= Job Search, 2014 =

I started on my job search vaguely in June, 2013.

In honesty, most of the failure was my fault. I was contacted me over half a year ago and, while I was looking, between keeping my then current position (which I resigned from in December to job hunt full time and in earnest) and my now fiance moving in, I failed to follow up like I should. I realize that the turnaround is completely excessive (6 months!), but it is an good indicator of how bad things had gotten at my previous job and how frustrated my life was.

As you guessed, the one thing you could have done is move more quickly -- if possible -- to get me in to interview in person (and, hopefully, followed up quickly with that). I was hoping that you could have gotten me in last week; who knows if this would have ultimately made a difference, but having two offers on the table at the same time would have allowed me to compare and contrast and, in theory, talk to both parties and negotiate. That said....I'm much more of an engineer and analyst than a negotiator or salesman. Game theory would say that for my optimal advantage I should have more aggressively presented my time-tables....but I'm an engineer, somewhat shy about such things, and didn't, and my new company made me a good offer but with a very short expiration date. Of course, it is to the job applicant's advantage to have many offers in hand and to the company's advantage to take the desired applicant off the market as quickly as possible, and my new boss and I both were aware of that. He made a good offer but one with a fast expiration date, and I bit. I don't regret my decision and am very excited about my new job and think that my new boss will be a great boss, which is a rarity. I will often wonder if I would have been better off -- in terms of having fun, people I would meet, salary, workload, etc -- but in either case, I couldn't have walked both paths. Either way, I would wonder what the alternative would have been like. I do wish I could have at least interviewed at FiveStars (and Amazon, for that matter, who I was also supposed to see this week) to get a better idea of these things. There's a good chance my decision would not have been any different, but it would have been nice to be more informed. So, yes, faster moving application process is a plus. This is not at all a critique: I've looked at a lot of companies, done a lot of phone interviews, and several in-person interviews, and all in all, FiveStars moved much faster than most. But Cognitive Networks moved faster.

A horrible outside factor that effected both of us negatively is the holiday season: December is not a good time to start a job search! Availability of various screeners at various organizations is fairly random, which can only prolong the process. Sadly, my time-table was coerced by outside factors: I should have begun sooner; really, I should have been on top of your correspondence when you first. As said, most of the reason I didn't get to interview is my fault :( I wish, now, I had taken more time to follow-up on your quite inspiring first letter to me rather than what I did, which is to devote more time to a job that ultimately I wanted to leave. Que sara sara. While there are certainly lessons to be learned from the experience, it is probably atypical for a job seeker, and I do not want to discount the negative effects of my slow turnaround in correspondence with you and FiveStars on my search. (If you're curious, you were not at alone in this boat -- there were several recruiters and companies that had been corresponding since even before June that I had just miserable turnaround time with. One thing you could have done to help here is perhaps a phone call politely nudging me towards a prompter reply; but this would have to be done carefully. One recruiter was both persistent and delightful enough to get me to take an interview at this time -- it turned out to be the worst interview of my life and led to me shying away from further interactions with him.)

I ended up at Cognitive Networks -- cognitivenetworks.com -- which is not too far away from 11th and Folsom. So swinging by the office one day or getting lunch with the FiveStars team is not at all out of the question. Zach, who phone screened me, coincidentally knows a close friend of mine (which neither of us realized until the interview!) so that is incentive by itself. Plus business is about building relationships -- I'm not very good at it, but am open to getting better.

Well, there you have it. After keeping up with your side of my job search conversation so well and me dropping the ball, really, I thought I might as well give you the verbosity that you requested in hopes it might do some good (plus it was cathartic). Again, I'm sorry that things couldn't have been different.