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Author Topic: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature  (Read 2528 times)

Dennis

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2018, 04:20:06 am »
I've been reading this thread. Did pxsant do what he had planned: learn a new technical skill and try and land a job?

The Gorn

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2018, 07:11:27 am »
I've been reading this thread. Did pxsant do what he had planned: learn a new technical skill and try and land a job?

Thanks for joining.

Pxsant has already been running his own profitable IT contracting business. His advice was aimed at conducting a feasibility experiment on training from scratch in order to find specialized technology work without recent paid experience.

I just assumed Pxsant has been busy with paying work. I talk about a lot of things that sound good but never get down to trying them.

Pxsant, what say you?
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pxsant

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2018, 08:34:39 am »
Here is the result of my experiment.

I chose two areas to test with.   The first was Python, the second was Data Analytics using R.  I took a few courses on both on Udemy and did lots of test scripts and so on.

I was able to secure two remote contracts, one in Python and the second in Data Analytics with R.   Luckily since these are remote I could do these after hours and on weekends since I have a long-running contract at a big bank doing data analytics using standard SQL queries.   And also doing some Business Analysis work for the same bank.

So the quicky experiment was successful in that I now am effectively working three jobs.   The downside is that I am getting very little sleep and have virtually no free time until these remote jobs are over or the main contract at the big bank is finished.  Being an old fart, I can't keep this up too awful long before I burn out.

So the real answer is that you can switch specialties if you give it a go and are persistent.   NEVER give up.   Work hard at building up your skills in whatever new you choose and then bang out your resume and applications to as many places as you can.

One hint for looking for remote jobs.   Search Dice for remote jobs but don't choose a specific specialty.  That will give you a big list of the type of  remote jobs which are available.   Then, based on that, choose a specialty to get up to speed on.

BTW, I haveen't posted often lately because of my crazy schedule.

Dennis

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #63 on: October 16, 2018, 10:52:56 am »
Here is the result of my experiment.

I was able to secure two remote contracts, one in Python and the second in Data Analytics with R.   Luckily since these are remote I could do these after hours and on weekends since I have a long-running contract at a big bank doing data analytics using standard SQL queries.   And also doing some Business Analysis work for the same bank.


Incredible I say. Obviously there is something that you are doing, or something about you that makes you land a job so quickly. I will get to that part later. May I ask how many interviews you had to give to land each job?

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #64 on: October 16, 2018, 12:13:05 pm »
Luckily since these are remote I could do these after hours and on weekends since I have a long-running contract at a big bank doing data analytics using standard SQL queries.   And also doing some Business Analysis work for the same bank.

So the quicky experiment was successful in that I now am effectively working three jobs. 

If I may say...

The seed of your project idea was to self-impose your own "boot camp" on learning a new tool.

But your situation - fully employed in tech - doesn't match those of us laid off or otherwise who never managed to find a replacement software gig.

Pxsant, you have momentum. Meaning you were already working.

It's a lot easier to totally lose momentum when you get older. Momentum in your case means that you already have directly relevant employment therefore you will be deemed a close fit if your tech skills are sufficient too.

What about those of us don't have that current gig and no current momentum?

You may not see this since you were the job candidate but you'll project a TON more self-confidence and "ready to run with" attitude than someone who is coming off of a jobless or no-contract period. It's unconscious. One absolutely can't help it. And companies go totally out of their way to read that self confidence in candidates.

I can see doing what you did here as a good first step for the currently long term unemployed. But I don't see it as sufficient by itself. You interviewed from a position of total strength so you appeared just as a 30-40 year old with current employment would.

Your experiment, while worthy, doesn't indicate anything whatsoever strongly about those who've derailed and have been going through that extended unemployment that the business world believes that seniors deserve.  >:(
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 12:30:42 pm by The Gorn »
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pxsant

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2018, 12:22:08 pm »
Dennis,

It was not so quick.  After I completed the courses and felt that I was ready, it took a couple of months of constant applying to get the first contract.  I was only looking for remote jobs so I was pretty restrictive on my job requirements.  It took a bit longer to get the second.  Luckily both could be done effectively on a late hours basis with an occasional daytime teleconference.  That was necessary because of my longer-term bank contract.

