listings I found, and noticed afterward how thick my stack of application printouts had grown. I had stopped counting after about 80 so I was curious to see where I was now.
4 months ago I sat with a Human Resources representative in a small cluttered room and made my job loss official. I signed the necessary documents, said my final bit and surrendered the tools of my trade. That included, of course, the SIM card to my company cell phone.
I got to keep the phone, along with a few others acquired during my too-brief stint with Nokia. I had my pick of an N75, and E61i or a couple of entry-level phones. The problem was, no cell service.
That didn’t have to be an obstacle. I had signed my wife and 2 boys up for AT&T service and for the most part I’ve been pleased with it. Adding another number to the account would be as simple as a few clicks on a website. Or I could have easily opted for a pay-as-you go plan, even one that let me use one of my existing phones.