Tag Archives: job

I Got a Job!

Despite the pessimistic outlook I expressed in a post a few weeks ago, some opportunities have come my way. I received two job offers last week, which left me with a difficult decision. Accept the safe, steady job with a traditional company, or join the Silicon Valley startup that offers potential for fast advancement, but at much higher risk?

I had less than 48 hours to decide. The decision became easy once I weighed the starting pay against potential for upward mobility. I chose the startup. The traditional company was difficult to turn down because it was a safe bet and an opportunity to learn a new industry, but I couldn’t resist the excitement of joining a great company in its infancy.

Today is my first day as an employee of Keen Systems, a company that is bringing small printing companies into the 21st Century. There are several products in Alpha and Beta stages, so I can’t share much, but our Web-2-Print platform represents an amazing opportunity for small companies in the print industry to take their business online and land new customers in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.

Keen Systems print company

 

I’ll share more about my experiences working for a startup as I learn what I’m allowed to tell you. More to come.

Until next time.

-Taft

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I’m Getting Worried

It’s rare for me to get stressed out, so the past few weeks have left me feeling strange. With less than two weeks before I move to California, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m making a mistake. Am I doomed to burn through all of the money I’ve saved over the past two years? Will I waste it all while wading through a hopeless job search?

As my twenties come to a close, I am encumbered by the Catch-22 that affects so many job seekers. You need two years of experience to snag an entry-level job. This bit of irony makes it nearly impossible to change careers without taking an unpaid internship.

In an effort to build experience in marketing, I did just that. I went to work for a small tech start-up last year, agreeing to forgo pay in exchange for the experience my resume has been missing. I was initially responsible for basic translations and copy writing, but my position quickly evolved into a marketing role. I’ve learned a lot about how an app is conceptualized, designed, made, and sold. Watching a new company get its feet wet has given me a new understanding of and appreciation for the hard realities of entrepreneurship.

Armed with my new experience, I sent out dozens of job applications over the past month. As the rejection letters begin to stream in (11 as of this morning), it has become clear that I’m no closer to landing an interview than I was before moving to Korea.

This should not be mistaken for a lack of confidence. I believe that past performance is the best predictor of future success, and I have a strong history of exceeding expectations. As a police officer, I earned promotions early and often, ultimately becoming the department’s youngest detective. I was awarded the annual emergency services Hero Award and the annual city Customer Service Award. As a teacher, I won 2nd place in the national teaching competition.

I am intelligent, had working, and dependable; I’ve never missed a day of work in 13 years. All I need is somebody to give me the chance to prove myself. The next few weeks will be spent thinking about ways to differentiate myself from the sea of applicants competing for each open position.

I want to hear your job search stories. What helped you land the perfect job? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

Until next time.

-Taft

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Bad Day

Today was not a good day…

Last weekend, I was extended a job offer from a university near Seoul. The job is a good one – an English professor at a reputable school with great hours and lots of vacation time.

This afternoon, I got a call from the professor in charge of hiring. She told me that the administration office, is rescinding my job offer. Some of my teaching experience overlaps with the time during which I was studying for my master’s degree. According to a new law (or maybe school policy), the school cannot count both the experience and the education. “Since you earned your masters while teaching, only one can count, and you need both to meet our requirements.”

This is similar to what happened the last time I was offered a university job, only to have it rescinded at the last minute. They just keep moving the goal line.

I signed a form a couple days ago informing my current office of education that I won’t return next year. So now I have to start the job hunt over again. I’m starting to wonder if Korea’s even the right place for me. I need more university experience to get an entry-level university job.

It’s not the first (or second) time something like this has happened. I’m starting to think that I’m doomed to bad luck with my career.

Until next time.

-Taft

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Last Day

Tomorrow is my last day with Lenoir Police Department.  Despite my complaints (money and social life), I am truly sad to leave this place.  The past six years have been great – I look forward to work almost every day and enjoy the excitement of investigating cases and outsmarting the bad guys.  The absolute best part of my job is the fact that I go to work every day with a group of people that I love.  My colleagues have become a second family to me, and I will miss all of them.

I will take some great memories with me when I leave.  One of the best parts of working for LPD is the fact that I am pretty good at my job.  Though there were some areas where I struggled (shooting range), I excelled in financial investigations and forensics.  I was fortunate to win a few awards during the past several years, but my favorite was the “2009 Hero” award.  I’m pretty sure that I didn’t do anything heroic, but I got my picture in the paper.  To a budding media whore like myself, that was a big deal.

I also had the pleasure of working with some amazing officers.  Without them, my experience with LPD would not have been so amazing.  My supervisors and colleagues were the reason I was successful as a patrol officer and investigator.  I owe everything I have to them.  Their guidance and leadership helped me develop and grow as an officer.  Their advice led me to pursue higher education.  Their support helped me get through the occasional tough time.

I am sad to say that I’ll be leaving four of my best friends behind, along with a slew of close friends, behind when I head to Asia.  The hardest part of adjusting to life in a new country will have little to do with the country, and a lot to do with not seeing my LPD family every day (and the language barrier – but mostly the friendship thing).

Tomorrow morning I have to do what I have been dreading for weeks.  The supply Lt. and I will catalog all of my equipment, put it back in the supply closet, and then I will close out the day as a former LPD officer.  That, along with the fact that I have a front-row seat on Det. Wesson’s emotional rollercoaster (sorry Jess), will make tomorrow a tough day.

Wish me luck.

Until next time.

-Taft

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