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The results of a typical morning job search in 2010. And 2009. And…

every couple days, I’ll accidentally unearth a potentially decent job worthy of at least considering applying. And, every couple weeks, I’ll find one I actually apply to. Apparently, since the advent of this newfangled recession thinggy, that’s the exception rather than the rule. Nowadays, a typical Ottawa job prospect goes something like this.

  • Must have at least 1 year call center experience. Gotcha.
  • Must have at least 1 year technical support and/or customer service experience. Gotcha.
  • Must be able to multitask. It’s a requirement for being a geek, so gotcha.
  • Must have experience with Windows XP/Vista/2000/any and all past, present and future implementations of windows. Again, required for geek status. Gotcha.
  • Must have experience with CRM applications (remedy, etc). Gotcha.
  • Must be a virtual expert in MS Office. Not that it’s hard to learn, but done it.
  • Must be able to work well under pressure/in a team environment. Easy.
  • Must be fluently bilingual in both english and French. Well, crap.

And I was doing so well, too. Sadly, unless an employer feels generous enough to train me in it, or pay me to take said training, I’ll just be looking elsewhere. If it didn’t cost so damn much to get there from here for interviews I’d contemplate working in toronto. But, since it does and I’m poor/broke, anyone looking to hire a unilingual geek?

It probably doesn’t help matters much that most of the positions being shopped around now are with companies that have pretty heavy duty government contracts, and so the bilingual requirement is pretty much non-negotiable. A lot of the small, local businesses, or businesses that aren’t almost exclusively government sourced, seem to be slowing and/or stopping hiring for the time being–examples include local companies Protus and Momentus, both of which have a pretty heavy reach in their particular industries–some of which, rather, tend to overlap just a little bit. The same could be said for national businesses like Rogers, who saw an advertisement position pulled virtually the same day it was originally posted–I dunno why either.

This dance has been going on since at least the middle of 2008, when first I started actually looking for work after Dell closed up shop. Probably longer than that, although at least then I was landing interviews with some degree of consistency. It seems only to be more noticeable now that we’re pretty much still trying to fish the economy out of the Ottawa river. Now, this has become the more typical job search routine and not just in the tech industry either. businesses are still shutting their doors, people are still being shuffled around to fill vacancies left over from cost-cutting measures, and companies who haven’t closed up shop have pretty well put the breaks on new hires. It’s a good thing the job search doesn’t piss me off. Otherwise, I’d of probably quit that full-time job a long time ago. Now, if we could just negotiate a pay rate for those of us who’s full-time job consists of looking for a full-time job. Yeah, I didn’t think that’d be likely either.

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