The road toward employment

The sad state of my unemployment and general uselessness is about to come to an end (though I may have just jinxed myself because I have yet to receive a written offer from my supposed future employer). Yes, it’s weird the way they do things in Taiwan, and it’s a wonder I didn’t see much of this during my stint as a sad bag of overworked engineer.

The road toward employment was not a smooth one, although in these tough economic times, one can’t complain too much. The original plan was to look for a job in SoCal as first priority, then move back to Taiwan if I fail. I started off well, scoring an interview with one of my first applications (and even making the second round) way back in October. Since then, even Roshi’s had more luck with women than I have with job apps (actually if he so much as sat beside a girl in class, it’d be true). After a couple months of complete lack of activity, I began looking for work in Taiwan ahead of schedule.

While I had planned on going back to Taiwan for Chinese New Years, a few requests for interviews prompted me to go back even sooner. As an unemployed cyst of society, I had all the time in the world, so it wasn’t difficult to extend my stay in Taiwan to 3 weeks of unhealthy binge eating. After as many as 5 interviews in 3 weeks, I had 3 offers lined up. Meanwhile, my applications to jobs in the US came back with the emphatic sound of a mute being beaten by cotton candy in the snow – silence. It’s hard to say no to job offers, however unsatisfactory the pay by US standards, when the outlook in the US is so bleak.

So the decision was made for me to return to Taiwan. I may yet look back on this one day and say that I rushed my decision, but it’s hard to be patient after 5 months of inactivity at school, followed by 4 months of unemployment. I think the difficulty in seeking employment for me is partly due to my varied (or unfocused) experience, with the result of nothing standing out. I also limited my US search to SoCal, since I’m not terribly fond of the country and only wanted to stay because M’s here. In retrospect, there were a number of things that I could have done differently, including working the “contact” angle more aggressively, as the only other times anyone’s even contacted me about my resume in the US were through contacts. The timing of my return to Taiwan also could have been delayed to allow more time in the US, as companies in Taiwan generally don’t like to give time for candidates to reconsider, and that more opportunities generally open up after CNY anyways. But the decision is made (actually, it’s not official yet) and I will be saying goodbye and moving across the Pacific (yet again).

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