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Old 01-20-2006, 08:24 PM   #16
BigV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyt
I had a thought BigV , if you are hurting for cash there is all ways the geek squad http://www.geeksquad.com/ ,

One thing though , if you go that rout we HAVE to have a pic of you stylin in front of your geek mobile !!!
Thank you!!

I do look good in a white shirt and black slacks--they set of my plastic pocket protector fah-bulously!

I balked at the part of the online application process that asked for my SSN.

I consider my privacy precious and finite* and every time I give away some of it, that part is gone forever. Sometimes that part is connected to the entirety of the rest, and it could be *all* gone. This coyness is real oldskool I know, and likely a barrier to deeper and wider market penetration by my employment credentials and availability. I struggle with each application with this balance.

Hmm. Maybe I'll just screw my courage up and enter the SSN. Worries me though.





*A new thread on this subject is coming soon.
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Last edited by BigV; 01-20-2006 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:54 PM   #17
zippyt
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I agree on the SSn thing , I DON'T like giveing it out , BUT it shows that you are an american citizen , etc,,,,
Hey it has gotten me thru security checks going on to Gubment instalations more than once .

I was thinking about this because you were saying you enjoyed talking to folks and helping them thru tech problems , you say you are a puter wrangler so I assume you can blank a HD and reload soft ware and install printers , etc,,,
You could put an add in the local Penny shopper paper stateing that you can do this much and you would get atleast some calls , and work out of your house .

Besides you could work and look for a job at the same time .

Just my 2 cents ,

Good luck and keep us in the loop .
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:32 PM   #18
footfootfoot
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Whoa BigV, What LJ said. I have avoided that generic thread for some resaon. Anyway, I can't believe they'd do that to you, of all people.

I'm a firm believer in improving one's lot through fateful changes in employment. As the pop star sings it:

"every new begining is some other new begining's end". So there you go.

But as for YOUR job search: I cannot overestimate the importance of reading and following the exercises in the book "what color is your parachute".

Get the most recent edition at the library or buy it. Read it and do the excercises in it. It is more helpful than a barrel of mothers–in–law.

Truth.


This also freaks me out, because I had projected upon you, in my mind, the status of poster child for responsible, stable employed person.

A lot of the dad's in Inchling's playgroup "do something with computers" (according to their wives, ha ha) A few do IT, anyway, they are routinely training Patel to do their jobs and then being sacked because they are unwilling to live in bombay and be paid .27 an hour and be greatful for it. Then they tell me that they are thinking of becoming carpenters.

I'm not sure what this means.

Keep the faith.
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:27 AM   #19
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
A few do IT, anyway, they are routinely training Patel to do their jobs and then being sacked because they are unwilling to live in bombay and be paid .27 an hour and be greatful for it.
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Last edited by xoxoxoBruce; 04-07-2007 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:43 AM   #20
Undertoad
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If they choose carpentry they were not IT people to begin with. True IT people would choose either electrical or plumbing.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:54 PM   #21
BigV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot
...snip...
But as for YOUR job search: I cannot overestimate the importance of reading and following the exercises in the book "what color is your parachute".

Get the most recent edition at the library or buy it. Read it and do the excercises in it. It is more helpful than a barrel of mothers–in–law.

Truth.
This is done. Well, I have a copy (2006) from the library today, and am reading it now. Wowza. Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot
This also freaks me out, because I had projected upon you, in my mind, the status of poster child for responsible, stable employed person.
Hey, I'm still a poster child. I just have a new poster: "If it can happen to me, it can happen to you."

I moonlight on this poster too: "They don't have to have a reason, and it can come at any time. Be Prepared."

Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot
Keep the faith.
Yeah, brother!
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:22 PM   #22
BigV
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It is all black here.

I'm at the nadir of my search at this point. It could certainly get worse from here, as my creditor's next billing cycle comes up dry.

I have nothing.

