Hi Paul, I apologize for the tardiness, a whirlwind of activity between full and part-time gigs and the holidays. As you know I landed as an associate director at Cognizant. My role is technical strategy consulting to C-Level executives in large enterprises, with a focus on cloud operations.
I want to begin by thanking you, thank you for all you do for the community. Your efforts to help folks with strategy, resources and alternative or extended methods go well beyond the normal parameters of the recruiting business into the realm of care, assisting people who are in need of direction, inside information, or just a bit of seasoned advice. I hope everyone in the JDNG, in these forums or those that connect through LinkedIn or YouTube, realize that you are the gem in a broad field of pebbles. In an industry where many are offering help only to sell you a “plan” or some contrary method that defies logic just to be different and garner attention, I want everyone to know that Paul Cameron is a businessman, a recruiter who actually practices his craft, he is a consummate professional and goes out of his way to lend his experience and his assistance to those traversing the war field of the job hunting marketplace. And again Paul, thank you!
Some of my personal tips from what was at times an anxiety-filled road to my newest position(s), hopefully, someone will find these useful.
1. Always have an eye for new opportunity, if nothing else be aware. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated, monitor the activity of LinkedIn and your job hunting email (yes I use Gmail only for job activity) and keep your next move plans current as one never knows when you will again need to call them to action.
2. Continue learning, find something that is of interest and will provide new fodder for your resume and LinkedIn profile. There are many online inexpensive training outlets, or consider the community college for a semester. During my hiatus, I became Amazon AWS solutions architect certified and took an SQL class at COD, as I told Paul it was the beginning of Me 2.0. I am continuing my education an hour at a time going forward using Acloudguru.com for the materials. Udemy, Code Academy and many other outlets including free classes through MIT are out there, find a topic that both fits with your interest and is valued by employers, that new entry on LinkedIn might be the start new opportunities and additions to your network.
3. Help others as much as you can, I can’t tell you how many folks I have tried to help during this endeavor from resume review and helping re-write to counseling some of my old teams on extending their reach (e.g. one fellow from AIX to Linux that he didn’t see). If anyone in the group needs some help, feel free to contact me through LinkedIn, it might take a few days for the reply, but I will and will do my best to assist.
4. Try new things; I explored a number of new frontiers during my search, from ghostwriting for a Tech CEO to publishing my own thoughts, part-time work as an engineer for a litigation support firm and helping another develop cloud strategy. Some of these were unusual for me, however, there is value in all the experiences and you never know who you may meet. Writing articles about an industry topic you know well can get a lot of attention on LinkedIn and other forums, just make sure you proofread before you publish, I really enjoyed writing some pieces and it was good as well to keep those skills up. Try something different or that may be a stretch, the odd jobs and new frontiers were a blast!
5. Never discount an interview, I had one terrible interview as part of the five with Cognizant. I considered the opportunity dead, the next week was the first indicator that they wanted to move ahead and in that conversation was the words “oh, you interviewed with Arlen?” “and you survived?” you just never know.
6. Hang in there, when you have been continuously employed for a long period of time as I was, it takes a bit to learn the playing field again, it has certainly changed over the years but more importantly is it continues to change even faster. This is where having someone like Paul available with the inside knowledge and experience is a great help. As an example Paul recently sent out a note about Video Introductions, I think it is a great idea and if done properly is going to change what is considered the baseline for profiles in the future. Remember that when you are out of work, your full-time job is to find that next opportunity, schedules, organization and plans, all the things that Paul so eloquently teaches are critical to finding that next gig. However if you are feeling stressed and need to step back, take a day of your “search job” reset, but don’t procrastinate get back to it and if needed change course, there is an opportunity out there, and my thoughts for everyone who reads this is it happens quickly and to your satisfaction. All the best everyone!June 28, 2018 at 8:03 pm
Wow, thank you so much for writing this and for the very kind words. It’s still important to note that regardless of what I’m doing on my end, the job seeker has to do the work and implement the tools and tactics. So kudos to you for sticking with it and taking action on everything.
I love the tips you’s shared here, especially #6 because I keep hearing from people about “taking a break” from the search, but it’s essential not to procrastinate too long. A quick break can turn into a huge employment gap before you know it. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and congrats on your new positions! …yes, plural, positionS. 😀June 28, 2018 at 8:04 pm
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