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Shut up and play your guitar!
Minor Deity
Picture of markj
posted
I have been self employed for almost 40 years, but now I am embarking on a new chapter in my career.

I had a great run and over the past 30 years or so. I have basically been semi-retired, yet making a living that most would love to make working full-time and even traveling for their job.

Due to budget cuts, but mostly egregious, dereliction of duty and poor management, we are now down to one remaining customer. Even though they just signed a five year contract, the revenue from one account is not enough to sustain my salary.

I have been answering ads on LinkedIn and signed up on Indeed etc. The job descriptions are ridiculous and are written in language I am having difficulty understanding. Yes, it's English, but the way they are written is mind numbing. lol

I had a couple of interviews with recruiters and one resulted in getting a remote MS Teams interview with a company owner when I was on vacation last week in Florida. That interview resulted in getting a second round interview at the company offices which takes place tomorrow afternoon. It's an IT Infrastructure Engineer / Manager position at a private, small company about 12 minutes from home. It's a good fit for my skills and abilities and I am actually looking forward to starting a new chapter in my work life. At 61 years of age! lol

It's not a certainty but, If I get this position, I will have benefits for the first time in my life. Health, Life, Dental, Vision, 401k with 5% match, paid vacation (my entire life to this point was basically a paid vacation lol), etc. I have had a 401k with company match, for about 4 years now since our company grew quite a bit starting in 2019. Not having to pay for health/dental/vision insurance out of my net pay is something I will enjoy.

The past few months have been very stressful since my salary was reduced to 1/3. We have a nice cushion so we are not in danger financially or anything but seeing the new net amount of my paycheck was like a kick in the stomach.

We exhibited at a regional 9-1-1 conference two weeks ago here in Wisconsin and we are still pursuing sales for our 9-1-1 ERP and QA/QI solution, but the sales cycle to county governments is measured in years. I need to find something to replace my lost income. If business picks up in the next year or two, I will still stay with this new job and will be able to handle both positions as the activity for my current company requires very little work on my part and it can be performed in the off hours and on weekends.

I hope I get this new job. If it falls through, there are a lot of opportunities in the IT world out there and I am sure I will find something.
 
Posts: 13645 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of wtg
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Wow, lots of changes for you! I can see how tough it would be to see your base business shrink, but maybe this is a blessing in disguise and you can at least get the health insurance monkey off your back...

You're always eager to take on new projects, and this sounds like another you'll breeze through. Wishing you all the best! Can't wait to hear where you land..


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When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden - Minnie Aumônier

 
Posts: 38152 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted Hide Post
Wow!! Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!!


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My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 18766 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Does This Avatar Make My Butt Look Big?

Minor Deity
Picture of Cindysphinx
posted Hide Post
Good luck. Two of my kids are fully remote in tech, and the third is mostly remote. There's plenty out there.
 
Posts: 19777 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Steve Miller
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Part of me thinks I’d make a great employee. I understand how businesses work and I’m no longer interested in fighting my way to the top.

OTOH, 40 years of self employment has left me with little tolerance for incompetence, laziness, or BS of most types.

I hope you’ll let us know how it goes. Judging by how my son speaks on zoom calls I think you may have to learn a whole new language. Cool


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 35074 | Location: Hooterville, OH | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
knitterati
Beatification Candidate
Picture of AdagioM
posted Hide Post
Good luck markj! I’m sure you can do anything that you set your mind to. And having company health insurance is great. It’s one of the things that sent Mr AM back to employee land in 2019.


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http://pdxknitterati.com

 
Posts: 9839 | Location: Oregon | Registered: 06 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Beatification Candidate
Picture of big al
posted Hide Post
Good luck, Mark. I'm sure you have the talent and drive to make this transition. You just have to convey that to your prospective employer.

Big Al


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Money seems to buy the most happiness when you give it away.

Why does everything have to be so complicated, all in the name of convenience. -ShiroKuro

A lifetime of experience will change a person. If it doesn't, then you're already dead inside. -MarkJ

 
Posts: 7459 | Location: Western PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shut up and play your guitar!
Minor Deity
Picture of markj
posted Hide Post
Second round interview went well and consumed the entire hour allotted.

Owner, Lead Engineer, HR and Office Manager were all present.

Started out being asked to introduce myself and tell my story about my experience. That was easy. "It all started in 1981 when my father brought home an Apple II..."

