Friday, October 15, 2010

In Which Jackie Goes Questing

I pulled out of my mild slump with a vengeance about a week ago when I made the decision to focus my attention on hunting for a new job. No sooner did I begin to look than my energy level began to return. I feel energized, delighted and excited.

This actually started a couple of weeks ago when I followed a waft of interest in entrepreneur Caterina Fake, one of the co-founders of Flickr. Her current venture is, and I joined and created a profile. This was the first new social media website that I had adopted since the advent of Facebook, which itself had basically replaced my previous use of LiveJournal.

So I started late one night and within a couple of hours found myself completely absorbed in navigating the social landscape of the site. It was fascinating. And since I had just been thinking about Fake and her connection to startups, and since I have been thinking of hunting for some slightly more challenging work, I thought I would check for job listings on the site. However, it turned out that they are located in New York. No good, as I don't want to go from one crazy-high cost of living world to another with worse weather, to boot. That's assuming I could convince them to hire me.

So then I had the thought, why not take a look around for startup companies closer to home? A few search queries later, I had landed on, a web design startup in Campbell, CA with possibly the coolest benefits package I have ever seen in my life (free drycleaning-free housecleaning- I'm sold!) AND a current opening, currently listed, for a Customer Advocate position. Nearly fell off my chair with excitement. This was a strong clue that it might be time for me to move on.

My company has treated me very well, and it's no shame to them that I'm going slowly but surely insane from utter boredom. Excel spreadsheets have their place, mind you, but I like to have a goal in mind and need food for the intrinsic motivation to reach the kind of heights I'm dreaming of. I do a good job, but out of duty and respect, not out of love.

I spent four hours on my application letter. Afterward, I lay awake for most of the night. I'm not kidding when I say that I have strong passions about things.

A few days of incessant obsession later, with no word from Zurb (not even a form letter- you guys break my heart!) I figured out that there might be MORE cool companies to work for in the area. (I know I pride myself on my intelligence, but sometimes certain ideas take time to percolate ;) Also as part of my application to Zurb, I included the URL to this blog, and decided it might be time to be a bit more active on Twitter, as it was one of the components of the listing. I've been aware of Twitter in a distant way for some time now, but hadn't really figured the whole thing out.

Yes, here I am just dipping a toe into the waters of web 2.0. Jackie, who has been active on the internet since the mid 90's, has fallen behind the early adopter curve.

Job hunt stage two began, and I pulled another all nighter.,,,, and are just some of the miraculous things I discovered popping up all around me. I also applied at LinkedIn, SRI, Quova, etc. Of course, to be qualified for any of the open positions, I needed to be familiar with the products, so I signed on and started creating. Here I am a week later following 60 people on Twitter (having only been active on it for a few days) and having the time of my life. I'm excited to go back to working on this blog. I might even start having readers one of these days!

I've had two phone interviews this week already and both were fabulous (but I won't tell you who, shhhh!) and I feel completely alive and energized again, even though I have stayed up half the night two nights in a row attempting to create, download, and edit my video clips for YouTube (how could I forget~ I now have an active YouTube channel as well). Really happy. There are smart people out there in the universe, and apparently I can listen to them anytime I want- on Twitter. I can learn from them- on YouTube. I can read things that they say - on their blogs and websites and social pages. Utterly amazing.

So, this job search may pan out or may not. Either way, I'm still employed, so feeling pretty upbeat. I feel really qualified for a lot of positions now, with both education and experience to back me. The random passing interest I had in programming might even return now that I see some of the development possibilities for all of these social media websites.

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