Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Going (Job) Hunting: An Update

 As readers may recall, last month I made the perhaps belated realization that the time is now to start reconsidering the job market and more precisely, my own place in it.  I have made a little progress, which I though I might share in the spirit of how often I write about such things as one time events instead of the processes they actually are.

I made efforts and in fact got  Linked Out account set up (which is pretty much how everyone starts their job search these days, even old dogs like myself if for no other reason that it helps us to get in contact with our former coworkers).  I worked on getting the resume updated, which is both a marvel and terror to me as I have reached the point in the employment program where even the "redacted" form of my resume is three pages.  And then, on a whim, I started looking at available jobs and salaries.

I have learned two things:

1)  I am unable to secure a job at my current salary.

2)  It literally makes more sense for me to be laid off.

Taking them in turn.

1)  I am unable to secure a job at my current salary:  As those who have followed this blog for some time might recall, prior to my change of careers (documented in March/April 2020 as A Sort Of Hammerfall) I had effectively reached the "top" of my career field - there was literally nowhere else for me to go not just at my current company, but at any company.  And rather generously, my company had matched those promotions with salary.  And very thankfully, the salary that went along with job did not change when I was "repurposed".

I am very grateful for that.  Over that time, that salary enabled a lot of things,  like paying for college for two children and allowing us to get out of debt.  What it also managed to do is lock me into something that - as I found out - I cannot recreate (at least in this field) as long as I am in it.

What kind of change?  To change right now in the market (just eyeballing available positions) would be a significant cut in salary. It would still represent a good salary in today's economy and still way above what I have made for most of my life - excluding inflation of course, which is a force to be counted on more and more these days.  But it would be a significant change (and there is still one child for college consideration).  

Which leads us to

2)  It literally makes more sense for me to wait it out.

Given that sort of change, I really cannot in good conscience (and without being forced) suggest that somehow switching jobs right now is the best thing.  Not even a kind of good thing, except of course for that elusive sort of "less stress" that we all like to pretend will happen when we change jobs (and never does).  And that does not even address the fact that currently, I am able to travel to see my parents and The Ranch once a month with no issues (more of the jobs I saw listed "on site", which is not particularly welcome given my current situation).

Which leads then to:

3)  What to do instead

Given the fact that staying makes more financial sense than going, what can I/we do instead?  A couple of things have come to mind and are being implemented.

a)  Live As If:  In this budgeting scenario, the budget is redrawn as if there the salary change has already occurred.  All the variance gets put into savings.  We have already started this process. The nice thing about it is that we can modify with varying scenarios now without creating the sort of stress that comes when it become reality.

b) Be Ready:  Even though it makes sense to stay, there is no reason not have the figurative parachute packed and ready for when it does happen.  In my case this looks a lot like continuing to build those Linked Out connections, getting the resume in order, getting whatever additional knowledge I need in terms of certification or industry knowledge.  All of this can literally go on in the background and for the most part, is free.

c)  Find Other Funding:  This can look like a lot of things.  It can be a side hustle of some kind, or even a form of second job.  It can even be working through selling things that I no longer need and am likely not use again in my lifetime.  All of this could go into "The Gap Fund", or simply into my own secret stash for the things I still want to do (and cost money).

The reality, of course, is that none of this may come to pass. This may simply be a season (in my industry, such seasons are not unknown) and six months from now all will be well and that money we reallocated is a better nest egg than what we originally had.  

But either way, we planned for failure - and thus, we planned for success.


  1. Sometimes getting prepared is just comparing the pros and cons, then changing priorities. 3 a) b) and c) are sound decisions TB, they should grow that nest egg.

  2. Nylon12 - Thank you. It is helpful to have input on my thoughts in this matter. My hope is that it gives me a sense of making progress even while I am "waiting" for something to happen.

