Friday, August 13, 2010

My Job Search is On!

My company appears to be on the brink of failure. It has been apparent for a few months that we were in trouble, but for a little while it appeared like we might be able to pull off a miraculous recovery. No more. As of today our board of directors is weighing several possibilities, none of which are likely to result in long term survival for the company as an independent organization. All is not lost though, at least not yet.

Among the options being considered is the possibility that the board will attempt to sell the company, rather than shutting it down. If that happens, I will probably be asked to stay with the company and lead the selling effort. There is also an outside chance that our investors will decide to keep us running on a semi-normal basis and try to grow the business. I am not holding my breath.

All that aside, I am not sitting around and hoping for the best. Ever since the situation turned decidedly grim earlier this week, I have been formulating my plans, and as of Wednesday I have started to quietly and discretely search for a new position.

Why quietly? I don't want to disrupt the company's few remaining chances, nor do I want to jeopardize my chances to stay with the company if it continues to exist in some form. So what have I done so far? Here's a short list:

1. Update my resume - I didn't have much to do, because I am diligent about keeping my resume more or less current. You never know when an opportunity might crop-up.

2. Call headhunters - I make it a point to always respond to headhunters that try to contact me - whether they are trying to sell me on candidates for hire or on job prospects. If I am not interested, I try to suggest someone who I think would be a good fit or is hiring. As a result, I now have some headhunter contacts that know me and are willing to work with me. One even has a couple of positions he will propose me for (although neither are terribly exciting to me at present).

3. Call trusted network members - as I mentioned, this is a quiet effort so far, so I am only calling a few, carefully selected individuals that I feel are in a position to assist me with minimal risk of disclosure. One of these has a position to offer me, but the details are not yet clear. I should know more next week.

4. Apply for some jobs online - this is mostly a fruitless exercise, no doubt, but I found a few open positions for which my qualifications are perfect. I gave it a shot - but I am not holding my breath. Online job applications are not much different from a black hole. Unfortunately, my network does not extend into the relevant companies, so during the quiet phase of my search, online applications are my only option.

5. Start a War Board - if you've ever been in sales, you might be familiar with an end of quarter "war board" that some companies have. This is a place to monitor all the expected sales and track performance to meet end of quarter sales target. Well, I started a Job Search War Board - it's an excel spread sheet where I will track all of the leads, activities and to-do items related to my job hunt.

In this economy I am preparing for a long, hard slog. I feel ready, nervous, a little worried, and actually quite excited. I feel that I am up for the challenge.

In the coming weeks, I will use this blog as part of my war board, and hope to solicit useful comments, advice  and motivation from my readers. In the mean time, if you know of senior level business development or marketing positions in the technology industry, and specifically in Silicon Valley, I would love to know about it. All leads welcome.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, and come back soon for regular updates on the search.

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guinness416 said...

No leads for you here unfortunately but best of luck, mate, hope things resolve quickly one way or the other.

Rob Bennett said...

Fingers are crossed.

It sounds like even your worst-case option is not a terrible option. Although it is obviously a letdown from where you have been. You're a fighter, so things will turn around. The hard part is summoning up the patience to let that happen.


Kimberlee Stiens said...

Exciting! I have no leads as of now, but I'll keep my ear to the ground.

Question: Are you totally confident that this blog is anonymous? I mean, you clearly don't think this post is a threat to your current position, how do you have such confidence?

Shadox said...

Thanks for the support guys.

Kim - I am fairly confident of this blog's anonymity. My confidence comes from the fact that I have never told anyone about it.

If somehow my identity is exposed, I think the damage caused by this post would be minimal. After all - I would have to be pretty insane to just wait for the company to end without starting to plan for the day after. People know and expect that. That's not to say that I should be walking the halls with a microphone announcing to the world that I am job hunting.

If the company continues to do business, I hope to be with it. Anyone that would want me to stay, would need to convince me that there is a meaningful future for me there.

Anonymous said...

Look into the solar energy companies.... They might not be located there- but Arizona is hiring! those tax breaks are CALLING people to buy for their companies and buy big. My nephew is making a LOT....

Money Beagle said...

Great work getting ahead of the game, many people would probably just stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best. It's good that you're facing reality head on.

I think the 'war board' is a great idea. When I was job hunting a few years ago, keeping track of all my leads, contacts, conversations, emails, and everything else was great in terms of keeping organized.

Squirrelers said...

Just discovered your blog, I like the layout.

Anyhow, I was in a situation where I was a part of a sudden and unexpected layoff, and had to go through many of the same methods. While I found a new job through an online posting, I think it's a great idea focus time on networking. Often, in a tough economy such as this, it's who you know that can be the differentiator in deciding who gets the job offer among a group of qualified candidates.

Having been a position of looking in the past, I strongly suggest networking. While you may not know someone who will hire you right away, you may know someone who might have a contact that's looking for someone. Even otherwise, you could learn a lot from the process.

Shadox said...

Squirrelers - welcome to my blog.

From my perspective the key advantage of networking is getting your resume noticed when responding to a job opening. Hiring managers get dozens if not hundreds of resumes - the vast majority of them without any fit for the position at all.

In that kind of an environment, the chance for your resume to even get noticed is tiny. Getting an introduction to the hiring manager, at the very least, will get your resume read.

From that point on, with a strong endorsement from the person who introduced you, you should be able to get an interview (if you are qualified). Then, it's all up to you.

Anonymous said...

Shadox - did you ever get that job search techniques email that I sent you back in December 2009 when you asked for guest posts? I'd be interested in reading your thoughts on it; many of my friends found it quite useful.

TASS said...

Hey, all the best with your job search.

Nobody within your company will hold it against you should if they were to find out you were looking externally for work. I was recently working for a company that went into administration and it was the norm. Don't forget to put number one first.