Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Volume 2, Number 11: Back on Track!

(Note: This is a re-posting of an entry I made in mid-March 2007 on a Yahoo! GeoCities blog.)

On Monday, March 19, I will start a new job with GM, doing data analysis for their Global Learning Metrics & Evaluations department. (It's a contract position, but it still pays much better than either of my two previous jobs did. Heck, the pay is almost double what I was making a year ago at ZF!) What's more, even if it only goes a few months, maybe my work during those few months will be enough to finally put my career back on track (after a few years of either dead-end jobs or no job at all). For example, I've been trying to get a "foot in the door" with the metrics team at Quicken Loans for a few years now; maybe working with this GM metrics team will open that door a little wider.

I stopped working at Grainger last month. That was a "contract-to-hire" assignment where I was told I would be hired in after 3 months, but that didn't happen after 3 months or even after 5 months. Looking back, I figure they were trying to keep me as a temp for as long as they needed me. (I went through that with Harada 10 years ago and didn't want to go through it again.) Besides, the work at Grainger wasn't even all that stimulating or challenging to begin with--some data entry here, some phone calls there--and driving 25 miles each way didn't help, either. Another thing, too--my mother told me she heard some radio advertising from Grainger around the time I started working there, but she stopped hearing it a couple of months back. She speculates that Grainger wanted to drum up more business, but it never materialized.

How I got the job with GM, that's a story in itself. It didn't start with an interview like most job offers do. Around March 5, I had followed up with Aquent regarding five other positions I had applied for through their web site. After some time, they said, "Well, you're not a match for two of these, and we'll look into the other three for you, but in the meantime, if you have the time to work on this, we may have an opportunity for you." By "this," I mean they attached some data and wanted me to build some tables and reports from that data. That's so cool! Why? Because it's an aptitude test, where the playing field is level (as opposed to the job interview, where my aptitude is almost never tested and I get too nervous, so used car salesmen generally fare better at job interviews than I do). In this case, it wasn't who I knew... at last, it was what I knew.

Apparently, of the three people that were given that data, I was the only one to be considered for an interview. I did get a little nervous at the interview, but I handled the questions just fine. Still, I was surprised as heck when he said, "Welcome aboard!" and "I'd like you to start as soon as possible." I had never heard that before at a job interview; almost all of my previous job interviews ended with that "We'll call you if we have something for you" stuff.

It may have sucked to be out of work for a few weeks, but this GM job makes the wait more than worthwhile. This is just the kind of job I wanted five years ago.

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