Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Job Hunting...
I have been seeking employment as of late. It's kinda tough, too. If I had to pick a bunch of resaons for it, I would say that being in Charlotte is a point against me. For while Charlotte is a wonderful city, it is dominated by a single industry (banking) and the population (around 600,000) makes for limited opportunities.

If I was back in New York, I might have had upwards of half a dozen nibbles after a few days, I'm sure. However, that's another thing you trade away when you decide to leave the Big City for the relative calm of a smaller place. No complaints, just a statement of fact.

Then again, if I had to pinpoint a spcific reason as to why I haven't heard a thing in two weeks, I would point to what passes for personnel agencies in this city.

The "employment speciliasts" that I have spoken to in recent days haven't a clue as to what I did in my former life (they know what a systems programmer is, they just can't understand the concept of an automation systems programmer). What they often miss is that there is a wide range of skills that goes into making an automation programmer and thus, they limit their searches to automation jobs and ignore the rest of the skill set. I also get the impression that that the people I'm dealing with also have a very flimsy gasp of my field in general. I'm just betting that somewhere, someone has listed a set of requirements for a job, and that my "employment specialist" is busy comparing what's on my resume to what's on the list, point-by-point. This has a certain, insane logic to it, to be sure. However, not being familiar with the field as a whole, I believe this is a very sorry way to run a business. I might be missing an exact match, but I may also have experience with a related product or job, and due to incomplete knowledge the agent is missing it.

It didn't used to be this way.

There was a time when the people who ran personnel companies actually knew something about the businesses they were supplying candidates for. Now it's been reduced to comparing a bunch of lists. There is no longer a need, I guess, to actually ask a candidate questions (I have one 'employment specialist" who has had my resume for almost three weeks, and has not called once. When I finally got through to her, she told me she had not found a "match" for me, and if she couldn't, she would pass it on to a "senior employment specialist" --- in other words, she's just pushing square pegs into square holes. The guy who could pound a round peg into a square hole doesn't even know I exist). Had she at least askd a few questions, perhaps we could save her a bunch of headaches and me some anxiety. I have even offered to voluntarilky submit to questioning, but I was informed "that's not the way we work here". She has a "database" and she searches it (just how she cannot explain), and when she's exhausted all (possibly three) ways of searching, she sits there dumbfounded.

I have the feeling that something will break soon, but that I might have to do some more to make it break my way.

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