Sunday, July 11, 2004

Great Time for Microsoft Employees to Find Wonderful New Jobs

The CBS MarketWatch artile Pay, benefits seen rising with improving job market has a nice little note:

Microsoft recently announced (MSFT: news, chart, profile) cost cuts that include trimming health-care benefits, eliminating locker-room towels, and possibly the end of free soda. That may be a short-sighted move, but it's to the benefit to executive recruiters.

"From our perspective, (Microsoft's cuts) are great because they are further disenchanting their employee base," said Marc Lewis, president of the North America region for Morgan Howard Worldwide, an executive recruitment firm.

This is a great time for anyone at Microsoft to touch base with a technical recruiter. First of all, you've probably already have written up your annual review. Tip: anytime you write your annual review, you update your resume at the same time. Go ahead, give it a try: update your resume sometime this week. A real plain resume, don't worry about the fireworks. You know about keywords and such.

Next, track down some recruiters. Hell, you work at Microsoft! MICROSOFT! Look at all the wonderful damn things you know about creating world-wide, 1st class software. Flip this to your advantage. Say you're disechanted with the company and you're looking for an innovative place that values its workforce, and blah blah money blah blah benefits. Whatever it takes to get that recruiter excited to see that they probably has a fixed window to find you that hot job.

And it might be a hot job. Better than what you're doing now. Or perhaps you are beginning to feel the shadow of looming Microsoft cutbacks fall across your career. Isn't it smarter to get on the ball and out into the recruiting system before it's flooded with folks like you or, worse, other folks more likely to snap up great jobs quickly?

Yeah, you might have to move. Moving is fun!

As the economy ramps up and folks look to pluck dischanted employees, the first ones to go get the best deals. I was at Microsoft during the blossom of the Internet boom. Lots of folks left (some have come back) and the ones that left early got treated like kings and queens. The later folks got showered with stock options (snicker).

Spruce up that resume, study those review questions, get a recruiter, and enjoy the empowerment of owning your non-Microsoft career! From the bottom of my heart: Good Luck!

1 comment:

Michael Russell said...

I'm going through your archives, but I wanted to state what happened to someone who did leave Microsoft.

I decided that I wanted to leave Microsoft in May 2002. I had a 3.6 lifetime review average, but I was burned out after the long hours, backbiting, politics and pressure.

I started distributing resumes to every local company I could find, and got hardly any responses. I did some digging and found out some interesting nuggets.

Some companies see Microsoft on a resume and immediately ditch it. Others think that there is no way that they could compete with Microsoft's pay and benefits, so there's no point in bringing you in for an interview. Others remember their worst Microsoft experience, and your image is immediately tainted by that.

I continued to send out applications and resumes at a clip of 100-150 a week over the next year and netted a total of 7 interviews, including 2 follow-up interviews.

I finally got my current job at the end of August 2003. I gave 30 days notice so that I would be around until we shipped the product we were working on, and left Microsoft at the end of September 2003.

Now, I work for significantly less pay and significantly worse benefits, but I'm happy and only have to work a 40-hour week. Those two things make up for any shortcoming that the pay and benefits may have.