Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Job Interview Part 2

Whenever you get a nibble, I always find the best approach is to keep in touch with those that you interview with so that they do not forget about you. But when you do not get any response— you immediately think that they forgot. Quite a blow to anybody's self esteem.

Of course, the week before the end of November is not the best time to try and get a hold of anybody, mostly because of that crazy thing called Thanksgiving.

I had a phone interview the week before with the company that I wanted work for, but did not have any reply regarding the status of the phone interview. I finally managed to get a face to face interview with them on December 1st— the day after my contract ended. I was really hoping to have all my interviews rapped up and have a job offer before I left, but that wasn't to be.

On my last day of my contract I wrote to those I worked with to summarize the pleasure it was working where I did:

As many of you may or may not know, my contract here at Northern Trust ends today. Before I go, I want to thank those to whom I have worked with these past several months. Feel free to pass this along to anyone I may have missed.

Even though I have been here a short time, I feel that I have gained experiences that take others years to acquire. It is refreshing to witness the professionalism and the dedication to the process that each person I have encountered has. This makes the environment here a model to look up to and one that I will use as an example in the future. Plus, it is great that you are not all work and no play. There is an ease to conversations that do not always have to revolve around work. It is this casualness that makes it easy to approach anyone to clarify a requirement, or learn best practices.

It has truly been a pleasure working here. I will not forget the experiences I have gained, or the comradery that I have enjoyed.

Be good, and take care,

On December 1st I had my face to face interview. Based upon the address they gave me, I went to the front desk and spoke to the receptionist. They indicated that I should go up one floor and ask for the person I was interviewing with. I went upstairs and saw that there was no receptionist upstairs— so I went back down and asked again. They said they do not have a receptionist and just to ask anybody in the room. (that should have been my first clue).

I did feel funny just walking into a room with people all around and casually asking if so and so was in. Fortunately, everybody was really friendly and helpful. Someone walked be downstairs and showed me the office of the person I was interviewing with (had I known…). After I got together with the person I was supposed to interview with we must have spent a good 20 minutes trying to find an open conference room to interview in. (Little did I know that they rented office space and shared it with several other companies). We finally settled to having the interview in the hallway right by the same elevator I went up and down on. (which was quite interesting to say the least). The person I was interviewing with was so excited about the department he headed up I didn't have too many questions thrown my way.

The next day I got the call and the offer, so if you think about it I was only unemployed for one day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Job Interview Part 1

I do find it interesting that there are two things about a job that I can either like or hate: the people and the work. So often I may love the work, but I don't get along with the people. Then there are those times when I get along great with the people only to find the work to be unbearable. I am very glad that at my current job I both love the work as well as the people I work with. One wouldn't think so based upon what I went through to get the job.

As a bit of background, I will let you know I was unemployed for nine months before I finally got another job. I was hired through a contractor and was the only person from this contractor working on site for a customer. I got the job because I had experience with the former software that they used. The great thing about working where I did was that it was more of a launch pad for the current job I am at now. I got along great with everybody and learned a lot. I was hired with the understanding that this would be a no end-date contract which gave me time to impress the people I worked for and hoped that they hired me on their staff.

The whole transition from working from one contractor to working for my current employer seemed to occur in stages. My current employer had a large presence there already with the majority of the contractors from that company. I really liked the attitudes and methodology that they possessed and thought to myself that I should consider seeing what it would take to work for them. Of course, working for my current contractor I really had no true benefits. I had no paid time off and had to wait 3 months before I got insurance and 9 months until I could apply for a 401K. So you can see why I admired trying to work for the other company.

I suspected that something was up because projects that I was supposed to be assigned to I was being taken off of, so when they called me in and told me that my contract was up at the end of November, I wasn't too surprised. Of course those dreaded feelings of anxiousness and lack of direction crept back in. I was still familiar with the diligence and routine necessary when you are unemployed and put that energy to work to apply for a new position. I asked the two people nearest to me if they could give me a good word.

Interesting what a difference a week makes. About a week from when I was informed that my contract was up I had three nibbles. The recruiter that one of the people near me worked for, asked to have lunch with me to discuss prospects. That same day, I got a call on my cell phone from a recruiter asking for an impromptu interview that morning. On top of this, I passed my resume to the other person near me to send to the contractor I wanted to work for and got a reply back asking to schedule a phone screening.

That day I walked over to another building to have the impromptu interview. I did get a bit lost because the building had two sections, one of which I went up the wrong elevator and couldn't find the room. I went back down to the lobby and called them to find out where the room was. They almost thought that I had the wrong day for the interview and was glad that I was only lost. After the first interview, I went back to the office and saw the person I was going to have lunch with in the lobby talking to the co-worker who passed along my information. I had lunch with him and found out that he was a recruiter that recruited for the company that I wanted to work for. It seemed great to know that three companies were vying for my attention.

Go forward another week and everything appears to have been put on hold. I couldn't get a hold of anybody to see what the status of everything that occurred the week before. Stay tuned tomorrow for "the rest of the story".

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Spin Cycle: Love

In honor of Valentine's day, I thought I would spin up a few poems of mine about Love:

Love is so simple
but we don't have the patience to make it so


Love is like a flickering candle
just one breath is all it can handle

Steady streams of air keep it going
for love is always ever flowing

So find the love and you will know
just how to grow in life's big gamble


If love is endless
then have I found love

Is it creeping around the corner
like a peaceful dove

Will I know its place
like the back of my hand

Or will I have to look further
like a penny in white sand

Can I be sure of what I know
or will I never know

Will I then learn to grow
and see all of the above


Love grows within the briars an bushes for the fire
for love is the only pain we all want to acquire


Where is my love whom I adore
has it disappeared into forgotten lore

A story told to please ourselves
as we put our love on forgotten shelves

To lock the door with unmarked key
and stop ourselves from being free

So free ourselves from this pleasurable pain
so we can gain our love all the more


Love it is a wonderful thing
it makes some cry and others sing

It takes some in and lets some go
and is always there and helps you grow

So don't let your love play the opossum
and let it blossom like the early spring


Beauty is in the heart
where love always makes its start


Life is an axle where all things revolve
and love is the center from which life can evolve


Love is like a plant
give it the proper nourishment and it grows

But stop feeding it
and it will die and fade away


Second Blooming
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