There’s Nothing Wrong With Being A Damn Hippie


Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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16 Responses

  1. Just John says:

    That was just awesome.  The whole post.  It’s nice to remember now and then that we do actually have some idea of what “things are ok” looks like.Report

  2. Roger says:

    Sound advice!Report

  3. Mike Schilling says:

    Does STEM make anyone else thnk “I’m majoring in being Duke of Swabia”?

    OK, just me, then.Report

  4. E.D. Kain says:

    I am firmly in the pro-hippie camp.Report

  5. Will Truman says:

    Meh. Most of the jobs I’ve gotten (including my first full-time one coming out of college) have been cold applications. This is due at least in part to moving around a lot. When you’re in a new town where you don’t know anymore, it helps to be able to say that you have a relevant degree. It’s not as helpful as knowing people, mind you, but helpful all the same.Report

    • MFarmer in reply to Will Truman says:

      As someone who has hired a lot of people, I’m more likely to go by the facts of experience and my interview than I am a recommendation from someone I know. Connections might be okay for large corporations protected from the stupidity of their hiring decisions, but a small business has to make better decisions based on substance rather than connections.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to MFarmer says:

        I’m more likely to go by the facts of experience and my interview than I am a recommendation from someone I know

        Wow, really?  This flies in the face of many small biz-types I know.

        Let me ask you; do you feel like you have a great grasp of the problem domain of your entire organization?  Because that may be a major contributing factor.  Many small-to-mid-sized biz guys I know know what they know, but they freely admit they couldn’t interview an accountant or an IT guy and expect to learn anything out of the interview.Report

        • We know different small-biz types then. You don’t have to know everything, just where to look and who to ask for the answers. But how would connections change not knowing a good accountant from a bad one? If I didn’t know anything about accounting, and I liked the resume and the interview went well, I’d ask an accountant to give me advice before making the final decision. I’d go through the same process if my friend recommended his cousin — only I’d be much more thorough, because I’d hate to damage a friendship if I had to fire his cousin. Mixing relationships with business decisions is not smart.Report

          • Patrick Cahalan in reply to MFarmer says:

            I’d go through the same process if my friend recommended his cousin — only I’d be much more thorough, because I’d hate to damage a friendship if I had to fire his cousin.

            AH, I see the disconnect.

            I’m not talking about nepotism (although that happens, of course).  I’m talking about having a professional connection; your existing accountant knows an accountant from a previous employer, and recommends him as another accountant when you need another one.  The guy who you know from the PTA who has been in technology for 25 years recommends a technologist when you need one.

            If you know a good accountant, isn’t your first impulse (when you need to hire an accountant) to call the guy up and say, “Hey, do you know anybody who is looking?” before you post something to Monster or hire out a headhunter?

            I agree that mixing relationships with business decisions is fraught.Report

        • It seems counterintuitive, but I’ve worked mostly with smaller companies where I got the cold resume hire. The solo IT guy at a manufacturer, a programmer at a smallish software company (75-150 employees), quality assurance at another smallish software company (50-75 employees, though it was owned by a Japanese conglomerate), and a peon at a large software company.

          Now, a lot of the hires at these companies were through networking. But not in my case and in the case of some of the others.Report

      • yeoman in reply to MFarmer says:

        Amen to both of these posts.  I was hired cold right out of college 8 years ago and now that I do a bit of the hiring, 80% of the time i go strictly with the resumes when deciding who to call for a chat.  The few times I’ve been constrained to hire someone based on a networking connection, it has either turned out poorly or the asshole tries to haggle me up $20k because they’ve spent the last decade milking networks and feel like he/she is entitled.  But, hire that kid who has a solid but resume, rocks the interview, and feels like she/he has no chance in today’s market?  They’ll work their ass off for you.

        That being said, I agree that it’s better to focus intently on extracurriculars than academic plaudits.  A 4.0 double major from Harvard with nothing else always turns out less ready than the state school kid withe a decent academic record who was President of his service fraternity, captain of the intramural rugby team, and worked 20hrs a week at the local airport shuttle company.Report

    • My understanding (and experience) is that networking has more to do with either (a) finding the golden opportunity in the first place — this is how I’ve found contracting jobs — or (b) jumping over the “HR pile of resumes” to the “this guy looks like a possible candidate, should we interview him?” stage.  Of course, I’ve spent eleven of the last the last thirteen years in university, so take that with a pillar of salt.Report

  6. Jason Kuznicki says:

    Someone calls her a corporate tool in 3… 2…

    Because the only way to signal that you’re okay is to signal that you’re more pissed off than someone else.  She sounds somewhat less than fully pissed off.Report

    • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      Heh; oddly enough, I didn’t pick “You, Me and the Bourgeoisie” as an intended political statement, it was just the first Submarines song I grabbed off of YouTube.

      Opportunity missed to make a much more clever point.Report