Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Discouraging Word

The last time I was unemployed, I used to really dread Wednesdays. Wednesdays were, at least as far as I could tell, the day that the HR / Recruiter Person decided to let everyone who didn't get the gig that they didn't get the gig, and it wasn't unusual for me to get four or even five rejection letters on a Wednesday.

The good news is that this time, Wednesdays aren't like that any longer.

The bad news is that the rejections still come, just more spread out. And sometimes they pile up a little.

Today wasn't a good day: I got rejection letters (and a nice phone call from a recruiter) all letting me know that the positions I had applied for were no longer interested in me. A couple had already been filled, but at least two were continuing their search for other candidates and that I was not being considered for the next round.

This was especially hard this week, as I had worked really hard to nail the in-person interview I went to last week, and I was relatively sure I had done well. But they were "not confident in my technical abilities", which is a real kick in the stomach, because that's honestly my personal worry. I know I know things, and I know that I can learn things quickly if necessary, and I enjoy learning new things, but I don't have a degree and I don't have any certifications that would "prove" that I know those things, so when someone looks at my resumé what they see is a guy who's bounced into and out of Technical Support roles that may or may not have required any particular skillset, and some random DBA experience across multiple platforms which most shops who are hiring a DBA don't want or need: if they need a DBA, it's usually a specialist hire.

"Well why don't you go get a certification?" I hear you ask. And the answer, as usual in most questions that start with "why", is "money". Certifications are EXPENSIVE. By design; they're often paid for as a perk for working at a company, so they can charge the 'Enterprise Rate' for the cert. To test to be a certified MySQL DBA is $2500, and the failure rate is north of 50%, and they don't give a refund if you fail. Oracle certifications are... more. That may not sound like a lot of money when you're employed in tech, but when you're unemployed...well, let's just say I wish I'd taken more classes when I was employed.

Days like today are hard. But tomorrow is another day. I have more applications out, I have a couple of phone screens scheduled, I'm working my contacts. In Tech it can take a while for us non-developer types to get rehired, especially with the move away from Ops specialists and towards the "let's have devs do everything" model of DevOps (or, as I like to call it, "DevOps"). I have good, supportive friends, and a fantastic wife who loves and supports me even when I don't have a job. And on Friday, I'm playing some boardgames.

So it could be worse. So bring on the cloudy days! It's decorative gourd season, motherfuckers.