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lachoy (1663)


I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Sunday January 28, 2007
06:35 PM

How did you find your jobs?

[ #32267 ]

People always talk about how they want to find jobs, but not that often about how they've actually done it. So here's me.

Before/during college, it was:

  • replying to newspaper ads (bookstore worker/manager, waiter, bartender)
  • tagging along with a buddy who knew somebody (shady 'charity' telemarketing, dishwasher at nursing home, making concrete)
  • knowing my mother (two internships at the National Geographic Society)
  • randomly applying to a job without knowing what was open (Pitt library)

Since college, I've got most of my jobs through responding to want ads. But I suspect that as I get older I'll do that less, just because companies like to hire senior developers they're comfortable with.

1992, Research Assistant: Responding to an ad posted on the Political Science Department bulletin board at Pitt for a position at George Mason University (outside Washington, DC, about 4 hours away). I don't know how widely the ad was circulated, or if they had a lot of applicants for the position.

1993, Transportation Planner: Referral to a family member by someone I worked for. The early 90s were a difficult job market. After my previous position's contract expired I went through a few temp jobs while applying to a ton of jobs and got a few interviews. One temp job was at the Institute of Medicine. I must have done a good job because the woman I worked for gave her husband (who was high up in the Montgomery County Planning Department) my resume, and I got an interview and a position shortly after that. Planning wasn't something I aimed to get into but the writing, research, and public focus group interaction wound up being a pretty good job.

1995, Writer: Found this through a want ad in the Washington Post. I applied because of my experience over the previous two years with transportation -- this was at a non-profit, transit advocacy organization. The main part of the job was writing (articles for a trade magazine, whitepapers, memos), but one thing that set me apart was my familiarity with bulletin board systems (dialup, not internet). The position evolved into more IT stuff as I became the Netware admin, hooked up GroupWise to a single dialup account multiplexed for email, and put the first website up along with some dynamic.

1997, Webmaster: Another Washington Post ad, although I knew someone who worked at the educational non-profit. I'd gained enough experience with the web at the previous job to do it full-time, although I also had to do some helpdesk and other IT work (including building cheapo computers with unfinished metal, ouch).

1998, Software Developer: I started a company with a couple of the guys I worked at in the previous position, so this was definitely through personal connections.

2000, Software Developer: Company found my resume on the Pittsburgh Technology Council website. The position was kind of ill-defined and shortly wound up using Java, which I didn't know going in

2004, SQA: Found posting on Pittsburgh Technology Council website. I didn't have any explicit SQA experience but I was interested in being part of a software process. And I liked the company so much that I figured if SQA didn't work out I could move somewhere else...

2005, Software Developer: ...which happened 9 months later when I applied to a position on a much smaller team looking into new markets for our technology...

2006, Software Developer: ...the first new venture of which was spun off bout 9 months later, where I'm the lead architect on a rewrite of the server-side software.

How about you?

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  • 2000, Software Developer: Replied to post on the university computing society jobs newsgroup.
    The tech part of the interview process was with a 3rd year doing an intra [] placement in the company.

    2007,Software Developer: Friend of a friend was about to start looking to fill a position, I start the job tomorrow.
  • Many years ago (perhaps 10 or even 14 years ago) I sent my resume to a personnel agency, but they didn't ever find me a job. Late last year they rang up on a Thursday, so I went for the interview on Friday and started on the Monday. Yes, they were desperate.
    Moral: Spread your resume far and wide. You'll go onto various databases, and when staff leave those agencies they'll often take the db with them, so you're details will spread virus-like.
  • 1988 Newspaper Deliverer - Was riding my bike with a friend when a stranger pulled up and asked if we wanted jobs. It took my Mom some convincing as I was 12 at the time.

    1992 Video Store Clerk - Neighbor, who happened to be the manager of the store, called me up and asked me if I wanted a job.

    1995 Dept. Store Sales Associate - I went into the store every other day asking if any jobs were available and spoke with the manager until they hired me. I became employee of the month my first month there. I put i