Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Definitely Time...

If you don't know, consider this.

And no, this is not what being unemployed has done to me...I could never grow a mustache.

Job hunting after being part of a massive layoff is an experience worth complaining about for many reasons but I'll focus on the process itself in this particular post.

Most notably in the job hunting process are the individuals that work as “recruiters” to set you up with potential employers. Recruiters are almost always paid on a commission basis. Whatever the new employer pays the candidate, the recruiting firm receives a percentage of that new salary.

I probably don't have to tell you that this often leads to large groups of smooth talking slimy individuals that very infrequently have the candidate's best interests in mind. Bigger salary for candidate = bigger commission. OHHH, and by the way, they want to meet you in person to make sure you're not a complete boob like this guy. Suit up, go in, get the dog and pony show, shake hands, blah, blah, blah.

Fine. Sometimes this can't be helped. A necessary evil means to an end. So they set you up with an interview. Now we're moving on to the next stage: meeting the potential employer.

This is where it gets tricky. Recruiters often don't tell you a lot about the company or the position because they don't know squat about your given expertise (in my case bean counting). They throw around a bunch of vague cliches so they sound like they know what they're talking about and try to sex it up as much as possible with goodies like traveling to cool locations, 40 hour work weeks, easy to get along with superiors, etc. All the stuff you want to hear.

Reluctantly you agree to meet with the potential employer even though it's a 40 minute commute on President's Day. STRIKE 1

Oh, and they are offering significantly below what you were already making. STRIKE 2

Ok. Two strikes. Don't worry. Maybe they are really cool people and they have a Google-style cafeteria and flexible work scheduling and possible telecommuting.

Suit up and go to interview. In the interview: you find out that you aren't going to be traveling to Florida, California, New York, Europe but in fact to Nova Scotia and North Dakota in the dead of winter and to New Orleans in the smack middle of hurricane season.

Oh, and the people that you would be working with are still ACCOUNTANTS. For the most part we're not talking about terribly exciting people. Their interests consist of golfing, sports and living in the suburbs. SHUDDER.


So what are you going to do? You need a job. Oh, and because you (i.e. me) are a normal person and can form several coherent sentences in a row and talk reasonably intelligently about something relevant to accounting, they ask you back for the second interview.

Did I forget to mention that the recruiter wants CONSTANT UPDATES like I'm a human SportsCenter or something. Um, YEAH.

Ok, second interview. Suit up (that's three). This consists of lunch which is at a barely step-above casual dining restaurant that still happens to be a chain. Whatevs. Free lunch. Economics was such BS.

Lunch is fine. Not terribly awkward. More talk about sports and weather. Again, it's free. Back to the potential employer's place of biz. Chat a bit longer, CFO isn't available, no problem. We'll get this wrapped soon they say. Meet HR guy. He's not an accountant, so that's refreshing.

Give recruiter the mandatory call after the interview. Yes, it went fine. I think they're interested. Yes, the job seems fine. Ok. Great. Hang-up phone. Mimic blowing my brains out with thumb and pointer finger gun.

Recruiter calls. Hey, CFO wants to meet you. Great. Suit up (#4). Meet CFO for all of 15 minutes. Goes pretty well considering the time. Talk with another guy not met previously. Fine. Good. Out.

Mandatory update given to recruiter. Mimic suicide by thumb/pointer gun again.

One day. Two days. Three days. Weekend. Medicate. Medicate. Recruiter is confident that you will hear something Monday.

Monday. No word. Tuesday: they passed. Wonderful. Claim unemployment for the week.

And the wheels on the bus go round and round...

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