Yes, that _Perl in Vegas_ talk was motivated by fears that I had to begin to look for my next source of bread. One thing I've learned over my the course of my professional life is that finishing a project is always bad news. In this case, it was a known that the company would be put up for sale as soon as a specific list of features had made it through the Nevada Gaming Commission's certification labs. I wanted the audience to think, gee, I'd like to hire this guy. I only hinted at the company going up for sale -- I regret not plugging myself harder.
So, now what?
I've gotten in touch with old friends and asked for leads. I've applied at all of those companies who circulated their names around the Perl conference. I've posted a resume on Monster and dusted off my LinkedIn profile, and actually (going to hell for this one) fed it my address book straight off Google's POP3. Or maybe IMAP. Who knows.
I've consulted my carefully built list of companies that have in the past advertised for Perl programmers and sent them resumes and cover letters. I've searched Indeed and Twitter for leads and applied to all sorts of things that don't sound like good fits. I've spoon fed my resume to those obnoxious forms recruiter websites have for a few recruiters. God how I remember and hate those. And yet I do this for a shot at being a third shift server supervisor for some Web shop in Scottsdale.
A while ago, when I was organizing the part of the photo collection that's hosted on slowass.net, I noticed that a lot of my pics were screenshots of applications I've written over the years, so I created a little portfolio or visual gallery of some of my work and hung it off of my resume at http://illogics.org. I bet that could be integrated somehow to make something really spiffy. Anyway, I imagine that it's fun to look at even if it isn't compelling.
When ever I start the old job hunt, I start making frequent little edits to my resume, and then my resume starts placing obscenely well in Google for certain appropriate keywords. It's kind of embarrassing, and this has never done jack for me, but it's encouraging. Oh, there's a story attached to this too . When recruiters find my resume online, I get emails from other states to the effect of "I found your confidential resume online and thought you'd be a good fit for $position. Please send me your confidential resume. Also, do you have $skill?". I've taunted recruiters in this forum in previous installments.
Going through all of this makes me realize that I have no idea how to actually find a job. And don't suggest jobs.perl.org -- I watch that anyway, and how many jobs do you see in Arizona on there?
The last time I got a job, a recruiter at a different company kicked me over to a friend of his that he'd worked with before. I worked for a brief stint at the company I originally applied to and then when half the company got laid off, I had this other lead waiting for me. It was fuckin' brilliant. But it was not the result of anything I did or any strategy -- from my point of view, it was a lucky accident -- something I couldn't replicate. Generally speaking, every job I've worked for any period of time has been a lucky accident.
I've also been working to retool myself as a Flash/ActionScript programmer, focusing on the free tools such as mtasc, HaXe, and, at least in theory, flex, but this also makes me realize that I'm not part of that community and don't know where to find them. Googling, the first hit is for a "silverlight users group", and then a whole lot of nothing.
And in reply to my software engineering mating calls, I hear nil.
Just like before. Same deafening silence. Same painful recruiter websites and recruiters. Same "urgent need" job posts that stay up indefinitely. Same resume boards hell bent on spamming you with education and training to improve your resume no matter what level you're at. Same extremely grim job market which only recovered partially for a couple short years after the dot com blowout before tanking again.
I still have some tricks up my sleeves. I discovered that I can search Google Maps for "* near: $my_address" to find essentially all businesses. Monday, I'm going to go apply at the various grocery stores and retail stores in the area. After the dot com boom, I worked phone support for Qwest Wireless for several months, but it seems like that's no longer an option -- all of the call centers really have been moved overseas.
 Wondering why my resume wasn't generating leads, I, at one point, installed a survey on it and asked people to vote on why my skills didn't appeal to them. 75% of the votes were for "don't like Perl". There were about 20 options.