Big Personal Data

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.

Aggravated Aggregation

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).

20 thoughts on “Big Personal Data

  1. Congrats on the new job. I’m retiring soon, so I completely understand the short-timer thing. Not starting something new is weird tho’.

  2. I am retiring at age 60.
    Moving from the Big Island to western Wisconsin.
    If I held off until I was 66 years and few months, I could retire to a nice condo in Kona.
    But my wife passed away shortly after her 67th birthday (she was older than me). Life is too frikkin’ short.

  3. you had a contract back in ’95 that placed you in the same cubicle farm with me – granted there were over 100 people in the room/farm and you and I never worked on the same project but I do remember – though I remember you seemed to have more hair …

  4. jdm
    the first few months are like an extended vacation which is cool but you can only spend so much time fishing, play golf, hunt, bicycle, travel, read, drink, or spend time at the range before you start looking for something to do. There are lots of non-profits out there looking for volunteers, which is ok, some of them are even worthwhile, but the thing to be careful of is the demands they will make on your time. Its not unheard of to find yourself in a 30 hr a week job that pays you nothing – don’t let them set the parameters make it a point to work only the hours you want when you want. Also unless you have an 8 figure nest egg don’t make cash contributions they will attach themselves like lampreys if you do.

  5. ’95? Hmmmm…

    Was that the cubile farm in Golden Valley, Bloomington, or Eden Prairie?

  6. Congrats, Mitch. I am doing a job search at the moment and all of this rings true.

  7. I just started in May at the Golden Valley farm, we only overlapped a few weeks as I remember

  8. MP, Sorry to hear about your wife.

    Turning 62 this year, planning on hanging in here for another 4.5 years, but we will see. It sometimes is really hard to come to work.

  9. People actually retire? Most people I know, including my own family keep on and look at President Trump? Heck, look at Biden and Sanders too.

  10. People do retire. I will. I can and will not go back to work to earn money. I’m going to spend my remaining years doing what I can to avoid paying taxes.

  11. My career has primarily been a series of consulting firms and special machine buildersf, culminating now, at the finish line with the plum job of a lifetime.

    Small engineering firms are always scrambling for cash flow, and the projects I do are capital intensive so I never got comfortable in in any one office; I never have put anything personal in my office. They cannot afford to pay me my salary to warm a seat, so when I see the pipeline getting dry, I move on; good terms on both sides.

    Now, I work for a multi-national $&@/9?! company from home. Thanks to Skype and Remote Desktop, my team and I are as integrated as if we were sitting next to one another.

    We finish the engineering and muster at the site to install, commission and eat a celebratory meal together. It’s a perfect life.

    Out of there in 5 years to the mountain compound and the life of a landed gentleman.

  12. “N” word calling, I do agree about the word “stalkers” and such talked about in the article. Let’s not dignify stalkers by not saying what they are about in this vein. “N” word calling.

  13. jdm – avoiding tax in retirement is a valid strategy. Still working on my wife that a move to Texas after retirement puts us closer to our son and adds 6-7% income right on the top by the better state income tax rate (zero in TX).

  14. loren
    how the state you want to move to treats capital gains is worth investigating because at some point you’ll be drawing down an IRA or 401K
    and, except for hurricane season, the Padre Islands are nice.

  15. MP, the most disturbing thing about that story is what leftist society has done to nominally intelligent youth.

    Being the son of Jewish lawyers, one could rightly conclude his parents expected their sizable investments in his education to pay off in the continuation of the family financial dynasty.

    One can also conclude that being the son of Jewish lawyers, this kid’s slide to the left was encouraged and as carefully groomed as his education.

    What a surprise then, when Jr. parlays that into a deep, and unprofitable dive into the ranks of SJW propaganda media.

    By the time his shocked parents realized what they’d done, jr. was so thoroughly pozzed there was no redeeming him.

    Imagine concluding that hitching his wagon to the Wobblies was the best option.

    And it gives some insight into just how fuked up less intelligent SJW millennial are. There is no convincing them; they are going to have to be abandoned to their own dominions or crushed and contained.

  16. Yellow bike dude, let’s also not dignify the left’s propagandists by referring to “the N word”.

    Although I’m quick to throw out a personal insult whenever the mood strikes me, I’ve never used racial slurs because IMO, insulting someone over an immutable trait is just ignorant. And I’ve made that point clear to anyone that does it around me.

    But if, for some reason you have to discuss it, either refer to “racial slur” or just say nigger. I refuse to play the left’s game or enable their victim politics in any fashion.

  17. MacAuthur Wheeler- I have never been to the islands. My son lives in Dallas, some of the northern suburbs look nice.

  18. The *old*, (presumably) white guys blog 😛

    I skew towards the lower end of that spectrum. I’m middle-aged (49), not yet “old”.

    PoD is the youngest of the pups on here. Class of 2005 puts him at 32ish, give or take.

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