Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs

Where are you j-o-b? The search continues for a better job fit, but things are not as bleak as once thought. At least there seems to be a few more calls, discussions and networking that are beginning to show a tad bit of light at the end of the tunnel. It's a process, but the unemployment rate continues to rise in Oregon and more and more companies continue to slash budgets and lay people off. I did mention a light, right? Attitude is everything and I'm relying on that even more so now.

This week however a new kind of light blinded me in my epic search for employment. I was eliminated this week from an opportunity due to the fact I didn't know the meaning to a word...millerite. If you know the meaning to this word without having to look it up, use google, ask.com, etc., you are the man/woman. After working through a series of interviews, I was down the final two for a position. As a larger corporation, they do some testing to see what sort of intelligence level the candidates are at (I'm guessing here, don't really know). I missed being considered for the position because I didn't pass the test verbal part of the test, with the last question being "what is millerite?". It's a tough pill to swallow, but I guess it's not the right fit if I can't define nickel, sulfide mineral. Thank you Troy Nickerson.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unemployment

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the employment office. The scheduled meeting was to familiarize myself with the computer program that assists job seekers with finding employment. Once completing this meeting, I get approved, sign a sheet and get entered into the employment database having completed the session. It's basically a careerbuilder.com or monster.com for job seekers in Oregon. The program can be used by employed folks as well as the nearly 11% of us unemployed kind. The boil down even more, I HAD to go to keep receiving my unemployment benefit.

The session today offered a little perspective. I found myself in a room full of folks looking for work that just don't have the qualifications or the experience to find a quality job. Many of them don't even know how to work a computer, don't understand what ALL CAPS is and certainly don't grasp the value of personal presentation. As a good friend of mine states on a regular basis, if this is the competition I'm going up against for work, I'm going to be in good shape soon. I know there are many more qualified applicants out there searching for work, but as I wrote yesterday, it's all in a state of mind. I took some positive energy out of my time there and realized good things are coming if I keep doing the right things in my search.

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting the employment office in your professional life, it is interesting. If you do happen to visit, I hope it's not under the same circumstances I had to visit for. But with anything, it's about the adventure and seeing the humor and education in the experience. I know, a little deep for me, but so true.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So long...

Well, it's almost been a month since my last post. Man, time flies when you are having fun. Since posting on Feb. 26th I have turned a page in my job search. Don't get the wrong idea, I'm still working the network, following leads and talking to folks from Oregon to Texas to Indiana. My attitude has shifted towards embracing the "now" instead of focusing so much on the "later". Yes, I want to be a part of an organization and work. Yes, I want to get back to advancing my career. But...YES, I want to take in the opportunity I have been given to sharpen my skills, enjoy my kids and dabble in some areas I haven't had the time to dabble in.

The time with my kids has been priceless and I enjoy that each day. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer my time helping others with odd jobs and focusing on what will continue to make me successful. When unfortunate things happen every person gets the cerimonious pat on the back and the overused phrase, "everything is going to be alright". I think everyone uses it because it's true...but only to a small degree. The better phrase is "well now you can focus on what you really want to do". For those of you who have uttered that phrase to me, thank you. For the one guy who threw it in my face, screw you. As with anything, it's all about the delivery and the sincerity in the message. My point is, there's only a small number of folks I directly know that have been in the same position I'm in and it's hard for them to relate to my state of mind. I'm in a good place right now, of course I would like to be in a better place, employed, working diligently for a company. Time will present that opportunity and until then, I live in the "now" working the phone, dropping off coffee to say hi, and being more than ready for the next opportunity.

A little follow-up from the last 27 days:
  • I have been called for 6 interviews
  • Have had 2 follow-up interviews
  • Asked and received 2 informational interviews
  • Had 0 job offers

Yeah, the most important number is the only one that really matters, but my progress has been adequate considering the declining economy and job market in the state of Oregon.

