Saturday, February 10, 2024

Hammerfall 3.0: Weeks Seven And Eight Report

 Period: 26 January 2024 to 09 February 2024

Positions applied to:  I applied to 10 positions during this period. Total jobs applied to/opportunities investigated are 72 unique positions.

Rejections:  I was rejected for 4 positions (16 total rejections).


I had one recruiter call and two second round of interview calls.

The recruiter call was for a Supervisor position. I talked with the recruiter and said I would consider a manager level based on my experience.  In theory he will ask, although between that and the potential gap in salary, I am not hopeful.

Second Round Interview 1:  I spoke with four individuals from different departments that interact with Quality.  They were all positive experiences and seemed like genuinely nice people that would make good coworkers.  I am waiting for feedback to see if I will move to the next stage, which would be an on-site interview.

Second Round Interview 2:  I spoke with five individuals from different departments - interestingly, two of them grew up not far from where I did.  They were also all positive experiences and seemed like they would make good colleagues.  As above, I am waiting for feedback on the next stage.  Also of note, I got an overview of the relocation package.  It is a very generous one.

Job losses:  Strand Therapeutics, Hookipa Pharma, Pfizer, 2seventybio,  Atara Biotherapeutics, Rakuten Medical, Xencor, Rallybio and Synlogic all announced layoffs.  195 known positions lost, 160 "transferred" to another company (2seventybio to Regeneron),  one (Rakuten) with "undisclosed" job cuts, and one (Synlogic) with no numbers but 90% personnel reduction.

Sandoz announced the closing of a facility in North Carolina (213 jobs lost) and Roche announced layoffs (around 340 people, mostly contractors).  Eon Labs  announced the closing of a facility, 213 jobs lost.  Total is 756 jobs, both in the US and internationally.

Note:  Plant closings are a pretty significant thing.  That represents a company deciding a market - whatever was produced there - is not coming back.

I should also note mass hirings, when they happen.  Jubilant HollisterStier located in Spokane, WA announced an additional 200 person hire (I have worked with this plant in the past).


I would be lying if I did not say I was feeling a bit under pressure now.  Yes, I know that I still have 2.5 months to run on my insurance and somewhere around 4 months on my unemployment, but time flies quickly and it is already February.  

The timing is not necessarily anyone's fault of course; I forget how long hiring processes can take these days.  For the two second round of interviews above, this is still with 30 days of my application, which is rather speedy for these sorts of things.  

One thing it does suggest is that any job I have not heard from almost immediately is likely something that I am not in contention for.  That is not a hard and fast rule, but anyone that has been interested to date has shown interest pretty quickly.  If I use that as a metric, my "informal" rejection rate rises to something like 94% (on a sliding scale, of course).  That is a pretty stunning number.

Still, even with that high of a rate, it only takes one offer to change everything.


  1. Perseverance and thick skin are two skills that seem necessary for job hunting! Hang in there TB!

    Closings representing the end of the market for a particular product jostled my memory from years ago when I worked in a doctors' office. I dealt with drug reps all the time and heard many, many spiels. Every new drug was the latest miracle, until it was replaced by the next miracle. Many of those nobody even hears about any more.

    1. Leigh, I still have my job search log from 2009 and while it is not quite as detailed as what I keep now, it is worth noting that in terms of numbers, I am currently far in advance of where I was at the time (probably worth a post).

      One of the things I liked to pass along to newer industry employees was the fact that over my 25 years or so in the industry, I have worked for 10 companies (one twice). Of those 10, only two are still in business as themselves, the rest having gone out of business or been purchased/merged with other companies. Those are not great numbers, and one of the reasons I tried to communicate to them not to become completely enamored of a company or job - likely it was going away anyway. Not true of every company, of course - there are folks that spend their whole career at a single company (although that is rarer and rarer) - but most of us end up working a number of places.

  2. Nylon124:02 AM

    Yah, plant closings......those really drive the nail in, don't they? At least there was one mass hiring, one door shuts, another opens. Prayers out on your job search TB.

    1. Nylon12, one does not often hear of plant closings (or at least to date) in my industry. They represent a capital expenditure that in theory can be modified to produce another line. The fact that they are closing them means they have been determined that they can no longer be profitably operated for anything. I feel even worse for the people impacted; in some cases these are in locations where it will not be easy to find additional work.

  3. Moved to China?
    It's an election year. And given what happened 4 years ago, perhaps businesses are trying to stay low with the uncertainty?
    May God show you the way, TB.
    You all be safe and God bless.

    1. Linda, it is quite possible that the manufacturing was transferred to another plant - but that involves a rather lengthy and expensive process of transferring the product and demonstrating it meets the same manufacturing and regulatory specifications. Not impossible, but the product line would have to justify the expense. My guess is simply the lines and/or products are not longer profitable.

  4. You are right, it only takes one offer. The statistics, etc. are useful and interesting, but the fact that you are getting inquiries and interviews shows there ARE jobs. Also, with regard to moving you mentioned in your previous post, perhaps if that happens, you can look at it as an adventure, just another stop along the way. Still praying, TB. All the best to you.

    1. Thanks Bob.

      The statistics are interesting to me purely because in some way, I am trying to make "a better search". Are there particular criterion that make me essentially outside of consideration? I think that location is part of it (e.g., applying to positions outside of my "home") - except as, in the two interview streams I do have, they are places where it is difficult to recruit to.

      It is funny - five month ago moving was not even a consideration. Now it is a likely outcome - as you say, another stop on the way.

  5. My experience is that things happen when they happen. Not useful, I know.

    1. Well, helpful as a reminder if nothing else, John. I can definitely be impatient sometimes.

  6. Praying, TB. I'm sorry you're experiencing this, but your inside view is enlightening.

    1. Thank you Becki.

      As things perhaps clear up towards a potential resolution, it is if I am looking at exchanging my old life for a new one, almost 100%. That is strangely exhilarating and terrifying.


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