In the contract market, interviews are few and far between.  It is all a numbers game.  If you get a 10% hit on interviews, you need 100 job applications to get just 10 interviews.  So if it takes 20 interviews before you get a contract, you see the numbers.

It is much easier if you are looking for a full-time contract (i.e. 8 hours a day) but it is still all about the numbers.

The key is persistence.   Keep at it and don't get discouraged.   Ignore the crap you will run into and the turn downs.   There are jobs out there assuming you have picked something that has decent job availability numbers.   That's why you do a search on Dice, Careerbuilder, Indeed in that order.   Pick a specialty that has good job availability numbers before you try to switch your specialty.

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #66 on: October 16, 2018, 12:30:44 pm »
If I may say...

The seed of your project idea was to self-impose your own "boot camp" on learning a new tool.

But your situation - fully employed in tech - doesn't match those of us laid off or otherwise who never managed to find a replacement software gig.

Pxsant, you have momentum. Meaning you were already working.

It's a lot easier to totally lose momentum when you get older. Momentum in your case means that you already have directly relevant employment therefore you will be deemed a close fit if your tech skills are sufficient too.

What about those of us don't have that current gig and no current momentum?

You may not get this since you were the job candidate but you'll project a TON more self-confidence and "ready to run with" attitude than someone who is coming off of a jobless or no-contract period. It's unconscious. One absolutely can't help it. And companies go totally out of their way to read that self confidence in candidates.

I can see doing what you did here as a good first step for the currently long term unemployed. But I don't see it as sufficient by itself. You interviewed from a position of total strength so you appeared just as a 30-40 year old with current employment would.

Your experiment, while worthy, doesn't indicate anything whatsoever about those who've derailed and have been going through that extended unemployment that the business world believes that seniors deserve.  >:(

I have had serious starvation periods in the last 5 to 10 years.   There were times when I had sent out 250 to 500 resumes and didn't get even one interview.   Was I down and discouraged?  Absolutely.  And near bankrupt also.   But I persisted and finally got back into big banks.  Aside from my SMB accounts, I seem to be stuck in banks and financial services.

BTW, at my current bank contract, a high percentage (maybe 75% or more) of the contractors and FTE's are either green cards or work visa's.   Do I care?   Hell no as long as I am there also.

The Gorn

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #67 on: October 16, 2018, 12:35:29 pm »
I probably posted too quickly. I think this passage says it all and speaks to everyone, regardless of immediate conditions:

It was not so quick.  After I completed the courses and felt that I was ready, it took a couple of months of constant applying to get the first contract.  I was only looking for remote jobs so I was pretty restrictive on my job requirements.  It took a bit longer to get the second.  Luckily both could be done effectively on a late hours basis with an occasional daytime teleconference.  That was necessary because of my longer-term bank contract.

In the contract market, interviews are few and far between.  It is all a numbers game.  If you get a 10% hit on interviews, you need 100 job applications to get just 10 interviews.  So if it takes 20 interviews before you get a contract, you see the numbers.

It is much easier if you are looking for a full-time contract (i.e. 8 hours a day) but it is still all about the numbers.

The key is persistence.   Keep at it and don't get discouraged.   

I think also the fact that you applied only for remote gigs removes most of the "current momentum" issue. The hiring party is shooting a bit blind with a remote candidate.  As a remote contract candidate, that is to your advantage, and it's a lot more about performance alone. 

This seems to be an excellent way to chisel yourself back into real employment:

Tool up.
Locate online gig - AKA "paid experience".
Maybe use that paid experience to justify your job search with physical employers. If you want.

