The good ol' Job Hunt
Just over two years ago, I wrote about the good ol' job hunt. Today, I find myself in a very similar situation. My Evite gig ends in a couple hours and I'm heading to The Cabin on Monday for a month of vacation. Similar to last time, there are opportunities out there, but most of them come through recruiters.
I have to admit - it seems like I got lucky the last couple times I tried to find a gig. I simply blogged I was looking and found myself negotiating with companies a few days later. Getting laid off from LinkedIn was awesome in that a few companies contacted me about hiring the whole team the next day. The ability to blog-and-get-a-gig was a great way to cut out the middle-man.
Unfortunately, I think I got spoiled by my blog-and-get-a-gig success. I figured it would happen again this time...
Not so much.
I don't know if it's because of the down economy or because I took the year off from speaking at conferences. Regardless, I'm in an interesting situation since I signed a 1-year lease on an office in downtown Denver. It's easy to market to companies in Denver, but if I land a gig here, there's a good chance the client is going to want me in the office everyday. That leaves me wondering: what's the best way to market to companies outside of Colorado? My ideal contract is one that 1) allows me to work remotely and 2) only requires me to travel once or twice a month.
I believe my ideal gigs are out there, but I think it's difficult to convince companies I'm a good remote worker. In an attempt to convince them otherwise, I'd like to offer recommendations from my last two clients.
"Matt contributed dramatically to the engineering practice at Evite, both directly and indirectly. Directly, he lead the effort to define and prove a successful new web UI architecture for us. Indirectly, he brought senior engineering talent into the organization, and energized the existing team. We are significantly better positioned to deliver on our Product goals as a result of having worked with Matt. I'd love to work with him again someday." David Thomas, VP of Technology, Evite
"Matt has unique abilities in the realm of software engineering. He brings great energy, an amazing breadth of knowledge in UI technologies, along with a can-do attitude that's refreshing to interact with. He is a great leader and communicator. In addition, Matt can apply his deep understanding of the technologies in question pragmatically to the engineering problem at hand, leading his team in execution and delivery. He's an excellent technical visionary to complement any team." Arnold Goldberg, Vice President Platform Engineering, LinkedIn
If you're looking to hire someone with my skills, let me know - there's a good chance you'll be glad you did.
I think you actually touched on the key as you were thinking this out: get back into speaking mode. Your presentations in the past positioned you as an expert in java frameworks. While doing the frameworks thing yet again might not be what interests you, there are certainly plenty of new considerations that can be explored. Personally, I really appreciated your research on AJAX frameworks.
Best of luck to you.
Posted by Daniel Shaw on June 26, 2009 at 04:14 PM MDT #
The down economy is actually a boon to what you do. You have the ability to deliver high value and productivity both individually and via your team. That is what companies are seeking these days to remain competitive and allow them to be ready for when the economy turns around. It seems like things come in spurts and in the past year I have had more opportunities than I could handle and not able to find anyone to take up the slack. It may take you a while to find the perfect gig based on your specific needs but they are out there. Just think it takes the normal person 1 month for every 10K of salary to find a job. Just keep up your networking and getting the word out and it will come through probably before you are ready to get back at it again. With all the startups out there I am sure someone will reach out to you soon. In the meantime have fun at the cabin and relax and fish for a while.
Best of luck and I can't wait to hear you speak again soon.
Posted by Scott Ryan on June 26, 2009 at 05:51 PM MDT #
>> can-do attitude that's refreshing to interact with.
As I read that statement, I realized that I am surrounded with the opposite at work. Thats no fun :/
Posted by 22.214.171.124 on June 27, 2009 at 02:46 AM MDT #
Posted by Dan Diephouse on June 28, 2009 at 01:28 PM MDT #
Hi Matt, keep STRONG! We are in similar circumstanstes here in Finland, I have small chances to get job during the recession, and struggling to save my own business. So best of luck for all of us.
Posted by Igor Polyakov on June 29, 2009 at 05:42 AM MDT #
Posted by Dean J on June 29, 2009 at 12:16 PM MDT #
We need to convince the businesses that we are not just service providers and that we actually produce software product. This software product doesn't necessarily come in the form of a product that sits on a shelf at OfficeMax, but rather implementations and architectures using open source can be economical solutions for businesses to begin using.
I'm in the same boat here in NC but I truly believe that trusting, remote jobs are best if the right relationships can be built. I'm a very honest, ethical guy but it's very hard for people to trust. Well, in fact, I trust too and I've been screwed a few times good. I still want to do what's best for clients. That's why we do what we do.
We need to start whoring more LOL. I really believe that we need to drop the wall-of-stupidity that we see when it comes to marketing. E.g. we read the hoopla and think how trivial, how stupid. .. but why aren't we doing it? We have as much right to blow the smoke as they do. I've been trying to outline things but it's hard.
So start shaking it. I'm going to .. :-)
Posted by David Whitehurst on June 29, 2009 at 02:50 PM MDT #
Offer an on-site/off-site rate or structure your contracts where you spend the first month on-site learning the domain, environment, face-with-a-name dynamic and then go off-site once the comfort level is reached.
Will be sad to see the GWT posts go. Can you give a summary of your impressions of GWT and of what worked and what did not.
Posted by Andrew Clifford on June 30, 2009 at 10:45 AM MDT #
Let's put the band back together. Minus a few of the undesirables. Oh,...wait, that would include me. Nevermind.
The summer's tickin' by - we still need to have a get together up here before its over, and before I croak. The wife helped a caterer friend and brought home 10 gallons of Margaritas! You read that correctly.
I may have to drag whats left of my unhealthy self out there into the job market again because disability insurance "MAY" not come thru, best thing for me is working from home but that luxury is getting more elusive. Thank you however for introducing me to Dana, she's a blast to work with.
Anywho - keep the faith. Can't believe how big the kids are getting, wow. Think about getting up here and grubbin out and helping knock down the Margarita inventory. Mr. Whitehurst, consider yourself invited too - we'll wait for you.
Be good guys, drop by the blog and tune in to some of my latest ordeals. At the moment I'm getting off the pain meds. NOT FUN! May the Schwartz Be With You.
Posted by Maxi on July 15, 2009 at 10:39 PM MDT #