Here it is, Friday, and I'm sitting at home, yet again. I've been transformed from project manager to househusband. It's weird sitting at home every day. I understand why housewives freak out when their husbands come home. It's an interruption to the daily rhythm.
Having moved to the Baltimore/D.C. metro region means that I've encountered a job world where experience means less than a degree or certification. It's funny how many jobs ask for a degree in Computer Science just to do help desk work.
Having been a project manager for both web development and wireless games doesn't mean anything here. I have years of experience moving up the ranks very quickly. But that doesn't matter either, unless those years are 15+. What matters is I'm not certified from the Project Management Institute. I almost got another job, but I lacked the server experience, though I'm sure if I had some sort of server certification, I would've gotten it.
So what have I learned now? Well, I like watching Judge Judy and Texas Justice. I find the people on Elimidate and The 5th Wheel exceptionally vapid, but they're so much better to watch than soap operas. Dr. Phil is the high point of my day and while the show is good, even by my all-time standards, it is sad that it's the high point.
I'm starting work at a grocery store on Monday. I'm getting paid enough that taking temp work (without a second car already in hand) makes little sense in comparison. I've applied for several government jobs as a secretary, focusing on office automation, so maybe I'll hear something in a couple weeks. Should nothing pan out here, I think I'll probably head off to Minnesota during the summer so that I can eventually finish my degree.
What have I learned? A couple things. Aside from the need to get degrees, I would recommend a few certifications to anyone in the tech industry. If you can pick up the PMI or PMP certs (as I see them listed in the paper), they can be worth a bit. I've also learned that getting experience in a grocery store will almost always get you work somewhere, and that federal jobs are an excellent way to job security. The last thing I've learned is that no matter how great the job you have is, never get non-collateral debt beyond what you could pay off at $20,000 / year. If you get that grocery experience, believe me, you'll never drop below that.