j0443718[1] Job hunting was pretty slow over the holidays, not too many companies advertising for new positions. But after the first of the year, things have really started to pick up, so I’ve been doing more job applications, interviews and all that jazz. At first I was focusing solely on landing a traditional, full-time job. But since the market was lean, I finally decided to start applying for more contract positions. I realized there is not much constraining me to seek a more traditional position (like being the primary breadwinner of a family or something). And it might be fun, for a change, to switch jobs and companies more frequently.

Many of these vendor and contractor positions are at “The Software Giant” in Redmond, as all the recruiters and staffing agencies call it in their job ads. Working with recruiters is new to me, as in the past I’ve always applied for jobs straight with the hiring company. And when I’ve been on the interviewer side of the table, my  group was always interviewing a new hire directly after filtering through resumes ourselves.

Some of my more worldly engineering friends give recruiters the less flattering moniker of “pimp”- making me slightly wary of what kind of role I’d be entering into, exactly. But so far it hasn’t required mini-skirts, gum-chewing or hoop earrings; and none of the recruiters I’ve seen appear to be packing heat or sporting tattoos, so I think I’m safe! 😀 I’m still finding there is a lot to learn about this underworld of engineering contracting, however.