Three "difficult" tech questions/scenarios from the engineer. First was about a current client situation with old servers, multiple departments with security concerns due to multiple public IP address being assigned to individual servers, etc. Passed that one. Second one was a hypothetical scenario with a couple of products that I had no experience. They liked my response to that one as well. Basically, said I was unfamiliar with said products and would have to research them and the situation. Then collaborate with fellow employees to arrive at a solution. Third one I don't even remember, but I aced it as well.

Three or four less technical questions more along the line of basic IT support issues within the company itself. Printer not responding, workstation unable to join a domain, etc. easy stuff. Then an operational type question like: It's 3:00 pm on a Friday and payroll department is dead in the water and payroll/paychecks are not going out, and at the same time the President of the company calls you into his office and is experiencing an issue. What do you do? I replied, first and foremost, there is nothing more important than payroll. I know this as I spent 20 years writing and supporting payroll systems for large temporary employment agencies. I would tell the president that payroll is stalled and needs to be addressed first. After that is resolved, I will come see you. Aced it!

At the end, they asked more about me and if I had any questions for them.

I told them I was excited that they were in growth mode and that I would like to grow along with them.

Told them about my insatiable desire to learn new things, about my hobbies, yes, even the RC Helicopters, electronic knowledge, and coffee. That over the past 3 years, I taught myself 3D design and how to use a 3D CAD system and build, use and maintain 3D printers.

They have no coders on staff. Not even any people capable of writing scripts for productivity. I told them that coding and script writing is actually one of my areas of expertise and that I could bring that to the table to help with office productivity, etc. Brought up the fact that I spent my entire career writing custom software and that it could provide a new source of revenue. The owner liked that as the company they are about to acquire, has a custom software division and I could be very helpful with that.

At the end and as we were walking out of the meeting room, more informal personal questions about my family, the vacation I just took to visit mom, etc. The Office manager is going to Florida with her son in two weeks to go fishing pretty close to where we were.

I felt pretty good leaving that interview.

I should know something by this time next week.
 
Posts: 13645 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
czarina
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of piqué
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Mark I just read your entire posts aloud to Mr. Pique and he kept lol at their hypothetical scenarios as he has lived every one of them as the IT specialist for our county. He got his job at the age of 64 (he was convinced he was too old for anyone to hire him for an IT job), and just retired in Feb at the age of 74. He just had to go into the office yesterday because they still haven't found anyone who can replace him. They call him "Magic Fingers." (No, he has no desire to go back to work, and won't bill them for helping out.)

He especially laughed at the payroll scenario--he's lived that one more than once!

Good luck with the job!


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fear is the thief of dreams

 
Posts: 21469 | Registered: 18 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Steve Miller
posted Hide Post
Sounds like you nailed it! ThumbsUp


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 35074 | Location: Hooterville, OH | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
posted Hide Post
Sounds like it was really great, Mark!! Fingers crossed!!!


--------------------------------
My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 18766 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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Go, Mark!!

Woot


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When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden - Minnie Aumônier

 
Posts: 38152 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shut up and play your guitar!
Minor Deity
Picture of markj
posted Hide Post
piqué I thought I responded to you but I seem to have closed the window without clicking the Post Now button. Bang Head

Your post made my day! Tell Mr. piqué that I do in fact wonder why anyone would hire a fossil like me in IT. His story made me feel that it is possible.
 
Posts: 13645 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Nina
posted Hide Post
Good luck! I also feel like another fossil making a career switch, but as I keep discussing things with my managers they keep redefining my role to be more in line with what I want to do moving forward--there are far worse things. It also keeps fossilized me out of the job market.

Part of the issue is that I'm working with an ancient HRIS system (and yes, we do payroll in house Big Grin ) and most jobs are looking for specific skills in today's hot new HRIS (usually Workday). Very short-sighted in my opinion, but when they require X years of work in that system there's no point in even applying. Their loss--we fossils have learned a lot that we can apply in the future.
 
Posts: 35421 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
czarina
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of piqué
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by markj:
piqué I thought I responded to you but I seem to have closed the window without clicking the Post Now button. Bang Head

Your post made my day! Tell Mr. piqué that I do in fact wonder why anyone would hire a fossil like me in IT. His story made me feel that it is possible.


mr pique says "oh that is awesome!" Smiler

he felt the same, mark, and i'll tell you what i told him. ignore the statistics. you only need one job, and you are not a statistic.

the department head thought hiring him was a no-brainer. and indeed he was the department guru for 11 years. he meant to retire much sooner--but they kept begging him to wait a bit longer.


--------------------------------
fear is the thief of dreams

 
Posts: 21469 | Registered: 18 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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