Well done and I hope nothing I said came off too cynical. The key here is going remote for contract gigs, so there's none of the face to face hiring politics.
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The Gorn

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #68 on: October 16, 2018, 05:00:01 pm »
I have had serious starvation periods in the last 5 to 10 years.   There were times when I had sent out 250 to 500 resumes and didn't get even one interview.   Was I down and discouraged?  Absolutely.  And near bankrupt also.   But I persisted and finally got back into big banks.  Aside from my SMB accounts, I seem to be stuck in banks and financial services.

BTW, at my current bank contract, a high percentage (maybe 75% or more) of the contractors and FTE's are either green cards or work visa's.   Do I care?   Hell no as long as I am there also.

This is also a money quote. I didn't realize you had these hard times before you found your current bank gig(s). I honestly thought your employment had been steadier.

Thanks for the candid thoughts.

This is very encouraging to all of us who are outside average high tech employment demographics.
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unix

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #69 on: October 17, 2018, 06:39:46 am »
Can you elaborate on this point:

---------

I totally distrust job ads that don't somehow cover all three points. If all three attributes aren't listed, the job ad is too generic to be real. They are usually bogus headhunter/agency ads, or some neophyte / loser business that doesn't know what it's doing at all.
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The Gorn

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #70 on: October 17, 2018, 07:25:48 am »
Can you elaborate on this point:

---------

I totally distrust job ads that don't somehow cover all three points. If all three attributes aren't listed, the job ad is too generic to be real. They are usually bogus headhunter/agency ads, or some neophyte / loser business that doesn't know what it's doing at all.

Go back to the first post of this thread. Where ilconsiglliere quotes me the first time. The passage that starts "When I did SW contracting my best successes...".

I explain the three points right there in that passage.

If you don't absorb what I say there, I'm saying: A recruiter (or company) that won't talk to you about a specific end user application, or won't talk about the platform (Unix, Windows, Android, etc) is just collecting resumes. Someone asking you for the skill and won't get specific about anything else is wasting your time.

I personally don't think it's a good use of your time to be "teched out" or interviewed at length unless you're told how your work supports a specific application or mission. That is another way of saying the same thing.

Tell me if this makes sense.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 12:11:17 pm by The Gorn »
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Dennis

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #71 on: October 20, 2018, 07:06:41 am »

The key is persistence.   Keep at it and don't get discouraged.   Ignore the crap you will run into and the turn downs. 

Ok, I can buy that, and that is how I operated all my working life, but it sure does get tiring. Just as an example to get the job that I currently hold I had to give around 30 interviews while _still_ having a  job at that time. Some people are more likable than others and get hired faster. It also has to do a lot of with the stereotype  naive-immature-programmer type personalities who do the interviews. For them you have to pass the candidate-is-smart-but-not-too-smart-and-also-be-submissive-and-likable test.

unix

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2018, 05:54:38 pm »
Kinda OT but when I looked for a gig in the middle of the 2003 recession, the borks turned away everyone who wasn't  already "current", with current being the code word for employed.

i.e. if you are not already employed, no need to apply.  That's how they narrowed down the candidates from 500 for one opening to 100.

The most important gig is the next one and the right time to look for one is when you already have one, not when you are 6 months out of work and no longer "current".

Just a footnote in this valuable discussion.
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The Gorn

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #73 on: October 20, 2018, 06:27:44 pm »
The most important gig is the next one and the right time to look for one is when you already have one, not when you are 6 months out of work and no longer "current".

Just a footnote in this valuable discussion.

Pxsant's procedure is intended (I think) to be the remedy for this type of situation.

Just as an example to get the job that I currently hold I had to give around 30 interviews while _still_ having a  job at that time. Some people are more likable than others and get hired faster. It also has to do a lot of with the stereotype  naive-immature-programmer type personalities who do the interviews. For them you have to pass the candidate-is-smart-but-not-too-smart-and-also-be-submissive-and-likable test.

I think Pxsant is saying in part that it's a numbers game.

Even when you are well qualified.
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unix

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Re: Specific Tactics for Landing Technical Jobs as a Mature
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2018, 07:02:17 pm »

Well yeah.

A numbers game.
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