The Job Hunt Continues — Prospects

My search for employment continues as it has been over 3.5 months since I was let go due to headcount being shifted to Brazil and India. It amazes me that it has been that long. In some ways, it feels like a long time but in other ways, it feels like the time went by in a flash. In all, I want to thanks friends and family for their support in all this nuttiness. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers for sure. ^_^

Last week, I had a third interview for an IT job at “Company 1.” They are a non-profit insurance company dealing exclusively with the under-insured. There’s a possibility of a fourth interview and while I greatly impressed them according to the contract company, they don’t want to make a move until they’ve talked to at least two more people, ostensibly to make sure I’m the right choice.

  • Pay: Good. Better once converted from contractor to regular employee. No worries about paying the bills, having money to save, and still being able to go out and catch some summer blockbusters.
  • Job: Good. The work being done is interesting and would keep me busy. There’d be some oncall work, but that’s fine. Also, since this company is in the health insurance business, the jobs won’t go overseas legally, even if somehow the company decided to outsource. The job is days, Monday through Friday which is cool for going back to school. The commute would be awful because of rush hour Denver traffic but oh well. I could deal with that and after a time could always move closer to the job should the commute really start bothering me.
  • Career: Above average. The job starts as contract position but in 3-6 months is a conversion to regular employee status. Once a regular employee, the opportunities for growth are there, especially as this company is growing due to the type of client base it serves. Opportunities to go back to school exist so getting some IT certs would be a high priority for me.
  • Overall: Ideally, this is the job I’d like to get. I just don’t think they are going to move that quickly because the position is a newly created one, not a back-fill.
  • Chance of Being Hired: 75%

Today, I interviewed with “Company 2.” They are a market research company who’ve developed some impressive software to find out what people are saying on the Internet about a product or service. The interview was nearly three hours in length and there were four of them today. ^_^;;;

  • Pay: Poor. Seriously, even though the job is listed as “entry level,” the experience they are looking for combined with the amount of work being done (and by everyone’s account, a six-month learning curve just to become proficient in the job) would suggest a much higher starting pay grade. Indeed, Company 2 is actually a sub-subset of a major corporation and retains the same pay-grade structure they had in the late 80’s (adjusted upward dollar-wise for current times). Back then, one could get an entry-level operations/production support job at level-9 or 10. However, this operations/production job has been banded at level 7 and the pay is so low, I’d actually be making less than I made 11-years ago in actual dollars (and its worse when you adjust for inflation the 1998 dollar amount). Sadly, I think they’ve gotten away with it because the kid they hired a year ago had zero experience in IT and so they took advantage of that.
  • Job: Good. The work being done here is very interesting and somewhat challenging. Even after becoming proficient, things are constantly changing to improve the research being done so I’d be changing right along side. I’d be working closely with developers and SA’s so there’s a chance to improve skills. Also, the job is Monday through Friday days and that’s nice, especially for school. In fact, it wouldn’t be that far to drive to a major university to take classes after work and the overall commute isn’t too bad.
  • Career: Above Average. Being part of a large corporation, all job opportunities world-wide would be available to me. Education would be paid for so I could move in a direction I choose (programmer, system admin, whatever). The downside is that since this division is small, career opportunities within the division are pretty slim. That also means that I’d remain at pitifully low pay for an undetermined amount of time and would have to have the good graces of my manager to move someplace within the company where I could get paid.
  • Overall: The pay is what kills this job. With my current unemployment pay budget, I would be about $50 in the red each month (under unemployment, I’m about $50 in the black each month). Keep in mind that my only debt is my mortgage, so my other costs are just living costs. Now, it is possible that because I’d be making so little money, the interest deduction (assuming our glorious government haven’t completely destroyed that in their desperate greed to steal my money) would likely be enough so that I would be among those who pay little to no Federal income tax. That might be enough to cover the wage gap but frankly, that’s not how I want to live.
  • Chance of Being Hired: 55%. I interviewed quite well for all four interviews, but no doubt my expression of concern over the pay has lowered me percentage-wise, but the hiring manager could bring me in as high as level 10 if he wanted, and that would likely pay the bills.

On Monday, I have an interview with “Company 3.” They are a large corporation dealing in IT/IS solutions. I have several connections inside this company, including the hiring manager. ^_^

  • Pay: Average (somewhat lower when taking into account that I’ll have no insurance, vacation, or anything else). I would be able to pay my bills under my current budget and have some left over for saving (which I’d have to do in order to buy things like an HDTV or new windows for the condo). There would be O/T opportunities though, so the chance of increasing the take-home pay is high.
  • Job: Average. Although the systems I’d be working on would be new to me, in the end, I’d be in operations again. Every time I think I’ve left mainframe for good, I seem to get sucked back in. ^_^; Don’t get me wrong, a job is a job and if I have to do mainframe again, sobeit. I’d be working 12-hour night shift, which has pluses and minuses. I would have to see how online classes would work in this scenario because going to regular classes just isn’t likely to happen unless I sleep during class or sleep at work, neither of which I want to do. The commute is the biggest plus though since it is the closest to where I live.
  • Career: Almost zero. I’d be a contractor with zero chance of being hired as a regular employee and almost no chance of moving to a better job in another department. Education would have to come out of my pocket and as I said, traditional education would be impractical. Basically, this would be a job to pay the bills and work on some education so that I can find something better.
  • Overall: It would be a job easy to learn and working nights would mean I’d have some time to do homework. My bills would be paid and supposedly, the job will be around for 2-3-years (seeing is believing though). So while not my first choice, I’d take the job to stop being unemployed. ^_^;
  • Chance of Being Hired: 90%. I do know the manager and team lead for this job and that helps a great deal. Monday will be the formal interview so I’ll know more there. This job being on a platform alien to me is a negative and it is possible that the hiring manager will find a guru who knows everything and can come right on in and do the work. Baring that, since I have a good reputation with the hiring manager and team lead, I feel confident that after Monday’s interview, I’d be getting an offer sometime shortly thereafter.

We’ll see what happens. Lord willing, I’ll have a job soon. In the meantime, I keep on hunting.

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