A Weekly ComputorEdge Column by Douglas E. Welch





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Get a Job!

by Douglas E. Welch

December 31, 1999

© 1999, Douglas E. Welch

New Year. New Century. Soon, a new Millennium. How about a new career? Let's look forward into the new year and see what you can do to make this year the best ever for both you and your career.

Get a job

For those of you searching for your first high-tech job, take heart. The hiring doldrums of the holiday season are over. Human Resource departments are hitting the resumes again and interviews are on the rise. If you haven't been sending out your resumes, start today. Call back some of those companies that said they weren't hiring at the moment. Chances are, they are now. Dig into the Internet job resources. Visit ( ) and set up a personalized agent that will let you know when new jobs become available in your areas of interest.

This is also a good time to work on building your skills. Did your relatives and friends get computers for Christmas? Volunteer to help them out. Take the opportunity to dig into all the new software that comes with these systems and learn all you can.

A new semester is starting at colleges everywhere. Can you take some classes to help improve your resume? Can you teach a class? Libraries everywhere are looking for volunteers to teach patrons about the Internet. Maybe a local senior center needs someone to staff the computer lab and help people send email to their grandkids. Search out these opportunities to gain experience even if there is no pay. Everything you do expands your resume and can help raise it closer to the top of the stack on someone's desk.

Make your job better

The new year is also an excellent time to work on improving your current job. Do you want a raise? Do you want more responsibility? Do you want to work in another department? Sit down with your boss today and see if there is a way to make it happen. Unless you are already in a bad company your initiative will be seen as a positive sign. Maybe you won't get everything you want, but if you don't discuss these issues you are assured of getting nothing.

Do you have new proposals to streamline operations? Did you figure out a way to improve customer service? Did you design a new prototype for the back-end database controlling the companies web site? Bring out your ideas and proposals now, before the usual mayhem of doing business reaches a fever pitch. After the holidays most people are a bit more relaxed and a bit more open to new ideas. Give them a few weeks and they will probably be too busy wrestling alligators to give you the time of day.

Get a better job

Just like those people looking for a new high-tech career, established workers will find companies more accessible. Take the time to update your resume with your latest and greatest successes. Maybe you made some connections during the rounds of holiday parties. Now is the time to call them and set up a meeting. Touch base with those friends who work at other companies. Do they have openings that might interest you?

Use the energy that always surrounds the beginning of the year to drive you into taking risks. If you wait too long the realities of your current job could sap your energy. Send out those resumes now before your boss asks you to re-write the programming spec for the 11th time. Make that phone call before you are pulled into a 10 minute meeting that lasts all day. Take the time to do what is best for you. Remember, the only person that places you at the top of the priority list is you. Other's may want to help you, but you have to take the first step and let them know that you are available.

Above all else, don't let the arbitrary rollover of the calendar freak you out. I am looking forward to Y2K in the same way I look forward to every new year. It will be an interesting story to tell my son, Joseph, who is still too young to understand it all now. The New Year gives us a marker, a milestone to rededicate ourselves in all aspects of our lives. Yes, we may have large problems in the world today, but never before have we had such a supply of tools to combat them. Dedicate yourself to being the best person you can be, in all aspects of your life. That alone helps to make the world a better place.

See you on the other side of the century!

Douglas E. Welch is a freelance writer and computer consultant in Van Nuys, California. Readers can discuss career issues with other readers by joining the Career Opportunities Discussion on Douglas' web page at:

He can reached via email at

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