Sunday, January 21, 2007

Job Application as an Act of Self Validation

Posting has been less frequent this week because of job hunting. The recruiter leads continue to come in at a pretty good pace. The current count is just south of 40.

I've done some initial phone screens, taken some programming tests, and actually talked to technical staff in a couple of instances. The discussions have been mostly upbeat. I am definitely more in my groove when they ask me specifics of what I've worked on. The interviews that really have grated on my nerves are the ones that try to find out how well you have memorized the ISO C++ standard or the Standard Template Library.

Regardless, it give me lots of opportunities to practice self soothing. Rather than worrying about whether I'm doing everything I can to impress the interviewer, I'm being honest about what I do know and where I may need to learn more. I'm also realizing how the types of questions that an interviewer asks give me cues about whether I'd even want to work with that employer. I feel good when I sense the exchange has gone well, but I don't let my spirits sink when it hasn't.

A surprise arrived in my e-mail inbox on Friday evening. I got a message from a very large software development company out in the Pacific Northwest. This time, it wasn't a recruiter claiming to fill contract positions with the company. It was a bona fide employee looking to fill a full-time spot. The full headers of the e-mail vouched that it originated from the belly of the Beast itself.

Taking the position if it was offered seems improbable at this point, but it was a stroke to the ego to appear on their radar screen. How big of a boost, you might ask? Big enough to motivate me to put my name in with another big company which just happens to own this blog's hosting service. And since they've got spots in several places around the country, I wouldn't have to go coastal.
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