Monday, May 24, 2010

Changing course

Getting an answer from Great Lakes was a critical point for us. With the pace things seem to move, even if we hear back from Land's End, Kohl's or Transamerica this week for an interview, and even if I were to get a job, by the time the process is over, it could be past the June 11th cutoff date for us to be out of our house. At the very least, so close to June 11th that we are concerned that we wouldn't have time to find a place to which we can move before we have to be out. So we're looking for a 3 bedroom place with the best accomodations for moving out when I get a job. Our first choice is here on the south side of Sheboygan, so our kids stay in the same school in the very unhappy chance that I still don't have a job in September. Second choice is to move to somewhere else in the Sheboygan area, still close to our support network of friends.

It's also become a critical juncture in my job search itself. That's three places now that have told me some variation of, "We're looking for someone with job skills more closely aligned with the projects we're working on." That's not an answer I expected to get when I started my job search back in January. I've got more than 10 years experience working on IBM mainframes with COBOL and DB2 and the whole suite of acronyms that goes with that. However, pretty much everything we did at ACUITY was home grown. I guess there enough unemployed mainframe programmers who do have experience with specific software packages that companies can look for candidates who know the packages used at the company.

We kind of figured we wanted to find a job within a day of Becky's parents, and not any further from mine, so I've been looking in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa. It didn't feel like we were limiting the search too much, but given the market, maybe we are. So I'm going to expand the search to anywhere. I'm also going to expand the type of work to any developer position as opposed to just positions for experienced developers, i.e. I'm open to taking entry level jobs despite the lower salary. Lower salary is certainly better than no salary. That also opens the possiblity to being a java developer. I took those online programming courses and had enough personal experience with website development that I'd feel comfortable with an entry level position doing it.

Related to that, as long as I'm looking at entry level work, I'm going to go ahead and look at a career change. Law school is still a consideration. I'm going to take a practice LSAT tomorrow. More promising, though, I'm going to see what's involved in retaking Calc II and III, Stats and Probability to prepare for the first two actuarial exams. That would take less time, only about two part time semesters of school, and be less expensive than law school, and just as satisfying. Maybe even more. Math was fun.

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