East Coast, West Coast, and Being an Entrepreneur

First, I apologize for my lack of news and insights here in Chia Town. As the contract I am working on comes to an end I have been scrambling to find a new gig to pay the bills. Needless to say, I haven’t had the time or the mindset to report on the more interesting news in the business and tech world. Fear not…I have been keeping my eye on what’s going on, I simply haven’t been reporting on it.

As I search for a new gig, I am reminded of the vast difference in business mentalities between the east coast and the west coast. My personal experience has been that the east coast looks at a resume and looks for specific titles (ie, Marketing Manager, VP Finance, etc) whereas hiring managers on the west coast look at your resume and extrapolate the skills that you have and what you are capable of doing. A Principal of a company may wear many hats such as a general finance person, marketing guru, web developer, sales person, and so forth. Out west, being so flexible is seen as a strength. Out east, that resume generally gets passed over. Or worse yet, you’ll hear that you are “over-qualified” for a position. I’ve heard that a couple times in the past few weeks and I will admit it’s rather frustrating. “Great buddy…thanks for telling me I’m TOO good and because of that I’ll be unemployed”. C’mon people…you’re getting a bargain here.

So what should one do in such situations? I’m still pondering that. Currently I’m on the east coast (Atlanta to be specific…generally regarded as a hotbed for business and growing tech out east) and am pondering if I should just bolt back to California (I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve had from 3,000 miles away based on my resume while Atlanta companies are baffled by my resume or think I’m over-qualified). Perhaps I need to “dumb-down” my resume and make it appear I don’t have so much experience if I plan on staying in the east. It’s a painful thought…to downplay my skills simply to get a job and pay my bills. I already have a few different versions of my resume (some focused more on business, other on the tech skills I have, etc) but to have a “smart resume” and a “dumb resume”…it’s mind-blowing.

Yes, there is a difference in east coast and west coast business practices. East coast is still very old-school corporate based with giant, slow moving beuracracies and old-school mindsets of conservative dress and 8-5 jobs that focus on titles whereas the west is more dynamic, entrepreneurial, quick moving, and focuses on who you are and what you are capable of doing.