Monday, September 27, 2010

Lovely weekend

This weekend was perfect definition for 'doing nothing'. Temperature has dropped to chilly 50 degrees and cold breeze from window is a welcome change to cool air from AC.

Saturday started with video chatting with my parents and in laws. I saw my parents after a very long time. I was so happy to see them that I could not stop myself from crying when they had to leave. My parents are never comfortable with modern day gadgets. So, getting them to agree for video chat took all my effort. I hope I would be able to see them more often now.

Rest of my day went in cooking,watching movies, and reading novel while Sudhir helped with chores and read his news paper/magazines. I always feel nice when we are next to each other but he does things which he likes and I am doing my stuff. These days I am with "harry potter"and he with "Times of India":)

Sunday was again very much the same but we went for a long walk near the lake in the evening. It was a romantic experience.I am not sure if it was the breeze or the moon light, deserted lake side looked so breath taking. I wished I could take pictures to do justice to its description. However, considering my camera skill, I am sure I would not have succeed. So, all I did was to enjoy seeing it in Sudhir's arms and capturing the moment in my memory. I knew I belonged here , very happy and content with my life.

Day ended with dinner and a cup of coffee before going to sleep. Though there was nothing special this weekend, I just loved it because I felt so grateful to have everything I always expected out of my life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love to blog

My new indulgence is to spend at least an hour a day reading others blogs and then try coming up with something of my own if I feel like it.

All this started few months back when I saw blogs of people whom I know were good at it. It was fun reading their experience and views. I loved the idea of marveling on things at later stage of your life by reading your blogs. So I started scribbling too.

However, I soon realized that some people might think that I am snooping on them though I had no such intentions. I just loved reading and stupid enough not to know which blogs to read. That's right! Being a novice to blogs,I was not aware that I could even read blogs of people I dint know(Yes! that was stupid of me).

One fine day I hit on "Next" button in my blog and whew! I was opened to new world! So many people and blogs. I loved reading them and time started flying by. However, I made sure they are fine with people visiting their blog.

I have many favorite writers now and enjoy being a part of blogging world. I hope I have the same enthusiasm for writing /reading in coming days. I was never a good writer and I am sure I am too lazy to improve on it. But, I am here to put down my thoughts and to read it when I am 60 or so. So, surely my writing skills will not be a big deal then . will it?:)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On H4 - Interview experience

Till now ,I have attended around 5 interviews over phone. Most of them ended when they ask me about the visa status. I really do not understand why can't they refer to the forms which I would have filled before calling up for the interview. Anyways, no harm done . I take these interview experience as motivation to study.

However, Interviews here in US is very much different from the ones I faced in India. Questions they ask is more towards behavioral side than technical . I found the interview pattern quite impressive compared to the one in India. Here, you can not answer the questions until you have actually been in such situations where as anyone who has studied for few days can answer the interview questions in India. This is my opinion from whatever little experience I gained from attending interviews.

You have your own advantages and disadvantages when you are not employed during interview phase. Advantage is , you get more time to prepare for the interview .Reading articles about latest developments in your area of expertise, Understanding the requirement of the current position which you are being interviewed for etc. However, main disadvantage is that you are low on self confidence and pretty much desperate to get the job(especially when you are on H4).

Once I get a mail from the recruiter confirming the interview schedule , I would go on a reading spree. I would get all the related technical books from library and have a schedule to learn all of them. Just the way I had done for my examination in engineering. Then , I browse in the net for most frequently asked questions and for any details I can get about the interview process in particular company. There were times when Sudhir would come home and find me reading in same position which I was in when he had left for work. I would hardly cook or do anything except preparing for the interview.

So, obviously it hurts when the interviewer calls up and ends the call after hearing my visa status. Of course he would apologize for not reading my resume completely(arggg!!!). I would be so disappointed but everything seems ok when Sudhir takes me out (thank god for it)

Next day, again I am back to my job hunt with same enthusiasm. I can remember only one interview which didn't end as fast but they wanted different skill sets which was not my area of work.

I hope there will be many chances to clear an interview in future. I really hope there is a job in US waiting for me..

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Cooking

My cooking is something which I was never proud of. I had not entered kitchen until I was in Pune and started living in an apartment with my friends. Before that, I always stayed at hostel or as a paying guest. My mom would never let me cook at home anyways.

I remember the initial days in Pune when I used survive on instant noodles during weekends and wait for Monday so that I can have food at office. After I made few friends, we would go out for food during weekend. I never had the courage to try cooking .

But you can eat only so much of outside food. So, I had to start cooking one or the other day. My first cooking experience was preparing rice!! I was scared/not aware of how to use a cooker! Thanks to my friend whom I called up and tortured while each whistle went off!, I managed to succeed in that experiment.
Things have improved over the years especially after I moved to Bangalore . So I can say I have around 4 years of experience in cooking but I never enjoyed it. I would cook only if it was necessary and would depend on friends to cook for me.

