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Jobs Still Engineers' Top 2011 Concern

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Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Jobs are still the number one concern
Ann R. Thryft   12/12/2011 1:45:52 PM
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I think the many currently unemployed people would agree that lower pay is better than no pay, at least in an economy like this none.

With that said, it would still be a bitter pill, to use Alex's phrase, as well as highly insulting, for employers to expect that a seasoned mature worker, especially one as highly trained as an engineer, should expect this as a matter of course, or even as a matter of survival.


William K.
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Platinum
Jobs are still the number one concern, around here
William K.   12/12/2011 7:01:38 PM
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Some parts of the country do seem to be having an upswing already, but in Michigan it is going to take more than "Happy words and thoughts" to turn things around. What I have found, at least for the present, is that there is indeed a fair amount of work in the service industry, if I can provide it at an engineering level instead of at an hourly labor level. Providing a rapid and accurate evaluation of a problem, followed by a quick and correct repair, is a way to make clients quite pleased to pay more, because they have their problem solved instead of just "played with". 

There are some full time engineering jobs, primarily for those with embedded processor experience. In other words, programmers. If I wanted to be a programmer I would be a programmer. Instead, I want to be an engineer. There is indeed a BIG DIFFERENCE!!

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Jobs are still the number one concern
Jack Rupert, PE   12/20/2011 2:53:32 PM
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@Winsome - Are you sure about the fact that only those limited facts are exchanged?  I'm currenlty "looking for my next opportunity", and have been asked to fill out a couple of applications that include a release statement that says the previous employer can give out pretty much everything.  I'm not sure they have or even if they are asked, but that's what the release says.

Winsome
User Rank
Iron
Re: Jobs are still the number one concern
Winsome   12/21/2011 2:14:29 AM
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Yes, I am positive that the larger (or more savvy) companies (500+) will not give out any more than name, title, and start/end date. But...if you sign a release, then there's no telling what they might try to find out, HOWEVER, not a single HR person or hiring personnel that I have known has ever ventured beyond the above, even with a "release" from the potential employer. The reason they do not give out more than these minimums is fear of discrimination law suits. If you don't beleive me, ask a good friend to call a former workplace, ask for HR, and then the friend can explain that they want to verify the employment history of a potential employee. Ask for title, start date, end date, and then try asking for whether the person is to be recommended for a such-and-such type role or say "was the end date voluntary" or something like that to see if they will say whether you were terminated, laid off, or whatever. The vast majority will not offer more than name, title, and start/end date. One of the better states for employees wrt employment protections is California. I have a close friend who hires and fires, does payroll, etc., and she says they stopped hiring people in CA because they have lost unemployment benefits claims for very stupid reasons....i.e., the employee was sacked for just cause....like not doing any work, not showing up at the workplace for 3 days without telling anyone because of a sore toe, arguing and throwing things at the customer, etc., and CA sided with the employee every time.

You the job-seeker have more cards than you realize. Bonne chance...

Winsome
User Rank
Iron
Re: Jobs are still the number one concern
Winsome   12/21/2011 2:41:20 AM
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Why do they dump the resumes of the unemployed in the round file? Sheer laziness and lack of empathy for others.

Some HR avoid the unemployed because the market is so soft right now, they can afford to pick and choose. I talked with one recruiter back in 2009 who said he had 400 - 500 applicants for every position, and he whittled it down to 20 very qualified applicants before doing phone interviews first. He said it's just easier to start with someone who is already employed because it's assured that they were not terminated for cause. Take note that this is when the HR person is working with 400 -500 resumes coming from Monster or wherever...every one of those resumes is taken at face value and must be verified at some point. They skip a step and avoid all issues at the outset by avoiding the unemployed.

The best way to get a job is to know someone in the company already. Then that person can get your resume into the system as a referral. I highly recommend using Linkedin.com to develop and retain a strong network. One other way to use Linkedin is to find out who is leaving for another place....this is visible when a person puts a new title/company in Linkedin. That means that that spot is vacant at the old place they just left, right? You can also follow various companies that do what you specialize in and see what hiring they are doing.

Keep getting training. Keep honing your resume. Update it often on the job sites (they like fresh ones & will search for new resumes within the last 30 days; each update refreshes your resume even if you just add a space & save.) Find out where all your former co-workers are and what they are doing. Dont' be afraid to start your own company; risks are necessary...Trump and a few others went bankrupt with businesses and started over from scratch. You can, too. Just be smart about what you do legally. Also, you can tap your old 401K funds without penalty (now in an IRA if you are unemployed) by starting a company (can be done online, within any state), and then go to an Edward Jones or similar and ask to set up a solo 401K plan in your company. The IRA gets "rolled over" into your company's 401K, and then you can get a loan against it. Totally legal. The catch is that you must remain employeed by yourself/your company, because the 401K loan is due in total once a person leaves employment where the 401K is held. 

It took me 3 years to get a job after getting laid off in 2008. I had never experienced this in a 20 year tech career. With little kids, I was limited in what I could do. Spouse worked, but not enough was coming in. Daycare for 3 kids was out of the question if I took a job at Home Depot. It's a nasty time out there, but keep in mind that "poverty level" in America still includes indoor plumbing. Meantime, try flexjobs.com, mechanicalturk.com, and other short term job banks. It's like being day labor, but for the IT crowd. Best Wishes.

 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Jobs are still the number one concern
William K.   12/21/2011 2:47:35 PM
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Looking at only the currently employed will only eliminate those who have not been fired yet.

In my book, refusing to consider the unemployed is discrimination. It is not as bad as racial discrimination, but it comes in second to it. It really would be interesting to have some HR policy person on that platform under the spotlight explain the reasons while the media cameras were rolling, and congress was listening. 

Do I sound like I may be holding a bit of grudge against those people? Do you think that I choose to be unemployed? Do you think that I wanted to be out of work for 38 months? Do you see any reason to think that this policy should go unchallenged?

Now that this great country has made it illegal to discriminate by race, which most folks can't change, and against a whole lot of choices that people can make, how about making it il;egal to discriminate against folks for being out of a job, which, most of us in that group did not choose. 

So, still, jobs are a big concern. And, no, I don't want a part time job selling "Fries with that, Sir?"

 

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