reptile7's JavaScript blog
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Be in My Network
Blog Entry #303

(We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this special announcement...)

"The first step in getting a job is to let everyone know that you are looking for a job."

I've been writing and running reptile7's JavaScript blog for the past 8½ years. This blog regiments my life at least as much as a part-time job would, but I earn no money from it.

I'm employed, but not gainfully employed. I have a position, but not a paying position.

I will need to find gainful employment of some sort in the very near future, so in this post let me take the opportunity
(1) to announce to the world at large that I need a job, and
(2) to cordially invite you, the reader, to be in my "network", as I don't have a network, and the 'general consensus' is that having a network is really important for getting a job.

I have no family or friends here in New Orleans; my local social network comprises my landlord and the guy at the Touro coffee counter (that would be you, Gene) at which I get an iced coffee several times a week.

As for my professional network, I don't really have one of those either in that I am a "career-changer". Prior to becoming a Web coding blogger, I was an instructor in the Chemistry Department at Tulane University. I suppose I could go back to Tulane and (attempt to) discuss my situation with my former colleagues, but I strongly suspect that they would say to me, "You're not working in chemistry anymore, why are you wasting our time?"

Actually, there is a connection between what I'm doing now and my Tulane instructor gig. In preparing a set of lecture notes, in crafting a handout or problem set, in writing an exam, I was doing what I call 'data consolidation', and data consolidation is very much the essence of my blog - perhaps I could say that data consolidation is my "transferable skill", to use the argot of the job-hunting world. A related aside: In his book What Color Is Your Parachute?, Richard Nelson Bolles divides the world of work into
(a) jobs for which you work with your hands,
(b) jobs for which you interact with other people, and
(c) jobs for which you work with information.
Rather obviously, I am meant for the last category.

So, be in my network, won't you? If anyone out there has any tips, tricks, recommendations, advice, strategies, etc. as to how I might parlay what I do - a mixture of technical writing, coding, and archival work - into gainful employment - even better, if anyone out there would like to offer me a job that would leverage my craftsmanship in some way - then I would like to hear from you. I am making this appeal for the simple, fundamental reason that my blog says astronomically more about me than a résumé or my LinkedIn profile ever could.

When the late, great Frank Zappa hired musicians for his band, he didn't ask for their résumés or give them a questionnaire of some kind: he actually sat down and listened to them play (sometimes he even played with them). And that's what I would want an employer to do with me. Anyone in the world is welcome to go through my blog with the finest-toothed of combs and then decide if they want me to be part of their team or not.

There, I've thrown my Hail Mary pass. Wish me luck.

"What about the blog?" As circumstances permit, I may write some posts on some of the scripts that were part of Joe Burns' late-1990s Java Goodies JavaScript Repository project, beginning with the Make Me A Password script (I'll also try to occasionally post at my 'non-technical' blog), but I can't make any promises.

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