I'll be posting more frequently, so if I've lost you due to lack of info, come back from time to time and don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues about http://www.joshuatcox.com/.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reality

It's been exactly one week since I returned from my adventures in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. As much of the big "mo" I had going upon my return, it quickly faded into the reality of the job situation....tough, tough and tougher.

Overall my trip went well and I still have a few prospects sitting out there in Kentucky. There are definitely more options back East due to an increase in population, but with an increase in population comes a tougher applicant pool. Time will tell if something works out, but I did everything I needed to do to talk to as many people as I could. I was fortunate to have two interviews to go along with all the network connections I made.

I was informed today I wasn't quite as qualified as the position in Atlanta required. Yet another disappointment. As intriguing as moving to Atlanta sounds, it would have made things tough on my family and myself. It is still a shot to the confidence when each opportunity that has potential comes back with the results you didn't expect. I've had tremendous feedback on my resume so I'm beginning to wonder if my interview skills need some work. It's been a work in progress since being thrown into this situation but I've felt good about my presentation and ability to answer questions candidly. Clearly there's something missing and as a friend of mine told me from the beginning, don't focus too much on the resume, work the network and work on the interview. So, I think I have some work to do.

With the massive amount of free time on my hands I've been honing my skills as an actor. I think I may have hit it big with my latest gig...

http://www.poptent.net/media/9620

Thanks to my friends at Adams, Hull & MacCluer for inviting me to be a part of the shoot. I'm a budding star for the 2 seconds I'm on camera. Watch out America.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hot-lanta

Yesterday I arose at the early hour of 4am to hit the road to Atlanta for an interview. Man, I was excited. A great agency in a great town and an actual INTERVIEW. It was going to be more than the informational interviews I had been having with folks. I brushed up on my buzzwords to use, practicing the cool answers to questions like, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" and "Describe yourself in a situation when things don't go as you had planned?" and all the other funny and odd questions you get. After about an hour on the road I couldn't quite figure out why I was ready to fall into a deep slumber. Then it hit me, my body clock was telling me it was 2am PST. Anyway, I got there in one piece and it was a good trip with lots of sun and hardly any traffic.



video

Well, the interview in Atlanta went well, at least parts of it did. I walked away feeling good about the situation even though things sort of got off to a weird start. I was able to meet with three different people during my time. The first person I met with was the typical interviewee where if you didn't get the right words out to sell yourself in the first 3 minutes your chances of moving the discussion forward were slim to none. I thought I was able detail my background and experience well enough to keep the conversation moving, but then the dreaded "have you ever done this" question was posed. These are the toughest questions and situations to deal with if you haven't done or don't have the experience of what is being asked. I think spin is the right phrase to keep the conversation moving. Unfortunately for me I don't think I did a good enough job "spinning" the answer to the question and the brief interview was over.

As bummed as I was, I knew I still would have the opportunity to talk with two other people. The second person I had the pleasure of meeting was enjoyable from start to finish. I also did my part by answering the few questions that were asked correctly. I opened myself up to some tough experiences from my past work and was able to engage the other person in a casual, yet professionally constructive conversation. As with the first person I met with, my time was short and off I went to the third and final person I was to meet with.


video

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hello World

Welcome to my blog. I know, it sounds so much more sophisticated than it really is. I’ll be checking in almost daily to update the world on the happenings with me. Specifically, I will be using this blog to document my search for employment. After being given my walking papers on 01.12.09 I’ve been in search of new employment opportunities. I’ve had a few things come up in the Eugene, OR area, but opportunities are pretty scarce. Things will develop when the right opportunity presents itself, but I’m open to any and all leads anyone wants to pass along.

To explore more opportunites, I’m opening my search to the Eastern time zone. I’ll be in Kentucky, Georgia, Florida and places in between in the next week and half. I’ll be using this blog to document the trip and job search while away from my World Wide Headquarters of Eugene, Oregon.

Let me know what you have going on, give my your opinions and as I mentioned, any job lead is a good lead.