I've been slogging through the openings on Microsoft's site. 1004 positions matching my job agent's search results. I've applied to about 15 out of the first 40 so far. 1000+ jobs?! I'll read through them all and submit my resume for all the ones I wouldn't be ashamed to interview for. Some of them are definitely out of my league.

Which brings me to another question for the folks here. I have a couple of bare spots on my resume, especially in the area of Unix/Linux administration. I would welcome any suggestions that would give me a chance to improve that deficiency. I have a spare machine downstairs I could cobble together for hands on practice. I have extensive experience administering other systems so the basic concepts are already in place. Am I dreaming that to think that the bulk of the new information will be in the area of new tools and new terms to accomplish already known tasks? Or is it so alien that I'm better off starting with "See Tux run. Run, Tux, Run."?

I have another related subject I would like your input on. I have found myself several times reading the specs for a job and seeing much overlap, and then seeing a line like: "Requires xyz". Then I pass. I count myself out, don't apply. For those postings where the list of stuff I don't have is long, I think this is the right response. But for those where the mismatch is small, I have a harder time doing that.

What are your thoughts? How much of a mismatch between job posting requirements and your own experience would you tolerate and still apply? Applying to all is not practical, since I don't want to spam a given employer, and there's a real loss of credibility if I submit 1000 applications, where some of them are obvious mismatches. Plus, that's 1000 applications I have to track with follow ups, etc. What say you?
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:48 PM   #23
Elspode
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It is always possible that the lack in your skillset could be easily filled once you had the job. Not every position advertised gets filled with someone who exactly meets or exceeds the need. From my own perspective in hiring, I would rather hire someone who knew most of what I needed, but had a great attitude and willingness to learn new stuff than some dipshit who knew the drill, but was otherwise a waste of flesh.

Apply. All they can do is say no...or yes.
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:50 PM   #24
Undertoad
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Its funny because Unix/Linux admin is the only non-bare spot on my resume, and I was wondering whether I'm unemployable.
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:37 PM   #25
dar512
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Actually, BigV, I'd suggest installing FreeBSD and buying one of these books. However, you should realize that it will take some time to come up to speed. Especially if you have no prior experience with Unix.
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Old 01-31-2006, 06:08 PM   #26
BigV
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Thanks guys, I'll scan the library for the books for the time being.

**News flash**

My one interviewer, so far, sent me a nice message today saying that they were offering the job to another candidate.

*sigh*

In my reply to her message, I thanked her for actually telling me (it's not a given... the silence can be deafening), and I asked her if she'd consider two more questions.

1 -- How can I do better in an interview?

2 -- Having seen me and my resume, does she have any friends/colleagues/competitors with computers that need tending? And if not now, then maybe in the future.

Interestingly, the first time the lady contacted me and arranged the interview, I had a call from a headhunter at an agency. The call turned into a 25 minute phone interview. I was feeling preeeety good. But obviously the face to face interview didn't result in a job offer (yet). And interestingly, the lady who said all those nice things on the telephone never called back like she said she would. Oh well.

[cue Twilight Zone music]

After sending the reply described above, my phone rang. A recruiter. Asking (interviewing) me questions about this and that. Nice guy, Pete M, but kind of out of his depth in a technical sense. As he read from his script of questions, my answers prompted some explanations for him--"Uh, what is a VPN?" or "Layer 2 and Layer 3?" I managed to impress him enough, I guess, since he said he was going to email me a formal application.

HOLY COW!

It's really there, in my inbox. Well. This is a pleasant change from the previous trajectory. Ok, it's basically the same set of questions in the phone call and a request for my resume in Word format. Cool.
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Old 01-31-2006, 07:52 PM   #27
BigV
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Quote:
Hi P------:

It was very nice to meet you as well. I’ll go through your list of questions, and attached you should find a copy of my resume. Ready? Let’s go.

