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Finding a job

Topic: Work | Tags: ,

Dec
29
2011

On July 29th I was called into my boss’s office and was told that they were going a different direction and that I would need to find another job. I had been with them for almost 5 years and wasn’t sure how to respond. It was tough. I really enjoyed working there and the people I worked with are awesome. I haven’t had to do much job hunting in my career and was a little scared of what would happen now. Having been through bankruptcy and foreclosure due to some bad business decisions, I didn’t want to put my family through that again.

That night and through the weekend I went to God in prayer. This whole thing rocked my world and seeking God was the only way I would get through it. The last time I was faced with this situation, I didn’t do very well. I was determined that this time would be different. I knew I had to turn it over to God and trust in Him to get me and my family through this. I spent that weekend applying for every job that I was even remotely qualified for and then prayed that God would help me land one of these jobs.

My first interview came on August 4th with a company named Deck Monitoring. I didn’t have a lot of interest in this job and it was using a programming language that I have never seen before let alone used. So, I knew it was going to be a stretch. It was a junior position but I was ready to go wherever a door got opened. I had a month to find a job so I was going to go down every path that I could and take it as far as the path led.

My second interview was with Symantec. It was a phone interview on August 8th and it was focused on my technical ability. Later that day I was told they wanted another phone interview on August 11th. Things seemed like they were off to a great start. Symantec deemed me technically competent and I landed a follow up interview.

My next two interviews came the following day on August 9th, one with RealLead and one with the UO Foundation.

So, at this point I have 4 companies that had interest in my resume which gave me some confidence. Through this time I also got emails and phone calls for jobs in the Portland area. I was still in the beginning of this job hunt process, had good potential in the Eugene area so far and I wasn’t ready to look up north.

The UO Foundation interview went well. They ended up asking me to take an online personality and skills test. It was 4 different tests that took a little over 2 hours to complete. They tested things from logical thinking, to math skills, to personality, to ethics, to problem solving. It was pretty intense.

The next day, August 10th, I got a call from a head hunter (IT Recruiter) in Portland, Kathlene, about a job in Springfield with Timber Products Company. It seemed that the skills on my resume were a good fit for the position. I talked with her and mentioned that I thought I was close to some job offers but would be interested in seeing what Timber Products had to offer. Turns out though, the hiring manager was out of town and wouldn’t be back till Monday. Darn.

This wasn’t the only head hunter to contact me. Most of them were contacting me about jobs outside of the Eugene/Springfield area but I made it clear that I was only looking in the Eugene/Springfield area. Almost on a daily basis I was getting an email or call from a head hunter about a job in some other city or state.

On August 11th, I had the follow up interview with Symantec. It was a pretty crazy interview as well. They asked a lot of very hard questions. They were trying to see what kind of decisions I made, what made me tick, what kind of person I was and if I would be a good fit for their team. They also wanted all my answers to be from an experience I had in the past. I had to come up with things I did in the past that spoke to the questions they asked, everything from coding problems to co-worker problems. I hadn’t ever been through an interview like this before and it challenged me to really think about the things I had done over the years.

August 15th I got an email from Deck Monitoring that they were going a different direction and would not be offering me a job. No biggie, it wasn’t one that I was excited about but it was a little let down hearing that I wasn’t wanted.

That same day (still in the morning) I got a call from UO Foundation asking for a follow up interview. Apparently my test results came back and they were pleased enough with them that they wanted me to come in and interview with a few more team members.

A few hours later, I got another call from UO Foundation. I guess I made a good impression last time because they wanted to schedule a follow up interview assuming that the next interview went well. That seemed odd. They wanted to schedule the follow up to my next interview before I even had it!?!?! Sweet!

Even as excited as I was, I was starting to think that I probably should schedule some phone interviews with companies in Portland just in case nothing came through in Eugene. I wasn’t excited about moving up north but if that is what God had for the next phase of life, I was going to follow it. I was still struggling with this possibility though and couldn’t quite pull the trigger on setting these up.

The next day, August 16th, I got a call from RealLead with a job offer. That was pretty exciting but a little bit of a let-down as well. They are a start-up company and were looking for someone that would come in at a lower salary, put in some hard work, get stock in the company and try to build the company to a point that it could be sold in the next 5 years and have a good pay day from the stock options. At this stage in my life, it didn’t sound that appealing. It felt good though to be wanted. I had until Thursday at noon to let them know if I would accept the job. On one hand, it was a job and I wasn’t going to have one in two weeks. On the other hand, I was concerned about the finances. I prayed about it and never really felt at peace over accepting the position. I struggled with that though. I have had issues trusting God with finances in the past and I was wondering if that is what I was doing or if God had something better.

