Have you ever marched into your boss's office, slapped your hand on his desk and yelled, "I Quit!" Me neither. But I did recently turn in my resignation and today is my last day at work. We are separating amicably. They have treated me well and I have no reason to make it a negative split. I gave my two weeks notice and have turned over as much as I can. I start the new gig on Monday and I'm really excited about it. You might be asking yourself, "Why?" Well, like any choice a person can make in life there are many reasons. A laundry list's worth actually. I don't see that posting most of them on the Internet makes sense so I won't. But a big perk for me is a shorter commute. I am currently driving 37 miles twice a day. Starting next week, that will be 12 miles each way. From 72 miles per day to 24. A big difference. At rush hour, my current commute is at least an hour each way. Throw in an accident or two and it gets painful. My new commute is 20 minutes during rush hour. Sweet! I like spending time with my wife and son and now I will have a significant amount of extra family time each day. A few months back I made the decision to look for a new job. I researched three companies in the local area that I wanted to work for and kept an eye out for jobs with them. I also posted to a few random openings on job boards that looked like the kind of job I wanted (mostly architect/modeler types). I got a few hits from the random jobs but only one that interested me and we couldn't come to an agreement on money. Finally, positions opened up at two of the three local companies I had chosen. I arranged interviews for both (through recruiters) and got two job offers. The hard part was deciding which I wanted. The first offer was a great offer, very technical (data warehouse architect) and I would get to learn MS Sql Server (but they also had Oracle of course). I spent some time with the people I would be working with and liked all of them. A few days later, I got the second offer. This job is a little different for me. Technical (data warehouse and I will be learning DB2 and datastage) but with a component of Business liaison. The business side is new to me and will be a new kind of challenge. I chose this job over the first. I've got to say that after the second interview for both of these jobs, I felt thoroughly interviewed. In one interview, I had 10 minutes to create a data model from a list of fields. In the other, I answered at least 100 questions from 5 or 6 people over several hours. Some of that even had me at the white board diagramming solutions. I will be incorporating some of that for interviews I do in the future. The thing about having a really tough interview is that after you're finished, if you feel you've done well, it's very validating. I left both interviews liking the interviewers and feeling good about myself. Makes it hard to chose one over the other. So it's with some sadness that I say goodbye to one job (mainly because of my great co-workers, some of whom have become close friends) but it's with excitement that I look forward to next week (and hopefully some new great co-workers). Since I like to write about finding jobs and such, I thought I would post some thoughts from my recent activities. Here is how I scored the interviews and got a new job:

  1. Know what you want to do. Sounds silly but saying you want to be an architect is not enough. Write down your ideal job description. What do you consider a must and what is optional. Write a targeted resume to that position (or positions, more than one is ok).
  2. Find some companies you would like to work for. Research the culture and corporate info. There's a lot of that on the web. Watch their site for jobs but watch job boards too. I was able to figure out that the ads were my targeted companies and then I contacted the recruiters advertising the positions. I didn't seek out a job, I sought out a company.
  3. If you want to move up in your career or take on something new, say that. Don't pretend to know or be something you're not. If you are honest when representing yourself, you'll come across better. It's like lying on a resume. Why would you even want a job you're not qualified to do and will probably be fired from?
  4. Most recruiters are not technical. Come right out and tell the recruiter exactly why you match the job and why you want to work for the company. The recruiter really does want you to be the best candidate and to get the job.
  5. Be a good interview. Dress well. Arrive early. Be prepared. Basic advice but it needs to be said.
  6. Be a better interview. Do NOT EVER give one word responses to questions. EVER! Elaborate. When asked a generic question, turn it into an example of how you succeeded in the past. Example: Q: What do you know about star schemas? A: I recently developed a data mart using Kimball's methodology. We implemented a star schema around a transaction fact table and 8 dimensions. Would you like specific details about that mart?
  7. Listen. You are interviewing the interviewer. You might not want to work there. Or, you might find out it's the best thing since sliced bread. Your interviewer should be giving you a lot of information in return for your information.
  8. Be Interested and Ask Questions. If I were hired, what would my day be like? How are priorities assigned? What is your day like? If you don't care what the answers are to these questions, I would suggest you start over at number 1 above.
  9. Be polite. To the security guard. To the receptionist. To the lady in the parking lot. Thank your interviewer. I have never in my life sent a thank you note for an interview. I do thank them while I'm there though.
  10. Be excited. If you don't care why should the interviewer.

I followed all of these and I only chose to interview for three positions. One of those called me back for a second interview and I told them I had decided not to pursue that position. The other two called me back for further interviews and both offered me a position. So I plan to relax this weekend. A new job is always a great time (at least to me) but it's a draining time. A lot of learning and finding where you fit in. As usual, I will not be posting details of my job, my co-workers or my boss. I just don't find that to be appropriate. I will occasionally post an entry about interesting happenings, what I'm learning, etc. Like I do now. But mostly I will stick to the technical topics that I think we all prefer. Thanks, LewisC

My Blog Roll
Buy my book - EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference
Blog Flux DirectoryBlog Flux MapStats: Stats and Counter for An Expert's Guide to OraclePage RankBlog Flux SuggestComputers Blogs - Blog Top Sites