VLANs

VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network. All the computers in a given location could be considered part of a single network. It may be advantageous however to segregate different groups of machines into different networks. One reason for this division would be to keep machines belonging to a single group, say, Engineering or Accounting, together. This is understandable, but sometimes the physical segregation and the logical segregation are not in sync. Through the use of Virtual LANs those divisions can be established by what port they’re connected to, instead of where the whole physical network/machine exists. VLANs allow the definition of separate LANs irrespective of their physical locations. I have extensive experience in establishing whole networks. The virtualization of this process was not an issue for me since we didn’t need it and consequently didn’t have the equipment for it. All the switches I used were unmanaged. But I am familiar with all the concepts. All I’d need to do is find where the lights and wiper controls are.

VPNs

Another Virtual concept, it stands for Virtual Private Network. If you imagine that the VLANs are used to divide machines physically close together into separate networks, then VPNs do the opposite. A VPN allows a machine or network that is physically separate from another network to connect to the network as though it were a local connection. All of my work at WG Clark involved VPNs, since the jobsites were always removed from the corporate office, and always needed access to the corporate network.

Cisco PIX

A Cisco PIX is a firewall. A firewall (in computer terms) takes its name from its building construction namesake. It is a part of the structure that keeps bad stuff—fire or unauthorized network access—away from the rest of the structure. Cisco, a leading name in connectivity worldwide, has a wide range of products, and the PIX line is one of the most popular. We had PIX at WG Clark, and I have been inside in on several occasions, changing settings to reflect the changes in our network, such as the addition of new jobsites.

Cisco Checkpoint

This is a little bit of a puzzle, since both are names of companies. Cisco makes networking gear, including the PIX firewall. Checkpoint makes network gear, including the Firewall-1. I do have some experience with the FW-1 product from my days at Princess. I wasn’t in charge of the system, but I have used it, as well as other firewall technologies.

Layer 2 and Layer 3 configurations

Layer 2 and Layer 3 refer to two parts of the OSI model the data link layer and the network layer, respectively. When it comes to computer to computer communication, underneath that hard candy shell is a long list of separate elements. One critically important aspect of this conversation is the location of the computers. How to get from one to another is a routing function. If you could imagine the old time switchboards, the operator performed the function of Layer 3. By listening to the request by the caller about where they wanted to be connected, they knew where to plug in that wire on the board. Knowing where and making the connection is what Layer 3 is about. Layer 2 is analogous to the electrical impulses that make up the conversation. It also contains information about the physical unique address of the hardware. The bits, the ones and zeroes, that make up all computer language travels on Layer 2.

In the context of your question, the Layer 2 and Layer 3 refer to the facts about a given machine that would me used to define what VLAN it was a part of.

VOIP on the Cisco side

I have some experience with VOIP, on different kinds of hardware, but none on Cisco VOIP specifically. I’ve setup VOIP at home and at jobsites. It is another network resource, like email or printers or files or applications that remote users need access to in order to do their jobs. Actually, VOIP isn’t limited to remote users, all telephone users could benefit equally from the technology.

Call manager, voice gateways, Avaya PBX integration

I have experience with similar gear, using the call manager, pbx gateway and pbx switch from Iwatsu. The concepts are likely the same, but the actual software is specific to the hardware. I believe I could understand and use it with a minimum of trouble.

Well, that’s the end of your list. Sorry it took so long, dinner time around here was hectic. Anyway, I checked out your website and I saw a couple other postings I’d be interested in. How would you like to proceed on that score? Would you like me to complete the online application, just the resume, just tell you the job numbers, or wait for further instruction? Well, for now, I’ll wait for you. But if I haven’t heard from you by, say, Thursday, I’ll take the initiative myself. I’d be happy to work with you Pete. You seem like a good guy, and I could use all the help I can get.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Thanks for your interest and your help.

Yours,
name, address, etc
________________________________________
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject: Nice Talking To You

Hi BigV, (not really, j/k)
It was nice talking to you. Here’s what I need. To help me represent you for this opportunity, please provide me with a brief summary of your experience in the following areas:
VLan’s

VPN’s

Cisco Pix

Cisco Checkpoint

Layer II and III configurations

VoIP on the Cisco Side

Knowledge of call manager, voice gateways and integration between an Avaya PBX over a network

Send me this info along with a word doc of your current resume and I’ll get to work for you!