I was really worried when I got married thinking about cooking every day. Especially when you are a house wife everyone asks you about it. So, I started working hard towards it. There were times when my chapati would look more like papad and my curry would be tasteless. But , Sudhir never complained and always praised my cooking!!

I think when you want to cook for someone you love , it somehow turns out good! I never believed in this until it happened to me. Now I love cooking especially Konkani food, haven't had any major disasters in recent past . Looks like I can say I am a good cook now..

I would really like to thank Shilpa ( who has excellent collection of recipes and an amazing talent of explaining things which even a novice like me can follow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On H4-Searching for a Job

Getting a job on H4 is as hard as it can get . But , I feel it is not impossible. As they say, nothing is impossible as long as you want it bad and you are ready to work hard for it.

I am not new to swtiching jobs. In my 6 year career in software industry, I have worked for 3 companies , given at least 10 interviews . My last company had 7 rounds of interview which I cleared without much problem. But, I have never searched for a job while I was unemployed. My job search effort was as esay as sending my resume to a friend who will forward it to his/her HR and I would get a call.

However, when you are on H4 it is not only your work experience that matters. You need to search for the job in an organized way. I am not sure if I am following the right way, but at least I have succeeded in getting few interview calls which I feel is not a bad start considering I am on job hunt from only few months.

So, before getting into my job hunt experience , I would like to share how H4 people can work in US. You have different options like

-Do your MS and then get a H1 through company which for campus selection( Most preferred by people on H4)
- Find a company for full time job who will sponsor for your H1b
-Find a consultancy who will hire you on contract with companies and sponsor your H1

For me, option 1 was not much appealing as I dint want to study for 2 years in technical line. I would like to go for MBA at some point in my career. However, I would go for this option if I end up failing at option 2 and 3

Option 2 , I think is the hardest. Most of the companies wont hire someone who needs visa sponsorship. That too if it is new H1 (If you are already on H1 , quota system does not apply so companies will just have to transfer your H1)

But, if you find a company who agrees with hiring an H4, it is the best option. When you go to any company career site and search for a job you will see an additional disclaimer saying "No visa sponsor ship". Basically means you can not apply for that job.

So , your job hunt gets restricted by it. Also, you need to find out which companies have sponsored for H1 in the past. So this is what I do.

1. Go to site "", here you get all the details about companies who have sponsored for H1 in the past
2. Go to each company career site(minus the Indian based companies who will not hire candidates from US unless they have green card. This makes sense, because they will have many h1 b s in India ready to travel if required)
3. Go to their career site and search for your expertise
4. See if they have additional disclaimer which I have mentioned before
5. If not,apply for the job
(Make sure you have a well documented Resume,Cover letter before applying)

I know there are thousands of companies listed there. But, I never said job hunt was easy. did I? I have been applying for these jobs from last 2 months. Each day filling up at least 30-40 forms. Believe me, filling up these forms can test anyone's patience. But , never give up.

Next best thing is searching through "LinkedIn". Here, recruiters post the jobs directly . So you can search for the Jobs and contact the recruiter directly if you match the Job criteria.

There are other sources like popular job search sites which did not work for me. I have tried it there too. I have never been contacted by any company seeing my visa status. I remember getting many calls when I was in India through these sites.

Coming to option 3- Finding a reliable consultancy is a challenge. I have tried my luck at these agencies. But when I spoke to them, I always felt like I deserved better . May be I was not lucky enough to come across professional consultancies. There are many "desi" consultancies who help in getting a visa. I am not comfortable going to them after reading all the reviews and also talking to few desi agents who have American names :) . Refer to site: before approaching any desi consultancies.

Few things I always remember

- Not to lose hope. When you have enough experience, you will find a job one or the other day.
-Keep working towards it.
- Never get desperate and seek ways which is not legal.
- Take break whenever you feel stressed.

On H4 visa -Top 5 amusing Suggetions

Every day I receive different suggestions from my friends/family on what to do with my free time while I am at home. I have acted on few of them and they have really helped me cope with jobless feeling during past few months. However, there have been few suggestions which really amazed me when I listened to it. So here is the top 5 ,

#5- Shop-After shopping for wedding, I am in no mood to shop for at least an year now. I am sure people realize what that feeling is, if they have shopped for their wedding recently.

#4 -Join dance class- Good suggestion.. but may be for someone else . People who know me would definitely know that I can't dance even if my life depended on it

#3-Sleep- I am good at this one but not so much that I can spend months together sleeping.

#2-Help your husband with his office work-I am in Software Industry and Sudhir works for mechanical firm. Guess that explains why it is ranked second;-)

#1- Have a baby- This tops the chart hands down:-). I have heard many reasons to plan for a baby but from was being jobless one of them?

I am sure people who had suggested these had my good interest in their heart. I just found them amusing as they did not fit me.