janewilliams20: (Default)
No longer directly relevant for me, but I know a lot of my FL are job-hunting.

That awkward bit at the end of the interview, when they say "do you have any questions for us?"
http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-questions-great-job-candidates-ask-interviewers.html
There's some interesting ideas there, and worth reading the comments as well.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Or will do as soon as I sign the contract. Doesn't pay as much as I'd like, not as much as the previous one, nor as much as the other things I've been applying for - but I've been applying, not getting, and this birdie is in the hand.

Also, I can see two routes to getting the salary I'd like (well, leaving out the one that involves standing around Kings Cross at night wearing more makeup than clothes). I can get hired by some Big Firm, sit in a corner with my pension plan and health plan and code what I'm told to code. Or I can help build this much smaller firm until it IS a big firm, and can pay me what their development team leader ought to be paid. Given the enthusiasm and ability of the other people involved, I think it can be done, and will be done. And I'll have a huge amount of fun doing it.

So, in practical terms, I need to look at a pension plan, since the firm doesn't provide (well, they do, due to legal obligation, but they also advise me not to use it). Anyone out there got any advice on where to look?
janewilliams20: (Default)
It didn't start that way. It started with my mum calling me to see if I was all right, since I hadn't updated LJ for ages. Yes, my techophobic mum.
so here it is )
And since then, I've been in work, and loving it. May post about that later - but for now, I have a job!
janewilliams20: (Default)
What with this job-hunting thing, I get rather a lot of email alerts for job ads entitled "ColdFusion developer", ColdFusion being the particular web language that I've got most experience in, rather than a means of blowing things up. One job ad today had a rather unfortunate typo in the title. It seems that they want a "Confusion Web Developer". Yes, I expect I could do that :)
janewilliams20: (Default)
I'd intended to do a nice long photo-filled post about the joys of seedlings, chatting to neighbours, healthy exercise, Wot We Found in the Garage, and donating Useful Things to Rumania. Thanks to a streaming cold, I do not have time for this, so I'll leave you with this link as a hint, and the word "Thursday". (looks like the link changed? try this one)
edit again! they keepo changing the product ID! it's a "AMMACO MARTINA 7 SPEED", and they need their DB and websitre redesigned!)

My next bit of homework for my career consultant is to list all my friends and contacts, with a note next to each saying in what way they can be useful. I am not used to rating my friends by their usefulness. That's not how I think of them, and not what they're for. Meeting in 2 hours time, 30 min drive away :(
janewilliams20: (Default)
There I was studying a new job advert that would have me supporting software for dental surgeries, and also eating lunch, when the crown that had been re-glued a few months back decided to come out. So, I phone the dental surgery, and a nice lady using exactly the software I'd be supporting tells me the problems they're having what with one of their dentists being stuck in Dubai, and how as a result she can't fit me in until next Monday. At 14:30. Yes, that's right, two-thirty, with a dentist who I believe is of Chinese origin.
No, at the moment, tooth does not hurty... but getting a chance to actually look at the software in question, and talk to the people using it, BEFORE applying, sounds like a very useful idea to me.
janewilliams20: (Default)
.... a job based mostly in Lamberhurst does have certain logistical complications. It could, in theory, be commuted. Train in and out of London via London Bridge, about 2 hours 20 min, then pick up the car I'd left in Tunbridge Wells and drive the rest of the way (16 minutes, says Google Maps). I'd be getting the 5:45 from Biggleswade, Dave could drop me at the station on his way to work when he was on early shift. I'd get home about 8pm. £45 train fare, before we look into things like season tickets.

Or, I could drive the whole way: here Google Maps says about 2 hours, but fails to notice that we're talking about the M25 in rush hour. 100 miles each way, my car does about 50 to the gallon, 4 gallons a day... 18 litres, or thereabouts.... let's say £1.20 a litre because I'm feeling pesimistic... a bit over £20 on diesel.

Or, we could relocate. That isn't a cheap area to buy in, IIRC :(
Edit: I didn't RC. Just looked it up using this site and found several places bigger than what we've got, and costing less. Hmmm....

And Dave probably wouldn't get a job, not easily. That's more of a problem.

