ALPHA v0.3

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How To Read The Wanted Ads

Topic: internet


With IT salaries rising and jobs begging for applicants, many people are looking at career opportunities and considering employment changes. Yet the plethora of on- line ad copy promoting positions is bewildering in detail and content. To help the potential job-seeker sort out the information and pick up on the nuances of recruiter come-ons, here is a handy dictionary for reading between the lines:

A TEAM PLAYER: other people take credit for all your work.

SELF-DIRECTED: management is always unavailable in meetings.

EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS: you will get blamed for everything, so you need to be good at making excuses.

ABLE TO HANDLE MULTIPLE TASKS: you will have to do the work of the three people who quit to accept better offers.

SELF-STARTER: everyone else is going to criticize you.

GOOD WRITING SKILLS: there will be lots of meaningless paperwork to contend with.

OBJECT ORIENTED PROGRAMMER: you might be using a C++ compiler.

MCSD/MCSE REQUIRED: taking multiple choice tests is somehow part of the contract deliverable.

TWENTY YEARS JAVA EXPERIENCE WANTED: yes, there are ads that ask for things like this--from regimented bureaucracies out of touch with reality. You wouldn't like the pigeonhole even if you had the experience.

LEADING EDGE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: the company founders are about to sell the vaporware concept, cash out, and leave you to do the actual implementation on your own.

GREAT WORK ENVIRONMENT: your cubicle is large enough to fit a guest chair without knocking knees.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: no one knows what they are doing.

FAMILY-ORIENTED COMPANY: they are in violation of the child labor laws.

CONTRACT-TO-HIRE: they don't know a good programmer when they see one.

PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE: no one will be able to understand or appreciate the quality of work you do, so you will be judged on appearance.

CASUAL ATMOSPHERE: upper management won't know you exist, so no one cares how you dress.

INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT: you will work with many intellectually challenged people.

FAST-PACED ENVIRONMENT: the schedules are ridiculously compressed. Make sure you have a list of restaurants that are open late and deliver.

FLEXIBLE WORK HOURS: come to work anytime before 8 a.m. and leave anytime after 6 p.m. if your task is on schedule.

GREAT BENEFITS: the same HMO you have now, plus all legal holidays are observed.

WILLING TO RELOCATE: the company has to recruit out-of- town because their reputation is so bad that no one in his right mind would work there.

COMPETITIVE SALARY: if you only worked 40 hours a week; counting mandatory overtime, all bets are off.

SALARY REVIEW IN SIX MONTHS: assuming you are dumb enough not to be reviewing it right now.

REFERENCES REQUIRED: a thief thinks all men steal. On the other hand, I once interviewed for a job vacated by someone arrested for murdering his girlfriend. Wonder what his references said?

STOCK OPTIONS: that and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee.

GREAT 401K PLAN: you are not considered important enough for stock options.

GREAT STOCK PURCHASE PLAN: you are not considered important enough for a 401K plan.

GREAT EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION PLAN: you _are_ considered to be as important (and intelligent) as a circus animal.

OPPORTUNITY FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT: the last person who had the job got a much better position elsewhere after only six months.

HIGH-FLYING COMPANY: even the programmers have to worry about the quarterly results.

FAST-GROWING COMPANY: expect to be called as a witness in the fraud trial.

ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING: no one has pilfered the user's manuals from the lab yet.

BRIGHT, MOTIVATED PEOPLE WANTED: bright, motivated people have turned the job down flat, so the position is wide open for anyone who wants it.

SALARY HISTORY REQUIRED: they can't afford to pay you what you're worth, so don't bother.

TEAM LEAD POSITION: management knows the project is doomed, so now they need a scapegoat.

FORMAL METHODOLOGY EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: you will be selling clothes to an emperor.

BIG FIVE CONSULTING EXPERIENCE DESIRED: your work will be billed at unimaginable rates, and the client will expect you to perform as though you got a significant fraction of it.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE NECESSARY: everything is out of control and management is clueless as to what the project is even supposed to do.

SYSTEM ARCHITECT NEEDED: the original design doesn't work, and even the consultants say it can't be done.

DOCUMENTATION EXPERIENCE HELPFUL: everyone who knew anything quit in disgust and nothing is known about the project except the deadline (which is past).

OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE INTO MANAGEMENT: this project is so important to some executive's career that if you can pull it off, you will never have to do productive work again.

ALPHA v0.3