I’ve never gone into a lot of detail about my personal live – family, relationships, jobs – on the blog. Not only are there too many creepy stalkers, but the left’s culture of “othering” means they’re far from above trying to screw with the personal lives and livelihoods of people they disagree with.
But to make a long cryptic story short and more cryptic – I’m leaving my contract job of a year and a half to go to a full-time direct position. I’m wrapping up at my current contract in about a week, and will be starting the new job in the next couple of weeks.
Now, it should surprise nobody who has followed this space, or otherwise knows me in any way, that I take job hunting very seriously. I was a single parent for a long time, so cash flow was, to borrow a Joe Biden quote, “a big f*****g deal” to me. It maybe the one thing in my life I’m seriously OCD about.
And so I keep statistics. I have a googledoc spreadsheet on which I keep the details of every job search I’ve ever been on since I got into the IT business as a technical writer in 1993. I keep them partly out of morbid curiosity, and partly to show myself that I’m really not doing all that badly so don’t get depressed.
So since I’ve got nothing else going on, let’s take a look.
I’ve had 29 job hunts since 1993. An average of 2 per year during my five years as a tech writer, and a little less than once a year since I’ve been in UX.
The *average* job hunt – from starting the hunt to getting an offer – has taken 33 days (plus an average of 10 days after the offer before starting the job, whether my choice or their paperwork). This past one was 54 days almost on the button, plus three weeks from the offer to start. (The worst was 2003 – almost five months. The shortest was 2010; I made my first call Friday as I was holding my layoff notice, interviewed Monday at 10AM, got the offer at 11:30).
BUT – in the 54 days I was on the market, I made it to four final interviews – from initial contact to final interview. Three of ’em I didn’t get. The one I actually got? 15 days from initial contact to offer. I’ve been tracking *that* time – the cycle of the final, successful opportunity from first contact to offer – since 2005. The average time for *successful* cycles is…15 days!
Not All Hunts Are Created Equal
Of course, not all job changes are the same. I break ’em into three categories (I said I was OCD, and I meant it):
- Green: Job hunts where I’m looking while I have another job.
- Yellow: Job hunts where I have a fixed end date on my current job. It’s been anywhere from 2 to 11 weeks, usually 30 days, but it’s notice.
- Red: Jobs that end with no notice. Note that I’ve never been fired for cause in my life – even in radio – but sometimes, jobs just end with a bang; an immediate layoff, a contract losing its funding, whatever. Either way, the “Employed” switch gets flipped to “off”.
This past search started as “Green” but changed to “Yellow” – I was told my contract was ending two weeks after I started shopping.
And it’s interesting (well, to me): the times of searches from start to offer are:
- Green: 37 days
- Yellow: 29 days
- Red: 46 days. Although if you leave out the outlier, my five month slog during the 2003 tech recession, it comes down to about 30 days, too. But then, recessions happen. I’ll keep it in the numbers).
So it seems that it’s true – it IS easier to look for work when you *have* a job already! But it also seems that having a fixed end date adds to the urgency a bit…
Jobs Is Jobs?
Oh, yeah – the vast majority of my jobs over the past (koff koff) couple of decades have been contracting (some of them “contract to hire”). Does that make a difference?
Nope. 28 days either way (if I leave out the outlier in 2003).
Glass Half-Empty: I’ve had way too much experience at job hunting.
Glass Half-Full: Stumbling, completely by accident, into the career I’m in was one of my life’s happier accidents. After all this, I still love going to work in the morning.
(Well, OK – I’ve got short-timer syndrome pretty bad, here).