Thanks, and please call me with any questions,

name address etc
Here's the "interview". What do you think? Haven't sent it yet, but I will in about 10 minutes.
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:33 AM   #28
glatt
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
Interestingly, the first time the lady contacted me and arranged the interview, I had a call from a headhunter at an agency. The call turned into a 25 minute phone interview. I was feeling preeeety good. But obviously the face to face interview didn't result in a job offer (yet). And interestingly, the lady who said all those nice things on the telephone never called back like she said she would. Oh well.
Don't take that as rejection. It's equally and possibly more likely that they have an incompetent HR department that doesn't follow up with applicants. This tells you that the company is poorly managed, and you wouldn't want to work there anyway.
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Old 02-01-2006, 11:20 AM   #29
Cyclefrance
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Hi BigV - just a few things - in no particular order and as I am at work at the moment hitting a quiet few mins (that may change in an instant) I may break off and take up later (also apologise for any crap spelling as not checking usual typing errors - two finger typist and I watch the keyboard and not the screen).

Anyway. First off the essay a few items back - the one thing that sprang immediately to mind was 'process of elimination' - in any problem situation it pays to eliminate the more obvious causes before going for the more obscure. I'm sure you had it covered reading between the lines, but it didn't hit me in the face the way it could have.

Another tip. I've had a few redundancies in my time - 5 and counting. I've tried change of industry/skills but this has so far never produced the result I wanted - the learning curve has been too steep and I have been shelving too much experience that eventually got me back in work once I realised this.

It seems to get harder the older you get. Trying the regular routes for me didn't work - but them I am at an age when most companies are thinking early retirement for my age as opposed to permanent position. So ad trawling turns out for me to be pure masochism without the pleasure bit.

This time around I tried something different. Not sure if it would apply to your field =, but on the surface I don't see why not. I saw an opening to offer a short-term cover service in my specialist field. It's quite difficult for the firms in the area I know best to get over absence through holidays and sickness when it happens,. So I bypassed the general employment agencies, made a relationship with those that sdealt with my specialist field and also set up a website and mail shot for the companies I kenw where i could be of service/. A bit slow to start, but I eventually hit good witha 3 week assignment when som guy went on his honeymoon followed by a return session when another guy took two weeks off. I made sure they gave me written feedback (gave them a simple form) which then stood me in good stead for the next assignement, 3 days a week for 6 weeks about two months later. More feedback - another 4 week assigmeent followed almost staright away - now I was getting a reputation. Then another three week one and then a 6 month local contract that turned into permanent employment.

Thing is that now, if it happens again that I lose my job - I will have no hesitation going the same route.

The only other point I want to make is that what ever happens do something to keep yourself sane. Worst thing is banging the head away at the same thing when there is no result/ I took a job driving a van for a guy I know who has a home delivery laundry anddry cleaing buisness - evening work so it left the dfays free, paid a little cash and kept me active and communiacting with people in general. I also helped out a pal in an antiques shop and also did my own bit of ebay antique trading as well - just to be active and to keep the adrenaline flowing.

THat's about it for now - feel free to PM me if you want to know more or specifics.

all teh best
CF
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Old 02-01-2006, 11:38 AM   #30
Cyclefrance
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One thing I meant to add - not sure if it applies in the States but here it is rife. All too often the employer will feel threatened by someone who looks to be older and more experienced, so unless your a perfect 'match' in the employer's eyes (and by employer I mean the very person you will be working for), then you will be on the rejection list before you can say 'go'.

The advantage of the temporary-cover route is that you just don't pose such a threat. You are only there for a limited time, you are not trying to find a permament role, so the threat issue never arises. That's human nature I suppose, and I wouldn't have believed this to be true if I hadn't been the evidence.
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