CON: it’s not a mac programming job. i almost got one of those in seattle, but then it didn’t work out.
PRO: it’s also not a windows programming job, thank god. i am now peripherally involved in the music business, working on a UNIX-based server-style program that monitors over-the-air commercial radio broadcasts. our product applies a sophisticated pattern-matching algorithm to determine what songs are being played. the idea is to find out if radio stations are paying the rights-holders for every play, or if the station programmers are under-reporting a little bit. that’s plenty interesting enough for me.
CON: it’s in nashville. i do not want to stay here, but i’m hardly in a position to turn down six figures in a city that’s cheap. in miami, i was paying a thousand a month to rent a modest two-bedroom house with a single-car garage. a similar place of more or less the same size, in sunnyvale ca, set me back $2500 a month, and given the california housing market, i had to trample puppies and kittens to be the first one to sign on the dotted line. i bet i can rent a similar house in nashville for $700 a month.
PRO: dude! six figures! and the two guys i interviewed with were totally cool. suave and reserved, more likely to listen than talk. it’s a very small company, less than 30 employees, so there won’t be layers of unpleasant bureaucracy.
SO, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED.
CON: i should not have let my contacts get stale. i called everybody i used to work with, which turned up nothing. part of the problem is that they are all people i met before i realized i am an anti-windows bigot. all those guys are working on windows-oriented stuff that offends my delicate sensibilities. one of my contacts did put me in touch with a recruiter, but that guy was entirely focused on the windows scene. i wasn’t able to feign interest in anything microsoft-related long enough to get past his filters.
CON: i should have made more contacts in the first place. when i was working at my very first telecom job in miami, a bunch of heavy hitters from the industry strolled through our office at one time or another. i should have been schmoozing the hell out of those guys. alas, that was when i was kind of bitter and unpleasant. striking up conversations with complete strangers was painful for me. i had to go through this nashville-purgatory-thing before i got to a point where i mostly like people.
PRO: dice. holy cow, did that site ever get me noticed. by comparison, monster.com is a bloated feeble ad-choked glad-handing mess. it was twice as hard to sign up for as dice, and got me exactly zero contacts.
CON: apparently, i don’t know the right tactics these days. i figured i would get a job by applying to everything in sight, which has worked for me in the past. i got very little action that way. i did much better by just sitting here twiddling my thumbs, waiting for recruiters to contact me. this strategy works best if you have a buzzword-laden résumé. and it helps that programmers are apparently once again in demand.
in the last three months, i’ve been contacted by at least 15 recruiters. i wrote back to all of them, but strangely enough, most did not go any farther. a recruiter e-mails me, i write back, and then the guy ignores me after that? what the heck? i often sent a second e-mail, in case there was a spam-filter mishap or something, to no avail.
six of the recruiters sent me a second e-mail. two of them got me an interview. the second interview led to a job offer. there are two other recruiters who could potentially make something good happen for me, but i’m antsy to start making money. i don’t want the six-figure guys to think i’ve got cold feet.
ONE LAST LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE BEFORE WE GO ...
this will probably be my last high-tech job. i’m really not cut out for it anymore. i’d planned to fund my transition into another career with my portion of the family fortune, but it turns out my sister is a greedy loathsome bitch, so i have to pay for it myself. i’ll be able to live on a third of what i’m making at this place. the rest will be squirreled away, to be drawn upon later to fund the transition into my true form, the person i should have been all along.
i’m not going to short-change my new employer, though. i’m going to work my ass off and make them happy they hired me. me making my problems into other people’s problems is so 1998.