By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-12-03 Print this article Print

: the sucky alternative"> Name: Withheld by request
Previous job: Managing Consultant in a division responsible for Business Intelligence Solutions involving schema and integrated systems
Laid off: October 2001, in "anticipation of the downturn in business due to 9/11"
New position: Sales of software that supports Document Management and Workflow at the enterprise level Would you recommend Sales as a career alternative for other IT professionals?
Anonymous: I might be willing to recommend selling to others who have the right aptitude, but you have to realize that the employers are clearly taking significant advantage of the stressed environment. They are not stupid, and they took the roaring 90s personally. Its now retribution time.
The result: If you sell, you will earn a pittance for a base, be very highly leveraged on commission, and there will be little--if any--training. Most, even people like me who were involved in customer-facing jobs, dont really understand how to close. Oh, and even if you do, the business-to-business market is bad. Not just slow--terrible. The only reason for any economic recovery right now is the business-to-consumer [market]. So I wonder how long that will last. Youre clearly miserable. Whats your exit plan? Anonymous: Personally, I am looking for literally anything that will get me out of the sales position. ... But part of the problem is the poor marketplace. If I had a choice (read that investment-grade money), I would enter into a solutions oriented personal business. I have two very nice SMB-targeted solutions that I could easily deliver, and there is a need, but the venture people are reluctant to fund small startups. Ive tried. That notwithstanding, I would look towards Pre-sales or Technology Management again. My priorities would be to maximize my personal life again, manage a more stable money situation, and to have fun at work again. Is the job scene improving at all? Anonymous: People are not getting called back yet. There are still a gazillion resumes for every job. Interviews would be good, but full-time employment plus 3 hours per day commute time doesnt give me time to cold-call or knock on doors. About the only thing I can do is submit resumes half the night and hope for karma to call (and an interested company). What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again? Anonymous: If I had the layoff thing to do all over again, I would not sign the do-not-sue-us paperwork quite as willingly and try to negotiate a better severance. After that, I would immediately start certifying my skills and perhaps enter an MBA Certification Program at one of the big-time universities here in the Dallas area. I would not let [a resume marketing firm] take advantage of me and take my money for some truly worthless "resume marketing." I would walk door-to-door shoving my resume into the hands of every person that would take one. Finally, I would really customize every resume/cover letter that went out the door (I had five or six, based on the job position, but did not customize further other than inputting the targets name). Obviously, getting out of IT wasnt a surefire path to happiness for some of our readers. If youve managed to find job happiness and job security in this still-shaky economy, whether its inside or outside of IT, let me know how you did it at, and also, contribute to the conversation by clicking on the eWEEK forum link below. Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas has written about enterprise applications and IT careers since 1997. Go to the eWEEK forum to read more post-layoff survival tales and/or tell your own.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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