Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm trying to be an academic, dammit!

I got offered a full-time IT job today. I nearly pointed out that being willing to employ me for an IT position is evidence that they have no idea what they are doing and therefore the last people I would want to work for.

Groucho Marx's principle might work for clubs, but refusing to work for any company that would have me as an employee is probably not a great career strategy.

So I politely explained that I'm not looking for full-time work right now. Why aren't people so forthcoming with job offers for areas I actually WOULD like to work in?


Mikael said...

To a certain extent I do apply the Marx principle in my own career - but having several layers of possible and viable backup careers allows you to be picky.

If they really -do- like you that much, file them away for worse days in the future. Unless you REALLY never would work there, it helps keeping them in some address book somewhere so you have somewhere to go if the academic career turns out to be more difficult than even you thought it would be.

That said - I know I am a good enough computer guy to be quite picky with employment outside academia. And one of the principles I have is that if they want certifications on my skills, I don't want to work there. I have contributed to open source projects and written quite a lot of computer code in my days. I'll happily produce letters of recommendation from past managers with code savvy, and if that's not enough, then they're at fault, not me.

But this is a snotty attitude, and I am aware of the arrogance inherent in it.

Jana said...

Dear Styleygeek,

We are a Belgian company of luxury chocolatiers looking for a discerning chocolate taster to work in our Brussels showroom.

We had intended to offer you this position, but infer from your website that you would not be interested due to your desire to pursue a career exclusively in academia.

Please confirm your disinterest.

Deliciouxury Associates.

Bardiac said...

/waves frantically at the chocolatiers

me, me, me, I'll leave academia!

(and make someone happy at next year's MLA, maybe!)

StyleyGeek said...


liina said...

I have a degree in a foreign language yet I've worked in IT for the past 7 years... If only I had an offer from Deliciouxury back then...

Breena Ronan said...

Good decision. I'm convinced that all IT departments are poorly managed. If you are really good at IT stuff you almost invariably won't be good with people (or won't enjoy working with people.) If you have good people skills then true IT geeks won't respect you because you can't out-geek them.

Jana said...

Hey - totally off-topic, but did you draw the parrot at the top of your blog yourself, or did you scan it?

StyleyGeek said...

Both. I drew it on paper, then scanned it onto the computer and coloured it there. I wish it were better, but I couldn't find any cockatoo picture in the public domain that was in the right position.