The next day, August 16th, I had a two hour interview with UO Foundation. I knew that was coming so I was going to see how it went before I had a final decision for RealLead. The interview went well. It was actually two interviews with two different groups of people.

Now, I had a decision to make. I had until noon on Thursday, August 18th, to let RealLead know if I would accept the job. I had a final interview with UO Foundation scheduled for 3pm that day as well. It was going to be with the Executive Team. It sounded promising but wasn’t a sure thing.

I prayed some more and decided that I would turn down the job with RealLead. It was kind of scary.

The interview with the Executive Team at the UO Foundation went great. They were really focused on figuring out what kind of person that I was. What I was all about. What my values are and what kind of worker I would be.

At this point, I had received a job offer that I declined, been turned down for a job and have done multiple rounds of interviews with UO Foundation and multiple rounds with Symantec. I also had this possibility with Timber Products but the person in charge of hiring was swamped and dragging their feet. All in all it was a pretty crazy couple weeks. I had good possibilities but still didn’t have a job. My last day of work was only 2 weeks away.

Later that day though, I got an email from Symantec saying that I was still being considered as a candidate for the job but the process has slowed down and a decision wasn’t going to be made for another 2 weeks.

Through this whole time, I was trying really hard to give it all to God and not worry. I knew He had a plan for my life and I was trusting in Him. But as the days went on, it became harder. I didn’t think that God was calling me out of the Eugene/Springfield area but wasn’t sure if that was God speaking this or if it was me not wanting to move. So, I proceeded to tell a couple head hunters that I would now be open to jobs in the Portland area.

On Friday (August 19th), I got a call from Pacific Source asking if I would be available for an interview. I had applied for a job with them on July 29th but never heard back from them. I assumed they didn’t like my resume and had no interest in me. But here they are, weeks later, asking me for an interview. I got a phone interview set up with them for Monday.

The phone interview on Monday went well and I was told they would contact me in the next day or two if they want to move forward. That same day I got a call from a head hunter named Art about a job in Springfield. They don’t tell you who the job is with until they confirm that you want to move forward and they get an interview set up. They want to make sure that they get the credit for bringing the company a qualified person. The job description looked up my alley so I told them to set it up. It turned out to be with Symantec. It was a different department than who I interviewed with before. Apparently, departments don’t talk to each other when hiring for the same skill set. Art got me a phone interview setup for Wednesday.

Tuesday came and I got word from Pacific Source that they wanted to bring me in for a final round of in person interviews. Since my UO Foundation interviews went well and my Symantec interviews had gone well, I told Pacific Source that I was close to hearing about a job that I had interviewed for and expecting to get a job offer and asked how quickly they would be making decisions and if I could get an early interview. They agreed for the following Monday. Not as soon as I would have liked but it was better than nothing. It was to be 3 hours of interviewing with 3 different teams. Sounded intense. I was also told that I was 1 of a small number of people that they were bringing in.

Wednesday morning I did the phone interview with two people at Symantec. At the end of the interview they said they wanted to send me a computer problem and then have me send back code to handle the problem within a 1 hour time limit. I did that in the afternoon and had it back to them within an hour. Later that day I got a call that they wanted me to do a 2nd interview on Thursday. Apparently they wanted to move fast and needed to get someone in.

I also got a call from two Portland companies for phone interviews. I set one up for Thursday afternoon and another one up for Friday afternoon. Things were moving fast but I only had another week until I was out of work.

All of this was good news but there was some bad news on this day as well. I really thought I would have heard from the UO Foundation by this time. The interviews went great and some of the people there dropped hints that sounded as if I was going to get the job. Well, I got a call from the main person doing the interviews and was told that they had reviewed their budget and decided they had to cut the position out of their budget and that they would contact me as soon as they were ready to bring someone on. I was really hoping to get this job. I love the Ducks and it would have been pretty cool working for the UO Foundation. Through the interviews, I did get the sense that things were a bit chaotic and unorganized so maybe it was a good thing they couldn’t bring me in.

On Thursday I did the phone interview with Symantec at 10am. At 12:15pm I got an email from the head hunter that got me the interview and was told that Symantec wanted to move forward with me. I have never gone through a head hunter before so I didn’t know what this meant. The job was for a 1 year contract. I wouldn’t be a full time employee so no benefits but I would get paid a lot more to make up for it. It sounded a little sketchy. I was worried about them hiring me for a few weeks as a contractor and then deciding that they didn’t need me or something like that.

