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Adventures in Job-Search Juggling   ...   100% true stories , from_the_archives
thu 2005-oct-20 15:03:28 pdt   ...   permalink

In July of 2001, I was looking for a job. Here's an email I sent one day back then:

So I finally tried out something a friend of mine had suggested for how to get the nice people at TiVo to notice me.

I went to the TiVo headquarters about 11:45, armed with bean bags, clubs, resumes, and a little sign that says "SOFTWARE ENGINEER FOR HIRE" clipped to my shirt. I stood in front of the the main lobby, and started juggling five balls. A few people walked back and forth between the two buildings (whose entrances are right next to each other, on the corners of the two buildings), and seemed to look at me somewhat amusedly... I said "how's it going" to a few of them, but they didn't really respond. After five or ten minutes, a guy comes out -- looks like an engineering type -- and he comes up to me and says "what do you do?" I said "mostly java, server-side stuff", we said a few more things, he introduced himself as Richard, and then he said "I'll go see if I can get some engineering managers out here". Woohoo!

So he brought out four different people (one, then one, then two), which was convenient because I'd only brought four copies of my resume! I talked with them about my background and stuff, and they all four seemed pretty impressed, like they would certainly be interested in having me in to interview, except they're in a hiring freeze. D'oh. Interestingly, Richard said that it was the VP of HR that had told him, "there's this guy juggling out there, you gotta go talk to him!"

One of the last two guys gave me a tour. They're pretty small, but it looked like a cool, fun place...

So all in all, it was pretty much as successful as I could have hoped for, except for the damn hiring freeze. They all said they would hold on to my resume... One said he guessed it would be a month or two before they'd be able to hire anyone. Sigh.

So anyway, I think what I need to do now is go back through the other companies that I sent my resume to and never heard back from, and consider using this approach at each of them!

I didn't in fact ever hear anything back from the TiVo folks, and I also didn't in fact ever try again to exploit my juggling skills to get a software job. But hey, made for a nice story.

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thu 2005-oct-20 20:04:58 pdt
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Reminds me of my sister's med school classmate who applied to a competitive neurosurgery residency program. At his interview, he did some quick magic tricks and said, "If you think that's impressive, wait'll you see me do brain surgery." He got in.

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