Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thoughts on the job search

There are times that I hate this whole job-searching thing. All the customizing resumes, tweaking searches, poking around random websites, trying to gauge what recruiters are seeking, finding ways to bring my resume to the top of the swarm...yeah, fun. Of course, one of the most fun parts of all this is explaining what kind of career I've had. What a long, strange trip THAT's been.

That path has been, as Gary Erickson (founder of Clif Bars) would put it, has been upon a white lined road. While journeying in Europe, he found a map that differentiated the main, heavily traveled roads with red and the smaller, lesser frequented ones with white. In his book, he uses that analogy to explain the path his business has journeyed, as well as his viewpoint on decisions. My winding career, though, makes it hard at times to describe what I am, at least in terms of my career. Perhaps it's easier to talk about my foci right now.

I am seeing my deepest gifts as administrative, if not as an admin assistant or secretary. What I've called "executive baby-sitting" is not my calling. Those executives that I've admined for successfully have been quite self-sufficient and needed my assistance for more project and team centric work. Anyway, this really means that I work best in team support roles.

Right now, my main focus is on landing something close by; aka: eliminating the commute. My past few positions have had long ones. Now, I haven't really minded them. In some ways I like having the down-time. However, I am finding my role as household manager to be rather core to my being. Proximity to home is needed to maximize my effectiveness there. The challenge? My local network is pathetic. I am well connected in Seattle and Bellevue, but South Snohomish County? Not so much. Needless to say, I'm working on that.

We do have several large players around here: Boeing being mammoth, but also Premera and Philips have significant operations here. Then there are the smattering of biotech firms landing in Bothell (an ever growing list). With my love of public-side work, I'm also poking around local government.

It's been rather quite the past few days on the replies from hiring folks. I'm confident that will change soon. My home-side work is keeping me both busy and happy. In the last stint of unemployment, I was a bit unbalanced with job-seeking. Ironically, it was when I started focusing on balancing my life that I found work. This round I've been focused on balance: health (exercise, mostly), expanding my knowledge of both key skills as well as the local area. Anyway, that's another post.

~Peace...

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