I'm a Geek and I know it…

So as a job hunter you should keep record of the jobs you apply for and all the demographics that go with it. I started hunting November 1, 2019 and have been keeping a log of all my contacts so here’s a peek at the types of jobs I’ve applied for and still have pending.

job hunting 2020 table and doughnut chart

Reverse Job Description

res Creative Resume sm

Everyone has to read a job description to see if you meet the qualifications of the company but what if we, as job seekers were to publish our own job descriptions? Something that defines the job we’re looking for, the company culture, boss, tasks and location we’re after. It could be something that we can add to a resume or cover letter pointing out what our criteria is and how well the company matches us for a change. It could also be an “Other Document” that can highlight how well we’ve researched our target company finding tidbits and trivia that may just be public information but still require research that is attached to an application.

I built a reverse job description several months ago based on what I dislike most about my current job and what I wanted to avoid and wanted to be doing soon. Interestingly enough, I was able to define what I want in a boss, company and job tasks that would make me happy etc. Even better a potential job is in the process of opening up that just about meets everything including location and compensation requirements, the only thing I have to do is be patient.

Here’s part of my list and even if you build a list and never publish it, it can be a very useful tool for identifying if an opportunity and company meet your criteria!

The company

  • Forward thinking
  • Profitable or high benefit to helping society or the environment with enough in funding to function well
  • Has an active future plan that includes revenue growth
  • Functions within budget
  • Includes staff in plans while forming not after choices are made
  • Actively seeks ideas and feedback from staff
  • Seeks to build not just small teams for certain functions but to bring whole group of teams into one large team demonstrating that each team has a purpose in the big picture
  • Explains the big picture and how everyone from the clerk and janitor contribute

The Boss

  • Fair but firm
  • Timely decision making – “later” is not an option nor is crossing the bridge when we get there… PROACTIVE PLANNING
  • Clear expectations and goal setting
  • Proactive work projects
  • Open door policy
  • Gets to know individuals on team including moods, likes and dislikes
  • Knows enough to do anyone’s job for a few days

The Job

  • Short, medium and long term project based
  • Variety of assignments
  • Set goals for each project with clear expectations of deliverables and timelines
  • Variety of new software to learn
  • Opportunity to teach and learn
  • Primarily computer based in software or programming or writing

Compensation

  • $35+/hr ($60k+/yr)
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Team getaways specifically to get to know other teams
  • Continuing education or conferences

Location

  • Remote
  • If remote then flexible work hours based on timezones
  • Mat-Su Valley of Alaska

What I want

  • Computer based tracking systems that are up to date
  • Research and learning are highly encouraged
  • Support with projects when needed
  • Any down time can be used for classes and learning
  • Freedom to prioritize work within reason
  • Variety of tasks that make a difference
  • Ability to see where my work fits in
  • Short productive meetings
  • Tools to keep in touch such as chat and message boards in addition to email
  • Cross training in other teams and other jobs with or without the background for the job
  • Mobile tools for use when needed
  • Helps others mutually supportive
  • Power to do experiment and mess up within reason
  • Computer that has the power to keep up with multitasking

What do you think?

Where Hobbies & Career Meet

Just a few things that excite me, light me up, that I truly enjoy and where they cross the boundaries from Hobby to potential Career. There’s a lot more than this but charts and graphs can only handle so much information!

 

Where do I or have I used these programs?

CMS: WordPress, Drupal, Dreamweaver,  Joomla

 WordPress, install via cpanel and manually via FTP. Configure basic settings, install theme and plugins. Troubleshoot conflicts and custom changes to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP researching for additional information as needed. Total current number of sites is 14 with subdomains. I personally use Infinite WordPress to manage updates, themes, plugins and backups.

Prior to using WordPress for all of the sites I used Joomla or Drupal as well as hand coding in HTML CSS and using Dreamweaver for development. I currently use VS Code for all my hand coded sites and work.

Samples Collage

Databases: Azure, SharePoint, MMIS, DS3, Citrix, Access, Enterprise, COGNOS, MYSQL, PHPMyAdmin, CPanel

The robust Azure & SharePoint system used by Microsoft in combination with Excel and Power BI was a great system to work with for modifying accounts and tracking data. 

Citrix was a database that was used to track various types of data for the clients that Nine Star served.

webmanagement

DS3 is the main database currently in use with Senior and Disability Services but it is in the process of being replaced. DS3 originally was a Cold Fusion based system but has migrated to a .NET framework.  The replacement system is named Harmony and went live in the winter of 2018.

 MMIS or Medicaid Medical Information System has been replaced by Enterprise and is a good system that Harmony will eventually interface with. This system’s report manager, COGNOS provides a robust system to track data.

