Spike in Texas

I don’t intend to post a day by day, blow by blow description of my current trip to the U.S. Things are going well and I need to remain focused on the tasks at hand. But a few brief things to bring you up to date, just in case you were wondering what happened to me.

This is my second time in Texas, but the first time I never left the airport, I was only transiting, so really this is my first time here.

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What the Fortune Teller Told Me and What I’m Doing

(I wrote most of this on Monday. Finished it late Wednesday night. Publishing on Thursday.)

Most people know that fortune tellers are con artists. It doesn’t matter. They’ve been around for centuries and when they’re good at their craft (and it definitely is a craft), at the very least it’s entertaining.

On Sunday night, my wife and I went up to the Temple Street Night Market. I love coming here. It’s always the same and hopefully it will never change.

First, you make that right turn from Jordan Road onto Temple Street and there are a couple of cheap shops selling just about any hair care product you can think of.

Then you get the four streets of stalls, selling any and every kind of cheap crap that they think someone will buy. I picked up a couple of USB cigarette lighters for US$6 a piece. No fluid, no gas, charge by USB, flick them on and a coil heats up enough to light a cigarette (but not large enough for a cigar), rechargeable, windproof, dozens of styles.

When you get to the garage, the south side has Nepalese people selling all sorts of crafts and religious statues. Along the west side are stands selling sex toys and personal grooming items. The east side has fortune tellers and stands set up for people to come along and pay some makeshift band so they can do karaoke-style Cantonese opera. The north side has more fortune tellers. Then there’s the park.

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My Hong Kong Airport Adventure

I know I don’t come off looking too great in this story but I’m going to share it anyway. (In my defense, I will state that my job search is still unresolved and I was leaving Hong Kong thinking that it could be a very long time until I return. I was distracted and feeling semi-depressed.)

Monday night was my night to fly back to Manila from Hong Kong. Over the course of the past six months, my routine has gotten pretty fixed. I always take the last flight out from Cebu Pacific – it gets me back to Manila after midnight, so usually the traffic has died down a bit and I can get home pretty quickly. I leave our apartment in Wanchai relatively early so that I can take my time in the airport.

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You Always Think It Only Happens to Others (Until It Happens To You)

If I haven’t blogged in awhile, that’s because I’ve been primarily focusing my energy on my job search.

But three months into my job search, I’m absolutely nowhere. I didn’t expect I’d find a new job within three months – though it would have been nice – but I did expect that I’d be getting somewhere by now. And the fact is, I’m not.

In the last three months I’ve reached out to almost everyone in my network in Hong Kong, and some people have been exceptionally helpful. I’ve had coffee with 15 or 20 headhunters, who always tell me the same thing – “Wow, your background is incredible. I’m sure you’ll find a great job. But I don’t have anything for you right now. Let’s stay in touch.”

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Tim Ferriss & Gary Vaynerchuk – Snake Oil or Gold?

So I’m in Hong Kong, as you probably know, continuing on the job search – and getting damned frustrated with it, if I’m to be completely honest. By day I’m working, by night I’m going through job listings on job boards and web sites, reaching out to my network, trying to get something to happen. I have not had any late nights in bars. Every night after dinner I’m back in our flat, either still working at my “day job” or working on my job search.

In a job interview I had earlier this week, a global CEO said to me, “You’ve been looking for two months and you don’t have something yet? I don’t understand why someone with your background didn’t get snatched up in 10 seconds!”

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Too Damn Distracted (and Back to Hong Kong Soon)

… by which I mean my current situation – job hunting – doesn’t leave me much time for writing anything substantial here. When I’m not working (I still have just over 3 months to go at my job) a lot of my time and energy is spent on the job hunt. It’s frustrating as hell, so I also try to make some time each day to chill out and get away from the computer and phone.

I will be back to Hong Kong for roughly two weeks in July, tentatively arriving July 1 or 2, but possibly earlier (there’s a farewell party for my boss on June 30th).

I definitely have to be there July 9th through 13th for the RISE conference – 500 companies, 15,000 attendees. Tickets are not cheap (US$680) but I’d read somewhere that a good way to network at conferences is to volunteer to work on the crew, so that’s what I’ve done. In exchange for doing some kind of work for three half-days (plus a preliminary orientation session) I get to attend for free – and get a t-shirt.

One quasi-related observation. I’ve set a goal to post at least one item per day in the LinkedIn news feed. I believe that this would be a good way to draw attention to my profile. Mostly I’ve tried to post relevant tech articles with a line or two of commentary. On average those posts are getting 100-200 views.

A couple of days ago I found this image on Twitter together with a line about how Shakespeare was so far ahead of his time:

I thought tech humor might be relevant enough. Since I posted that three days ago, it has had over 2,600 views (and resulted in 5 link requests from recruiters).

So now I’m searching for similar things to post. I probably won’t post this one there but will share it here:

Anyone who has ever applied for a job online has probably come across Taleo and knows exactly why this is true.

Catching Up – Some Music Pix from Hong Kong

Believe it or don’t, I didn’t go out at night (aside from dinner) that much during my recent two weeks in Hong Kong. But I did get out a few nights and usually had my camera with me. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying shooting with the Fujifilm X-T2. I just love it. Aside from everything else, some of the below photos were shot at ISO 12,800, something I wouldn’t have even attempted with my old Nikon D800.

The photos are all after the jump:

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Back to Hong Kong Today!

Just a quick note in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere yet … Flying to Hong Kong today and I will be there for approximately two weeks. Hoping to see a lot of friends, meet a lot of recruiters, attend some great networking events, see some live music (and take a lot of photos).

If you’re in town, hit me up, let’s get together!