I haven't posted too much about my job search (other than updating every single online profile to read "Hire me in Austin, TX") because I am in sort of a weird position. My boss knows I will be leaving the company and that the timeline is uncertain. Other people at my company know I will be leaving, too. It isn't necessarily common knowledge, though. Usually, job hunting is such a clandestine affair, fraught with fake dentist appointments and uncharacteristic boughts of the stomach flu (also fake), so it feels uncomfortable to be open about it, even though there is no reason not to. On the other hand, I don't want to thumb my nose (what does that even mean?) at my company for not booting me out the door once I told them I was looking for a job in another state. Also, I don't want vultures trying to steal my job before I've left it! (Kidding. Let me know if you want my job and I will send your resume to my boss.)
That is so not what I had planned to write about when I started this post. I had planned to write about how this job search is so different from any other job search I have ever conducted.
My husband and I have been planning to leave California for a couple years. Last year, we got serious about it. We sold our house and moved into a rental with a plan to stay there for a year or two before moving to Austin, Texas. I would start looking for a job in the Spring and we would move as soon I found the perfect job. He would look for a job after we moved. (My job is much more specialized than his, and harder to find. I'll be surprised if he doesn't find a job in less than a month.)
For the past few years, I have been much more conscientious about networking. It is something that I am not naturally good at it. (I wrote about LinkedIn here.) I worked on making some connections in Texas, and making a broader range of connections in the internet industry in general. For the past year, I told everyone I met that I was planning to move to Austin. That alone has lead to some interesting things.
Spring came and I attended SXSWi in Austin. That is when I started my job searching in earnest. (Check out my t-shirt.) I reached out to a few recruiters but, mostly, I reached out to my network. And that is all I have been doing since then. I have had more leads and more interest in my talents than I have ever had in any job search before. A week hasn't gone by in which I haven't had at least two calls scheduled. Sometimes, it is just a networking sort of call, chatting with someone in Austin, letting them know what I am looking for and seeing if they know of any opportunities or anyone I should be talking to. Sometimes, it is talking to people who could hire me. I have talked to about half a dozen companies and not a single one of them had an open position listed, yet we had serious conversations about how I could fit in with those companies. The job boards are dismal, but I have had a lot of leads just through networking.
Right now, I am in the early stages of conversations with three companies. Each one has a unique, and very interesting, opportunity (not yet listed on any job board). The best thing about looking for a job this way is that when I do talk to people, it is really a conversation about fit. They talk about what is going on at their companies, the work they are doing, their philosophies and corporate cultures. I talk about my experience and what I am looking for in my next job and the future of my career. It is so different from having an interview filled with formulaic questions designed to weed out slightly ovoid pegs that won't fit into an unnaturally round hole. I am not in a hurry with this. I am moving my family halfway across the country. I want to make sure I choose a company for which I will be a good fit, where I think I will be happy, doing something I think I will love. And, I want the company to feel the same way about me.
On the other hand, it is freaking hot in Texas, and I would like to move before temps in Austin hit triple digits. (Next week?) I said to my daughter the other day, "You think this is hot? Wait until we get to Texas."