For now, I wanted to mention that I feel quite lucky that my period of unemployment was relatively short, just a few months. I was able to use the time to spend with my family and also to enjoy a vacation trip spanning the holiday period. Essentially, it has been a painless unemployment period, which I know quite well is not typical of what so many other people have and still are experiencing.
In addition, I believe I am moving on to a position that is a good step in my career. In a number of ways, getting laid off was a blessing.
It had been many years since I last used the major job boards as a job seeker. I have been a paying client on the employer side almost continuously for almost 15 years, but I really didn't know what the job seeker experience was until very recently. To sum up my recent experience with Monster, Careerbuilder, and HotJobs:
Horrendous. Awful. Disgusting.
First, the usability of those sites are just mind boggling. I am a tech savvy guy and I found little patience going through online forms and menus that seemed as dated as the original Evite site. Whatever Monster had done with their supposed revamping was utterly lost during my sessions.
Second, the amount of email spam I received via my Careerbuilder profile was atrocious. Fortunately, I created a throw-away email address for that profile. I received so-called offers to sell insurance on a daily basis. I received all kinds of junk messages. This was a brand new email account associated only with the Careerbuilder profile, so there was no other source for the spam. Shame on you, Careerbuilder. I wasn't happy from the employer side and I was even more dismayed from the job seeker side.
Third, HotJobs was a bit annoying in that I either had to associate my existing Yahoo account or create a new Yahoo account.
Never mind that none of these major boards ever posted or forwarded or alerted me to a job anywhere near my target position. As I have mentioned before, I am glad to no longer be a paying customer and I now firmly believe there is no need for any employer to rely on the major job boards.
It was interesting to have two companies pursue me. Both opportunities were through referrals, resulting in the companies calling me before I was even aware of either of their existence. I am certainly grateful to those who referred me and even more grateful to the potential employers who expressed interest in my qualifications.
Both opportunities presented many attractive attributes. Ultimately, one company offered me a job before the other was ready to advance my candidacy to being the chosen finalist. I am looking forward to taking a role which I believe will fully leverage my skills, knowledge, and experience, particularly with corporate staffing for an enterprise software firm, and in leading a team of recruiters and a coordinator to accomplish the critical mission at hand.
For those who knew I was looking and shared job leads, I really appreciate it. Your support was invaluable, during a time which could have felt much worse and might have lasted much longer. The old adage of personal networking as the best way to job search proved absolutely true for me.
It's been a good break, of sorts. Now, it's time to get back to work.