Oh well, we'll see what they make of the technical test I emailed back earlier today. I had fun doing it, anyway: its good to know I can still dive into "coding coma" when required.
janewilliams20: (Default)
I've just had my 13-week interview at the job centre - the one where they say "right, you're had 13 weeks to find the perfect job, you've failed, now broaden the target". Fortunately this isn't an insistence that I have to start offering fries with that, just that instead of looking only at jobs that I've got the experience and qualifications for, I have to look at others as well.

OK, cynicism mode OFF: looking at other things I can do that might at least pay better than job-seekers allowance. One idea was that if I'm doing proof-reading for friends, how about getting formal qualifications in it, and getting paid for it? Part-time, self-employed, perhaps? I know I have at least one person on my FL who does this, there may be more, given the number of hidden talents you all have: anyone want to advise? At the very least, when employers are looking for "excellent communication skills" (and they all are), a qualification in proof-reading should imply a basic ability to use correct English.

The other thing I'm looking into is a "PTLLS" qualification: teaching adults. Again, even if this doesn't turn into a part-time job, it's a good one to put on the CV for my more regular sort of job. Do you have any experience in training users, or mentoring juniors? Yes, I have a formal qualification in it - got to help.
janewilliams20: (Default)
It seems that every time I look at a job description, it has TLAs in it. Some make sense: if they want me to know about "XML", fair enough, that's the precise technical name for it. Sometimes the abbreviation is a registered trademark for a specific product - again, fair enough.

But there's usually a string of extras, methodologies and so on, and every time, I Google them, only to say "oh, that! been doing it for ten years, since when did it need a fancy name?"

The latest is a job which requires "Hands-on experience of ETL development". Googling takes me to Wkipedia (as it often does), where I am told that "ETL" means "Extract, transform, load". To go into more detail:
* Extracting data from outside sources
* Transforming it to fit operational needs (which can include quality levels)
* Loading it into the end target (database or data warehouse)

Well, duh. Yes, done a lot of that. But again, since when did that need a mysterious abbreviation? And why that abbreviation: the concept is one I learnt while looking at Jackson Structured Programming: think in terms of data. What have we got, what do we want, how do we get from one to the other? "JSP": only now, if someone talks about JSP in a job spec, they mean "Java Server Processes" - probably. It might, in certain contexts, be a Joint Service Publication, if I went back to dealing with engineering software for the MoD.

And there's the problem. If everyone's inventing TLAs for the most basic processes, what happens if they mean something quite different by a TLA from the meaning I know for it? I am reminded of a comment to a friend's post about the abbreviation "Ind." as used to describe a meat pie: "individual", "industrial", or "indigestible"?
janewilliams20: (Default)
I needed to work out how much higher my salary would need to be to compensate for the cost of commuting, and got a rather nice surprise. It doesn't :)

Cost of train season ticket for a year: £3,440. Plus probably about £800 in tube fares on an Oyster card (yes, I could make that season ticket a Travelcard one, but unless I do a lot of extra travel around London, it's more expensive). So, £4,240.

Cost of the diesel I'd no longer be using driving to work: about £450.

But.... would we even need two cars? It's a 15min walk to the station, and parking is both rare and pricey. I might pull the bike out, I might just walk it, I certainly wouldn't be driving. So we get rid of my little car - or do we? No. We get rid of Dave's big, less economical car, and when we need something BIG at the weekends, we hire it.

Dave did sums about how much that thing's costing us, when you look at car loans, services, difference in fuel cost (35mpg to my 50mpg). We'd save £4250 a year, he reckons. That's a nice figure. It's just about equal to the cost of my train fares.

So, no more cost, I get some exercise every day, and I can spend my commuting time reading/writing, not driving. I like this.

On the downside, I'll have less incidents like the one on the way in this morning, when I swerved to avoid something whose identification went "big lump of wood, or mud?" - "bigger than I want to drive over" - "what is it - it's moving? - oh sh.... it's an animal!". Looking back, total mass considerably bigger than rabbit, dark colour, and shape as it moved, I think it was a mink, and I think that's the second time I've seen one in that area.
janewilliams20: (Default)
It seems that one reason I've had problems getting hold of the agent who was supposed to be putting me in for my dream job was that he was too busy changing jobs himself. Said dream job has now gone.

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