  3. "Live As If" is a great idea. I put that into place this year. When we moved here we really thought we'd be living well below our means, then the well went dry and so many financial upsets after that. Now the budget has changed big time and we're adjusting as the savings is growing and the debt is diminishing!

  4. Rain, that is exactly the sort of thing I am hoping for. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I've always lived my financial life backwards to most people. Instead of a budget, I have always saved what I needed to accomplish my life goal first and then learned to live on the rest. Sometimes there hasn't been much extra and sometimes there has still been a surplus and so those got plowed into easily accessible options for when hammerfalls occur. Because of that, both times when I left a company due to somebody else's decision, I was always able to take my time and not panic (at least too much), until another source of income was lined up.

    But like you, I've mostly waited for the hammer to fall instead of being proactive mainly because I knew that switching wouldn't get me a better deal. I never got to experience those days where a single job could be an entire career. My grandparents all talked of those days but they were long gone by the time I entered the job force.

  6. polimath7:56 PM

    Good day TB, I was using Linkered-un for a while even after I shut down my business. Started getting weird emails and links by guys in the middle east who wanted to "invest' in my company. Things seemed spooky and the data I was projecting on my profile was at risk. I felt that I was in danger of being hacked for my identity. So, I dumped it all and backed out of the program. Now I run a VPN and secure email and feel much more secure. I completely stopped working and dissolved my company last week. Not going back now and even if I did the "Muh Diversity engineers would be the ones to get the jobs I used to do. "Have at it, boyos"
    FYI When i did leave the workforce in 2013, every job was was desiring an eng ticket for even the most basic Project Management job. Wage cost skyrocketed and the Co got less for their money. A wet behind the ears Eng but no construction experience.T he way it goes.
    And as for the future let God direct your steps. I believe there is a huge change coming before the fall of this year.
    Take care brother.

  7. Ed- For probably longer than I care to admit, I lived life the "regular" way (e.g., not your way) and we have been catching up. Fortunately with the current position it has allowed a great deal of that catch up to occur.

    My maternal grandfather worked at the same company from when he first got a job after high school to when he retired; my father after the Navy did the same. My longest "stay" anywhere has been 7 years in a career life of 30+ years. I think it may still be possible, but only for a vanishing part of the population.

  8. Polimath - I am currently behind a VPN. I have had the same experience with Linked Out in terms of people "offering" such things to me, although sadly the are shoved out in my current e-mail from all the other spam I get.

    In terms of additional certification: I think in whatever industry one is in, industry experience is almost a pre-requisite to getting a job in that field - e.g., I suspect my project management experience outside of biopharmaceutical/medical devices will be limited. Almost no-one wants an unexperienced project manager, even with a PMP certificate: they want someone that knows their way around the industry a bit.

    I do foresee a change of sorts as well coming soon.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I think you are being very wise in how you are planning. I have found that just when I think I have had it figured out, a turn of events I never expected occurred took me on a path for which I had not planned. I'm within a few years of being at the end of my working life. I have a bit of PTSD over my career path and probably spend too much time thinking back and second-guessing myself and not enough being grateful for God's provision and how He has guided me through all of this. I wish you the best as you wait for the next chapter to begin. It might be soon. It might not be. But I think you are well prepared.

    1. Bob, you and I suffer from the same fear, probably from the same reason: We have been bitten by it one too many times. That and (for both of us) we may fall into a "less desirable bracket" e.g., we are old. And we certainly should be grateful, and I am not, often enough. But with all of that, I have never regretted being prepared for the event that did not happen.

  10. That is why so many people are still out of the workforce, or quitting the jobs they have. The government pays them more to do nothing.
    Frustrating and scary.

    Still, you have see and planned positives for this and that is a good thing.
    God is watching over you, I am sure. :)

    You all be safe and God bless.

    1. Linda, this week the labor numbers came out and there are apparently 11.6 million jobs open, at the same time people are quitting in high numbers. Something does not compute here, something that will catch up with us eventually.

      My hope is that this plan never actually has to be executed.


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