*Looking for a Job, My FNV*
I work contract as a Senior or Lead Electrical Designer with some Instrumentation Design experience. Because I work contract, I may be on a job for as little as 2 weeks (I only took one of those), or it may last 6 months to a year - or longer. Last year I worked for 3 different companies, and have worked for 3 different companies already this year on short term contracts, and I am now looking again. A contract is usually for a specific project such as an oil or gas pipeline pump station, a series of pump stations, a new storage facility, or a facility expansion. The field that I work in relies heavily on "Head Hunters". Most companies in the Houston area have found that by hiring on a contract basis through head hunters only, their cost and liabilities are reduced, but they do pay a premium for the contract design employee whether it be in piping, civil, structure, electrical, instrumentation, or mechanical.
Expand your vision - Because of your experience, you may also want to explore other fields that you feel you may or may not be qualified for. Don't just look for one particular type of job. You may be overlooking another field that you are qualified for and would enjoy even more. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing, and then look in that area also.
I hadn't read War's article until just recently on looking for a job, but after reading it, I realized that I have been doing about the same as he recommended doing. That is what inspired me to write this article.
Everyone has different experiences and ways of doing things that might help someone else. It may just be the wording or the presentation that will inspire you to try something different that is more rewarding. It may not be a job, but an idea for a business. Here is War's article. I recommend you read it also. Looking for a Job
His advice works. I have had as many as 4 interviews in 1 day. Some days I may have none, but I am constantly looking and contacting my sources. Even when I have a job - I have my "feelers" out because I am not always sure how long the contract will last, or if I will pick up another contract with the present company when my current contract expires.The company that I am working for at the time may not have another project ready to start in the near future.
Stay upbeat - By my nature, I stay up-beat when in an interview and on a project. I never have anything bad to say about my last employers, the weather, or anything. Bad comments will come back to bite you in the end. I always smile and try to be relaxed, and answer their questions to the best of my ability. During an interview if you act desperate, or are very nervous, they will know it, and you will forget important facts they may need to know. Do your best to stay calm and relaxed. Interviews are not always pleasant, but can lead to some really great opportunities.
Dress the part - Be well groomed, but don't overdress. At the same time don't underdress. For instance; as a designer I wouldn't wear a ball cap and scuffed work boots to an interview with an engineering firm or perspective employer. I wear Levi's or dress pants, starched shirt, and blazer. When I was a craftsman, I wouldn't wear a blazer or sports coat. That would have been too much for that type of job.
Want the job - I want every job I interview for, and I let them know it. I blow my own horn. They don't know me from Adam, and want to know if I can handle the job. Your resume will only give them a slight peek at what you are capable of doing. Never lie, but let them know what you are capable of doing.
Resume - It is important to blow your horn because no one else is going to do it for you, in most cases. I keep 2 resumes, one long if they would like to see it, and a short version. If I were to list all my experience and responsibilities of my background, it would be a book. They don't have time for a book, and books will usually go into the round file without an opportunity of being seen and heard. Because of what I do, I have condensed my resume to almost 2 pages that I distribute. I wanted only a 1 page resume, but it was not possible. To me, a 1 page resume would be ideal.
I have been interviewed for jobs that I have been way overqualified for, and have been hired for other contract positions within that company for a job that was not even posted yet. On the other hand, I have applied for jobs that I was not qualified for, and was given the chance to prove myself because my experience level was close to what they were looking for. I felt like I could do the job, and just needed a chance to prove myself. So don't be discouraged if you think you will have to "settle" on what is being offered. Let them know that you are looking for something long term, and that you are looking for a home. That may make a difference in some cases. Even if it is for short term contracts like I work. The contract may just turn out to be a long term permanent position doing something that I really enjoy…
I have been asked by some companies, if I would like to come back to do another contract for them while employed by another company. I always tell them that I would love to come back, but because I made a commitment with the current employer, I felt like I should stay until the contract has been fulfilled. That leaves a positive impression also, and has enabled me to get jobs back to back on more than one occasion with the interim period of nothing to do but just draw a paycheck because they did not want to lose me.
The main thing is never, never, never give up, and never, never, never lie about your qualifications; lying will always come back to haunt you in the end.Pistolshooter
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