Starting the job search

[Apologies if you see this twice — had some issues with LJ crossposting.]

Thought I should update everyone on what’s up with my life: after a whole lot of self-reflection and investigating alternatives and looking at cities and some much-needed unwinding time, I’ve started to get things back in gear again.

The current plan is to stay in IT, and look for positions that are well-suited to my sysadmin experience first here in Ottawa, and then failing that in Toronto. We considered Vancouver but decided it was too far away and too much of a “well wouldn’t it be neat” rather than a practical alternative.

Before I explain the city thing, here’s the lazyweb portion of today’s post:

I’m working on my resume right now and I’ll link to it when I’m done, but here’s how I’ve narrowed down the last twelve years for the “summary” section of my resume, which I use instead of an “objective”:

  • Senior Unix system administrator with 12 years Linux experience, 6 years Solaris experience, also comfortable in Windows
  • Internet mail, DNS, and anti-spam expert
  • 7 years experience with MySQL performance tuning and high availability in an Apache-based web environment
  • Experienced writing software including Web applications in Perl and PHP, and debugging software and Unix kernels in C

For those of you who know me semi-professionally, does that sound like an accurate summary? Is there something in there that you feel like you should call my bluff on? Something that you associate with me that’s left out? I mean, there’ll be a lot more detail in the rest of the resume, but that’s me in a nutshell, and that’s also how I’m shaping the job search, too.

As for cities: the main reason we’re looking hard in Ottawa first is that it’s a real big pain for Candice to move, since she’s spent the last year and a half establishing her massage practice here in Ottawa. She takes her experience and education with her, sure, but she leaves her client list, and it could easily take another year to build things up again elsewhere — and doubly so since she’d have to learn the markets and dynamics of another big city while she built things up again.

But Ottawa is not a great environment for me to find things in. A lot of the IT work here is either entry-level — call centre, desktop support, and so on — or it’s government contract, which often requires bilingualism, secret or top-secret security clearances, and tends to be mostly Windows-oriented. And then there’s a big chunk of private high-tech that is in the military/defense world which I can’t do.

So I’ve basically realized that at this point I do have a career, and that’s one of a predominantly Internet-oriented Unix sysadmin, and that I owe it to myself to find a job that builds on that instead of just any IT job with “administrator” in the title.

Anyway, back to resume-writing for me. I’ll post again when I’m done that in case any of you think you know of someone that could use someone like me!

4 responses to “Starting the job search”

  1. I suspect that ‘comfortable with Windows’ is probably understating things, relative to others in IT. I can perfectly understand why you would understate it, though. Nonetheless, there might be a slightly more apt way to express ‘I can work with Windows, but I’m not looking for a Windows job.’

    Also: no mention of network management/monitoring, etc.? I know that Unix systems admin, spam filtering etc. all imply it, and one might be inclined to apply for an employer who couldn’t see that implication, but….

  2. gcrumb: Yeah, trying to imply “I won’t be all LOL MICRO$UCK WINBLOZE AMIRITE but I’m not looking for a job administering Windows”, because Parkinson’s Law applies to time spent adminning Windows vs. all other work.

    About network management: I don’t know border protocols and I don’t know IOS. Two big strikes for anything in that area and I don’t plan on reinventing myself as a network admin at this point. But this is just the summary section — right below it is the full list of technical skills, and that talks about the network side.

  3. We have a Linux Admin position in Toronto and it will pay 75 to 85K + a bonus. You can reach me at 1-877-213-3301 ext 227