Monday, June 9, 2008



Wow, where do I really start? Maybe a brief introduction will do. My name is Philip, I'm a recovering Mathematician with a lot of good abilities in the IT world. I had been working for a small company in Alexandria Virginia since 1991, we mostly built electronic publishing applications, what is now called content management. I decided to leave the group after a change in ownership, the new owners (which included me), who had been good friends of mine and had worked for me as employees, changed a bit under ownership, the place that was my home was now very foriegn to me, so in the summer of 2007 I left the company, it was an increadibly tough thing to do, but I had to go.

What Now??!!

Before I left my former company I had signed a non-compete, bad move on my part. I did speak with the current president of the company to get his permission to seek work from one of his customers, he agreed as long as I didn't try to get work from their internet side, it was OK for me to work on the up stream of their publishing, mostly XML to XML work. Well second bad move, I didn't get it in writing, I arranged to get some work from his customer, I asked the customer to OK it with my former company and next thing I know I'm getting a letter from their lawyer saying I'm in breach of contract, you know I'm not the kind to do that, I just wanted work and money to feed my family, I didn't want to harm anyone, but instead they decided they wanted nothing to do with me.

After some small jobs I finally landed a great position with a federal contractor as a project manager for a very large government portal. I was very busy all day, hardly had time for lunch (which was fine by me, I could use to loose some pounds), my program manager was incredibly impressed by my work and was getting ready to offer me a job when.... DHS denied my clearance, it was awfully strange since it was the day after I submitted a form saying I was a foreign born US citizen and that my mother at the time was not a US citizen, but my father was. They also would not give me a chance to appeal their decision, since I was a contractor. This really hurt because I'm an incredibly honest guy, I love working hard and I'm smart enough not to do things like look up the passport records for presidential candidates, but I guess DHS didn't see it that way.

What Now Again??!!

So it's back to Monster, Careerbuilder, Dice, Washington Post, TheLadders, VisualCV, etc... None of that is really working. I'm getting tons of spam, I've sent out 1000's of resumes and have been through 5-6 revisions of my resume, I've been to networking events, called old friends, etc... I have been getting some calls and interviews, but they mostly want someone who's got 3-5 years experience, not 18 years experience (not sure if they want someone young or cheap, I figure both).


I'm not a great interviewer, having been within a small company for several years I didn't keep up with the naming trends, so when people talk about content management, I think of what content management was 10 years ago, now it's a bit different. I also didn't get a lot of skills in some of the newer languages and since I've been managing more than coding, my coding skills have withered to being very bad :(.

I'm kind of stuck in how do I tell people in an interview that when they hire me they'll get someone who's got their back, who'll go the extra mile for them, who will exceed their expectations? I've never been great at giving myself a pat on the back and making myself stand out.

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