Ever just have one of those days. You know…
You just spent 48 hours straight updating the team portal, finishing up your Software Architecture Description by polishing up the views and their supporting documentation, updating the project plan, printing everything into nice little packages, and getting the bugs out of the proof of concept that will have to wait to next week, because the vice president has requested a project update meeting???
You show up and no one is there except you and the other architect putting the project together wondering where everyone is. The local developers who aren't on your project yet show up and start talking about the recent week's layoffs and firings. Doesn't paint a pretty picture. Well whatever, you keep preparing for the meeting because you are used to the company's higher-ups not being very punctual when it comes to meetings.
Ah, look who is here right at lunch time, the V.P. you have been waiting for all morning. He asks you and the other architect to join him in, no not the conference room, but in an empty office. He starts by telling you how wonderful everything you have been doing up to date has been, and then slowly starts in on the current economic condition of the company. In other words he starts telling you they are broke. Hmmm… what does this have to do with my Architecture? Oh… they can't afford it… or me, or the other architect… at least not until some point in the future… you know once sales start to pick up… OUCH!!! Two months after getting a nine month extension.
Tis the life of the consultant………… at least two weeks ago that was my life, my day, and my job :-(
What to do, what to do… Well hopefully you activate your already updated resume on the job sites and you blast your already updated resume off to your contacts. Then you brace yourself for the onslaught of phone calls and emails. Knowing that 80% of them will not have anything to do with what you do or will be in some remote corner of the world you have no interest in visiting much less living.
Next you start answering the ones that at least seem to have some remote possibility of being what they say they are. You of course should immediately create an upfront contract. Which is what? It is a contract that states exactly what you are looking for in salary, benefits, and job description. There is no point in interviewing without those things in place. I know a lot of consulting firms play a lot of internal points games and would have you at a meet and greet, or on an unrelated interview, once or twice a day if they could. Make it clear you are not interested, the stress levels are already high enough.
The interviews that end up worth going on should be a two way street. You need to make sure they are offering you what you want and you need to make sure you are willing and able to supply the services they are requesting of you. Like what?... Travel, OT, deadline OT, technologies you will work with and have worked with, etc.
Put nothing on your resume you have not done and do not try to explain anything that is not on it which you haven't done. Why? Why should you? When you haven't said you know how to do a certain task, they have no business asking you if you can. If you get one of those people that like to reference books or helps files on the other end of the line and they are asking ridiculous syntax questions, explain to that you would do the same (use a book or help file) if you needed to find something like they are asking out.
Most importantly be honest and make sure that being honest is high up in the expectations of the company.
So if I did all this what happened???
Signs were there, but even if they had not been, my resume is update monthly. I continue to subscribe to all the job sites email blasts and I am continuously monitoring the market. Just so I know what to expect if the "Your Fired" day comes along.
When it comes time, finding a job, needs to become your fulltime job.