About Us

What prompted me to start this website?

I started this website after watching the increasingly ridiculous unemployment numbers over the last few years. The unemployment rate started its serious climb around May of 2008 and by May of 2009 it had skyrocketed from 5.4% to 9.4%.  This was the first time unemployment reached 9% in at least 10 years!  That in and of itself is bad. But what is worse is the fact that in the last two and a half years, unemployment has dipped below 9% only twice (Feb 2011 at 8.9% and Mar 2011 at 8.8%).

On top of the dismal unemployment numbers over the last few years, the economy has been horrendous. Food and energy prices have been ever-increasing, the volatility of the stock market has caused instability with 401k prices and other investments, home prices have plummeted and are not expected to recover any time soon and small businesses, which employ over half the people in the US,  have been folding left and right. None of this bodes well for people who have lost their jobs and this is especially true for the middle and lower class.

Why this hits home for me

Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s I worked at Motorola. I was good at my job and I advanced pretty quickly. I started off as an assembly line worker and quickly worked my way up to line leader. From there I was hand picked for an open position in materials. Apparently I was highly sought after because after a couple of years of materials work I was asked to apply for an office position in documentation. I applied and was chosen to be a part of the documentation team.

The factory was doing something new and moving towards an intranet distribution of all the assembly documentation. So I taught myself HTML and JavaScript to accommodate the needs of the factory. At this point Motorola was going through a rough time and several rounds of layoffs had occurred along with the merging of several production lines.  The documentation group grew in size and many of the tools I created were now being used by a group of about 6 or 7 people.

While the tools I developed worked, I recognized a need for more complex tools that would integrate the different work groups in the assembly process more seamlessly. So I took some time and focused on learning the web programming language ASP and then SQL and relational databases. Things were going very well for me. I had moved to the top position in the documentation team and I had earned several monetary awards for the systems I developed. I consistently received the highest reviews and raises and despite the repeated layoffs cutting through Motorola, my job was considered safe by my peers and supervisors.

So what happened next came as a shock to me and everyone else in our group. I was laid off. That I was the top performer did not matter. That I was the only one able to do my job did not matter. Neither did the high review scores or monetary awards I had received. What it boiled down to was the fact that I had worked at Motorola for the least amount of time of everyone in my group. Who was laid off was determined by seniority.

What hit home even more than being laid off was that I was laid off during the dot com bust. As a person in the IT and Internet field, it was just about the worst time imaginable to be out of work. Thousands of other Internet professionals had also recently been thrust into the job pool making it that much harder for everyone to find employment. Even college counselors were saying not to pursue a career in IT at the time.

Deciding a course of action

Luckily for me, I didn’t believe the office rumor mill that thought I was safe from being laid off. I decided early what my course of action would be if I was chosen as one of the unlucky ones. Talk had been circulating for months about people who were laid off taking advantage of a program that would pay unemployment for a year and a half while also paying for up to two years of college. It is a government program called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which just happens to have been renewed this year.

My plan was to apply for the TAA program and finish my bachelors degree in Computer Science. At the time I was laid off I had already started laying the groundwork for how I could afford to be out of work for at least two years while only being on unemployment for a year and a half. And while I didn’t have everything figured out, it helped me out immensely to have a direction to aim at once I was laid off. Nothing is worse than that directionless feeling you get right after you have been told you no longer have a job. It feels like the bottom has just dropped out from under you…and you know what? It has.

What came next

Motorola did one of the greatest things they could do for the people they were laying off. They gave people help in finding a new job by providing each laid off employee with a professional, week long course in how to find a new job. This course provided very professional, high end career training to everyone who attended. The material provided is the same material that would be provided to high end executives that were laid off. Every aspect of the job search process was covered. Everything from the initial adjustment period to budgeting, networking, interviewing and salary negotiation once a job offer is made.

I knew that even if I was approved for the TAA program, I would still need to find a job after college. So I attended the course even though my plans included spending the next two years out of the workforce.

Once I was accepted into the TAA program my job for the next two years was to finish school and get the best education I possibly could. Going to school was my job and I treated it as such by making sure I achieved the Deans List each and every semester.

But then school was finished and that bottom-dropping feeling came right back again. The job I had worked at for the last two years, my college degree, had just ended and I was unemployed again. And this is where the career training that Motorola provided saved me. Once again I had direction and a job. My new job was to find employment and that week long course provided me with the handbook to do exactly that. I was armed with the knowledge I had gained from the career training and with a new Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems.

Employment success

After I finished college, the unemployment rates were between 5.5% and 5.8%. I still managed to land a job within two and a half months of finishing college. I credit the career training for providing me with the tools to present myself and my accomplishments in an effective manner.

Full Circle: Why did I create this website?

Why did I create this website? I have to pay out of my own pocket to keep this website up and running every day. And while I do have some ads placed on the site, they come nowhere near covering all the costs involved in the day to day operations. I spend hours of personal time every day trying to transfer into writing what I’ve learned from experience and the career training Motorola provided to me when I was laid off. I spend even more hours writing code to make this website run smoothly and provide tools for job seekers. Essentially, I’ve accepted a 20 hour a week, second job that has next to no pay, no additional benefits such as a 401k or healthcare and actually costs me thousands of dollars in time and moneySo why in God’s name do I do it?

It’s simple. In the first two paragraphs up top I provided all the motivation I needed to start Nearly 1 in 10 people are out of work, the economy is trashed, the housing market is abysmal and no one seems to want to do anything about it other than point fingers. Politically, the Left says the Right is to blame and the Right says it’s the Left’s fault. Politicians pass bills that either have nothing to do with the economy and employment, that are completely ineffectual in creating jobs and getting people back to work or they pass bills that bail out and protect only the largest of businesses. The media outlets exasperate the political problem by stirring up divisiveness and angst on both sides of the isle. And they do it intentionally to get you to pay attention to them so they can stay out of the unemployment line and keep their pockets lined. Not to mention all the politically motivated groups that are costing cash strapped local governments, and by extension the tax payers, even more money by setting up camp and protesting instead of doing something productive to try and bring an end to this dismal economy.

So I made a conscious decision to put my money where my mouth is. Instead of doing what every other group seems to be doing and focusing only on, “Me Me Me,” I’ve decided to try and make a real difference by passing along the skills I’ve learned that have had a positive effect on my career search in the past.

My goal for this website is get as many people employed as I possibly can. My first step is to write down the entire process that helped me to find a job. I have already started writing articles and I have many more that I plan to write. These articles will cover the complete career search process starting from unemployment through accepting a job offer. Along with these articles I will be creating templates and pre-made forms that will help during a job search. This forms will be in Excel and Word formats. Along with information I am also planning to create tools to help job seekers in their search for employment. If you have any suggestions on what would make your job search easier, feel free to contact me with them and I will be more than happy to see what I can do to implement those suggestions into free usable tools.

If I help even one person find employment, it will be worth the time and money I’ve put into this website. I’ll at least know I’ve tried and done what I can do to help out.