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All the world's a very narrow bridge:
The essential thing is not to be afraid.
-- Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (18th century)

With unemployment in the US at its worst in 30 years (and the EU sure to follow soon) I thought it might be an opportune time to gather together some of the past posts on job transition. Here are a few I've found via Super Search:

Thoughts on transitions - by choice and otherwise:

  • New Languages to Learn - if my company is merging and I'm about to lose my job, what should I do? Learning new technical skills can help, but it is only a piece of the picture.
  • Changing Jobs - Various thoughts and experiences related to changing jobs, sometimes by choice, sometimes not.
  • Why do monks put up with it? - constructive ways to deal with jobs/technology you hate and why telling your fellow monks "I'd quit!" or "Put up or ship out" is not a good idea. - written in Sept, 2000 after the dot.com bust - a time that looks like a picnic today.
  • (OT) Programmer Job Search How-to - a thread started by a parent looking for suggestions about how to help his son, a recent college graduate with a CS major, find a job. Contains a number of creative suggestions that might also apply to people looking for that next job.
  • (OT) What should I do with my life (career advice sought)? - a thread targeted at those whose programming skills developed incidental to their "real" job - some thoughts on how to present a resume and look more like a software developer.
  • Perl Jobs - suggestions if you are looking for entry level perl jobs

Making yourself more marketable/employable:

How we see ourselves influences the way we present ourselves and search for jobs. Here are some threads that may provide food for thought:

Formal employment at a company may not be the only option. Here are some thoughts on alternatives to "yobs":

Getting a perspective on where our industry is going may also help in the job search. Recessions often rearrange the job market causing old professions to die and new ones to rise up (see Job Losses Hnt at Vast Remaking of the Economy @NY Times for a recent essay on this topic). We can't predict the future, but we may be able to make some reasonable guesses by looking back at how others read the market 5, 10 years ago and what has changed since then. So...

  • Easiest city to find Perl work: - although this was a poll (from 2006), it triggered some discussion about which cities likely have the greatest concentration of jobs. It is three years old so the list of cities might not be the same today, but the reasoning behind each person's opinion might inspire some ideas of where to look for the next hot market. One interesting factoid: the most popular answer "Where I live; I telecommute" clocked in at 38%
  • (OT) Where is programming headed? - when does a programming language become obsolete? Who decides? This thread reflects the wars at the turn of the century between OOP, procedural and functional programming. But there will be new wars and the issues raised by this thread will shape the next language/skills/paradigm debate - whatever that is.

Whether you are looking for a job or consulting gig, here are some thoughts on handling interviews and negotiations:

Thoughts on keeping yourself busy between projects: Long job hiatuses can make one look rusty and out of date. One way to avoid this is to start a programming project of your own. Here are some threads that might help you:

And finally some thoughts about how to use PM during those down times:

  • New levels and new habits - Not really about jobs - but does suggest that getting involved in asking and answering questions might be a good way to keep Perl skills fresh and networking alive while one is between projects or jobs.
  • Serious & personal meditation - on the pros and cons of PM infatuation.

What are some of the best PM threads you remember on job hunting, dealing with job loss, retraining, career development and learning Perl? Are there some particularly astute non-PM posts on the topic that you would like to share?

Best, beth

Note: there are a lot of links here - please message me if you notice any broken ones, I'll try to fix it promptly. Thanks, in advance.


In reply to Help in Tough Times by ELISHEVA

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