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March 12, 2010



Dear Mr. Hollis,

I subscribed to the EMC feed and now to your blog, because my husband is in trouble and I am trying to find a way to help him. For five years, since he was downsized at HP, he has been trying to find a way into EMC. He has had two very successful experiences as a contractor at EMC, and made a few connections, but no permanent job or further contracts have been forthcoming.

Richard is not a social guy; he's a storage engineer--the smartest man I know. He's a big-hearted person, doesn't drink or smoke, and believes in the old-fashioned paradigm of "you represent your company even on your own time." It is so hard to watch him struggle so.

Despite ongoing efforts to find employment, he has not been successful. He does ALL the things the books say, and he attends a workshop, etc. He has tried everything. We rewrite the resume, we write cover letters, we thank everyone, we keep a database, etc. And now, although we are both optimistic people, we are beginning to sink beneath the weight of depression and worry about our ability to keep our life intact, and to keep our home and our life built over 30 years here in Hudson.

I am reaching out to you because you may have some insights about EMC, about how to be seen and alternative methods to apply for jobs. I am asking you for your help and advice.

Alyson Button Stone
Editor, Bixbe.Biz (www.bixbe.biz)

Chuck Hollis

Hi Alyson

I am deeply empathetic with your husband's situation. Certain companies can be tough to crack into, and I believe that EMC can be one of them.

This is made more difficult in that we source talent globally these days, and most of the employee base expansion can be literally anywhere in the world.

I'd like to offer up some suggestions. Some of them may work, some of them may not.

In addition to the "posted job openings, resume, cover letter, etc." routine, I would suggest adding a "social" mix to his efforts.

We find many interesting people through their blogs, for example. We find many interesting people via Twitter, and through comments on various industry blogs.

Put differently, the 2.0 world is yet another important way to meet people, get your brand out there, and get engaged. However, this might be challenging for someone who "isn't social", as we are progressively creating a social workforce.

The other suggestion might be to consider a non-engineering role. Product marketing and product management benefit from a strong engineering backgroup. Technical presales and postsales support do as well. If he can look at complementary disciplines within EMC where his storage engineering background can help in a related area.

As a small starting point, I'd suggest heading over to www.pollypearson.com -- she's a great person to engage with online regarding this specific topic.

I hope this helps in some small regard.

-- Chuck

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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