Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader: Bill Brown
Avid's CIO has advice on job boredom and resume gaps.
When I was in school, I worked at a small company, doing just about everything imaginable related to computers. Since then, I have leveraged that experience and my degree into a job at a large corporation, where I have moved from the help desk to systems administration. The pay is much better than what I earned at my old job, but the work is far less interesting. I'm not sure what I want to do, but I sometimes think about finding a job with broader duties out of sheer boredom. Is that crazy, or just unwise? No, that isn't crazy or unwise. Orientation as a specialist or generalist is a common issue in determining job satisfaction and isn't always an indicator of compensation value. There is a lot of information in the public domain as well as exercises you can do to help you identify the realm in which you will be more satisfied. You will also find that this will change over time. It's similar to the issues that one may wrestle with when considering whether to be a manager or an individual contributor. In your case, try to identify what aspects of the generalist help desk job kept you satisfied and then identify what is missing now. And most importantly, share this feedback with your manager so you can work out a solution to find a more fulfilling role together. The fact is, there may be a lot more interesting work for you to do that your manager would happily delegate or reassign to you.
I left a QA job and moved to another city for personal reasons (I was in a relationship that has since ended). For the next two years, I worked as a waitress. Now I'm back home and eager to resume my professional life. In the interviews I've had so far, I have stumbled when asked about the gap in my resume. It seems too personal to discuss in a professional interview, and because I now feel like I made a mistake, I can't really talk about it well. How should I handle this? The best way to address gaps is head on. Believe it not, many of us -- including many hiring managers -- have had similar episodes in our own lives. In this case, I would share that you made a personal commitment to a significant other that caused you to temporarily interrupt your career. Oftentimes, you can parlay your interim experiences into a selling point, and many applicants sometimes call this out in "Additional Experiences" sections of their resumes. In general, just provide the facts, don't feel the need to share details, and turn the conversation back to your professional qualifications.
If you have a question for one of our Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch for this column each month.
Social Media and Jobs
More than one-fifth of all jobs in the U.S. are posted to all three leading social networking sites, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, according to the 2012 Bullhorn Reach Rankings Report from Bullhorn Inc., which offers a SaaS recruitment tool. LinkedIn is the most popular site for posting jobs, with 77% of openings getting listed on it. Technology jobs are the seventh largest category on those sites, and the Northeast is the region most active in using social networks for job searches. The Midwest is the least active.
Site/Percentage of U.S. Jobs Posted There
Most Active States for Posting Jobs on Social Networks:
2. New Hampshire
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find Me an IT Job
Path.To (that's the company's Web address, by the way) is marketing itself as "eHarmony for IT jobs." Explaining what that means, the company says that its Path.To Score ranking system "analyzes the unique characteristics of each applicant, business and position to determine compatibility." The service has been rolled out to the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago and Boston.
More Career Watch columns
- Career Watch: Top perks for IT jobs
- Career Watch: The rise of people architecture
- Career Watch: Pay was down for CS grads last year, but IT workers find that money isn't everything
- Career Watch: In-demand skills for 2014
- Career Watch: On job satisfaction, CIOs' perceptions may be skewed
- Career Watch: Paying lip service to work/life balance
- Career Watch: In IT, you don't have to be a star
- Career Watch: IT pros say they're smarter than the boss
- Career Watch: Where job interviews are really tough
- Career Watch: IT professionals assess the IT profession
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