Since I didn’t know how this how head hunter stuff went and I didn’t have a contract of any sorts to review, I proceeded to do interviews as if I didn’t have a job yet. That afternoon I did my interview with a Portland company called Sitka Tech. It went well enough that they wanted to do an in person interview the following week. We scheduled it for Thursday which would have been my first day of being without a job. I was prepared to start working for a company in Portland right away and then move my family up there once things got ironed out. I still didn’t feel good about doing this but wasn’t sure what else to do.

The next day, Friday, I had another phone interview with a company in Portland called Integra Telecom. It went well enough that they wanted to bring me in for an in person interview on Wednesday.

So, heading into my last weekend of having a job, I had 2 interviews in Portland lined up, an interview with Pacific Source and a supposed contract position that I hadn’t seen a contract for and knew nothing about how that worked.

On Monday I head to Pacific Source and go through 3 hours of interviews with them. I think things went pretty well and could see things working out. The only thing I didn’t like was the attire. I don’t mind dressing up but over the last 5 years I got really used to a VERY relaxed dress code. When I got out of the interview and back to my car I noticed that I had 2 missed calls and multiple emails from Art about the Symantec job. One of the emails was the official job offer and contract. I was pretty excited. They wanted me to start on Thursday!

I spent that afternoon printing / signing / faxing documents back and forth with Art. His recruitment company is based on California so I couldn’t go into an office to sign documents or meet anyone. The way it worked is that I would technically be a W2 employee for his company and would be contracting for Symantec. Art was my point of contact and they would be the ones that paid me. If things went well, then Symantec would have the option to hire me on full time.

On Tuesday I call the two Portland companies and told them I appreciated their time but I found a job in the Eugene/Springfield area and wouldn’t be coming in for an interview. I also told Pacific Source the same thing.

I still hadn’t heard anything from Symantec yet which I thought was strange but again, I hadn’t gone through this head hunter process so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The next day, my last day at work, I got a call from Pacific Source asking what it would take for me to consider working for them instead of Symantec. I was surprised. I now had two companies that wanted me. One was for a one year contract to hire position and the other was a full time position. Since I hadn’t started at Symantec yet, I told them approximately what Symantec offered me and what I would be looking for.

Just a week earlier I had been questioning God and now here I am with 2 companies that really want to hire me. I felt as if God was saying “Look what I can do! Have faith and I will take care of you.”

Pacific Source gave me a pretty nice offer. Both their offer and the offer from Symantec were more than I was currently making. In the end though, the Symantec offer was a lot more. Even though it was a little riskier, it was a big enough offer that the risk seemed worth it. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t letting the money totally influence me so I talked to a few people close to me. I was praying about it as well and I felt peace over it.

So, I politely turned down Pacific Source and got prepared to work at Symantec. I had never worked at a big company before and I got a little worried when my paperwork got delayed. My start date of Thursday ended up getting pushed back to hopefully Friday and then to Tuesday the following week. I later found out that my soon to be boss went on maternity leave early and that caused a little bit of a delay as they had to shuffle things to get approval signatures to hire me.

A week into the job, I got a call from the other department within Symantec who was considering me for a job. They were calling to see if I had found one yet because they were ready to hire. Oops, snooze you lose!

After a month into the job, I noticed that the system I use for reporting my hours only had the contract for 6 months. I was a little concerned and brought it up. Part of the paperwork shuffling messed a few things up and my initial contract only got entered in for 6 months. I didn’t think about it a lot and again left it up to God but I did have some 2nd thoughts about making the right decision to join Symantec vs. Pacific Source.

It has been 3.5 months now and initially the person who was the “team lead” for the team I am on has become my manager. She also informed me that she submitted the final paperwork to get me a 1 year extension on my contract and then when that is up, assuming things keep going as they are, she will submit the paper work to get me hired full time.

This whole experience has been a little rough. I miss the people I used to work with. It was a good company to work for and they treated me well. I was very appreciative of their support in helping me find a job and giving me such a long time to find one. There were days that I had to work really hard not to “check out” at work because I knew I was being let go. But I also knew I had an opportunity to represent the face of Jesus. I wanted to end well and not be the guy who slacked off.

My job at Symantec has been great. Things were pretty laid back at my previous job and I had some flexibility with my schedule while working there but my job at Symantec has taken that to a whole new level. The flexibility is great, they pay is great, the environment is great, and some areas that I struggled with from a technical standpoint have started to come together a lot more clearly. I still think about the days at my previous job but this new job is a great fit and I am very thankful to have it. God has blessed my family and I in a big way with this job.

Even though this was a tough process to go through, God taught me a lot through it and continually drew me to Him. Your story may not end up like mine but keep your eyes looking up. God knows your needs better than we do. His answer may not look like what we expect and because of that, if we are not seeking Him, we may miss what He is trying to tell us.

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