Sunday, October 17, 2010


I've arrived in DC and am settled in where I'll be staying while I look for employment. I'm hoping to continue posting material while I do so, but I'm still working out some of the when and how. But rest assured, activity is soon to resume.

1 comment:

  1. In case you didn't know....

    DC is the world capital of not-for-profit organizations. Not just the visible, in-the-news, agenda/advocacy/lobbying kind. Those account for roughly 10%-20% of the 2,000+ NFP's around DC. For example, many, if not most, of the the various medical specialty organizations are HQ'ed in DC. Same for professional, knowledge-disseminating NFPs established for other industries. The import of this for a job-seeker are:

    1. NFPs tend toward smaller staffs. There are exceptions, such as the IEEE, which employed 300 people last time I checked. Small staff = lack of job role specialization, which favors people with liberal arts educations, who toughed a few forms of work and who can talk a good game around general skill sets, open mindedness, etc.

    2. Many of the DC area NFPs have a liberal bent and almost all need employees with above-average "applied literacy" skills, i.e., the ability to: research; analyze; from an argument; defend with facts; and, organize it all in writing. In an interview with such a NFP, this blog becomes an effective advantage.

    3. NFPs aren't known for good pay. Quite the opposite is true. Therefore, the implied agreement is akin to "we are more accepting of different personality types; you accept of lower pay". This means that just demonstrated an average skill sets, or a combination of good liberal arts education with little real-world experience, usually provides an advantage in the typical pool of NFP applicants.

    4. DC's unemployment rate is fiction. The unemployment rate for the disadvantaged, minority population is at least double, perhaps quadruple, the published average, while for educated people, especially those with Masters degrees, it's close to zero. Employers use national headlines on unemployment to stoke fear in the job pool. It's nonsense. There's likely more competition among employers for talent than among job-seekers. Just smile politely whenever you hear some applicant screener parrot lines written by a HR director, such as..."we've been so overwhelmed with applicants it might take awhile to get back to you". (Best response is evidence mild shock and disappointment and say..."I'm somewhat surprised to hear that because my interviewers at ABC, XYZ and QHR indicated kind of the opposite situation and, while I'm really impressed with the opportunity here and with everyone I've met, I really need to launch my career here in DC. Is there any other information I can provide - or is there anyone else here I can meet with - that might justify moving your process forward in a shorter time frame?")

    Good luck and good hunting.