Graphic Art Suites: Corel Draw, Inscape, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, Visio, Star UML, Dia, Freemind

sample BattlePlan

The Corel Draw Suite is a main tool for my drafting and design work for sewing patterns and technical writing. Inkscape is the Open Source version of it and is used to do various drawings in .svg formats.

Umls are used to diagram processes in Visio and Star Uml.

One of my main tools is Freemind, Freeplane and now Scapple for mind mapping ideas and outlining books.

Office Suites: Office 365, Master Certified Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 95-2016, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft SharePoint 2007-2016, OneNote, Open Office, Adobe Pro, Adobe DC

I use or have used all of these office suites heavily. They are the main stay of my workflows.

I am certified in MS Office and have continued my education using State of Alaska Trainings for SharePoint eventually earning the respect of the IT administration team and 

open office

granted my own sandbox to work in as well as full control over the Provider Certification Unit site and the Division’s Archiving site.

I used OneNote to compile a reference manual of all of the procedures for the Certification unit.

Word and Excel were used heavily to do mail merges as well as many other tasks including checklists and data tracking as well as graphs and charts for reports up to the Federal level.

Adobe Pro was used to “jailbreak” documents into Word and Excel, date stamp incoming certification applications and many other tasks including as a pivotal tool in a massive mail merge. I also used it to create the Certification Application and add fill in fields to ensure that applications were legible and data entry was accurate.

This is but a small portion of the variety of software and tools I use or have used on a daily basis. The list could go on and on!

Certification Checklist

new checklistThe checklist started as a reviewer’s tool to help track all the basic items needed for an application. From a general Word document to a manual show and hide system in Excel to the automated system developed in 2014 by a colleague. When he retired a year later I was tasked with the continual update of the tool. I have made multiple changes to the vb.net code behind the check boxes and also used it as inspiration for other tools. It is used on a daily basis with the 30-50 apps I process each month. It has a tool now for printing the worksheets by name which in addition to the checklist customized for each application includes a worksheet for the background check requirement. It is also more diligently commented in the code to allow others to know where and how to update it. During one update additional space was allowed behind the scenes for future changes. There are over 1000 lines of code and it generally takes a day or so of uninterrupted time to do a full change and edit to the system. Small changes are faster. There is a chance that another manual list will be integrated later this year as regulations change. The Checklist went through another major change process in December 2017, just before I left. Since only I knew how to maintain the original I was asked to create a simplified variation that my remaining team mates could take care of in the future. I based my new checklist off of another project I’d done in the spring, the Compliance Checklist.

M4 (Mass Mail Merge Macro)

This was an incredibly complex project I was asked to help with initially and it became my “baby” after a while. The whole purpose of the project was to track the results of on site reviews for Medicaid compliance. The project had completed a Survey Monkey survey and was struggling to compile and output letters after additional on site reviews had been completed. I took the survey results and the additional questions that the team needed and turned it into a multi sheet Excel, one for each site (1200 or so site based providers and equal that in Spreadsheets). The first sheet was an import of the PDF from the survey so it was clear which site was being reviewed. The second sheet contained a macro driven questionnaire for the Compliance Team to use for reviews. The third sheet compiled the data entered into the second sheet and combined it with provider name, number and address information and was used for the first round of mail outs via email as well as merging the data to a form based PDF. The last sheet compiled additional compliance data as a way to determine what additional letters were needed. The second piece of this project was a series of 8 letters, the initial letter telling them the results of their visit and an additional 6 for various levels of compliance plus one certifying the acceptance of the changes made during the process. These were all written in Word which was then used to do mail merged letters one at a time. From there the letter was converted to PDF and fill in form fields were added. Adobe DC and Outlook do not do mail merges well and so a secondary Excel spreadsheet system was developed to assist with creating the emails and attaching the PDFs to emails. This system used a contact name, email, file name for the PDF and a static programmed instructional message for the body of the email. Given that I worked on the functionality of the whole system solo and had no budget, I did however have tight timelines as the site reviews were in full swing when I was asked to tackle the project. I am forever grateful to my office mate who tested several times a day for me and offered invaluable feedback on the needed functionality. The first run of the full project was tested in house and the Provider Certification & Compliance team was gracious enough to put up with and even make up data to help test the system for me and allow me to work out bugs. The first live test was 300 merges and mailings and out of that only 8 bounced all of which were because of a provider changing their email contact and not notifying the State of the change. This process was used to generate another 3-5 rounds of emails in order to get the 1200 or so providers all in compliance with the regulations. In addition to designing and developing the process from end to end, I also built a procedure manual for it and provided the team with training.  A tool to track incoming responses was also built and generated reports for management. All the macros were written in .Net. Only the actual mail merge portion is shown below. The Compliance Tool is on another page.
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