Finding a Professional Job in Pittsburgh

I hear anecdotes from time to time from people struggling to find professional employment in Pittsburgh. Breaking into the local networks can be difficult enough; even getting local firms to return your phone calls and messages turns out to be a problem. Does this city want to grow and thrive, or what?

Frustrated, voiceless job seekers now have an online voice. Take a look at Mary's blog, Searching for a Job in Pittsburgh.


5 Responses to "Finding a Professional Job in Pittsburgh"

Jack said... 9/12/2007 9:26 AM

It's a relief to read that I'm not the only person who's had this experience. This summarizes my Pittsburgh job hunt a few years ago perfectly. I'm a web designer with close to 10 years experience. After working in Boston for several years I decided to move back home to Pittsburgh to be closer to my family. My job search went on for almost a year without a single interview. And none of my emails or phone calls to employers, employment agencies(!), and even professional contacts I had in Pittsburgh were returned either. I scraped by doing small freelance design jobs. It was the most frustrating year of my life. I finally gave up and started looking for work elsewhere and found a great job almost immediately in Chicago. I have a soft spot in my heart for Pittsburgh but, unfortunately, I just can't see ever moving back after the experience I had.

Matthew said... 9/13/2007 2:29 AM

When I was looking for a job out of law school, I was amazed by the behavior of some of the employers during my job search, particularly after a job interview.

I find it unacceptable to have a personal interview with a firm and then never hear from that firm again. I find it even more unacceptable to have TWO personal interviews with a firm without a response. Yet, this happened during my job search with two different firms.

One, a large company, interviewed me and I never received any follow up afterwards. You would imagine that the HR department of a large company would have procedures in place to follow up after an interview, ("Thank you for your interview, but unfortunately..."). The second was a smaller company, but I interviewed with them on two different occasions, each time meeting with two different people.

After each personal interview, I followed up with the appropriate thank you letters to each person I had interviewed with, touching on subjects we had discussed during the interview. All I received in return was a deafening silence.

I don't know if this is unique to the Pittsburgh area, but employers sure aren't helping themselves attract qualified candidates for open positions if they insist on treating applicants in this manner.

Anonymous said... 9/13/2007 11:06 PM

This just doesn't happen with job searches; it's become the de facto standard to not respond when the answer to ANY inquiry is "no" or negative. I see this all of the time in my business, and others have told me the same. It used to be you didn't return a sales person's call because they wouldn't give up. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone has learned
to hide from everyone else when faced with communicating something negative.

The bad experiences of the bloggers during their job searches makes me long for the days in one way. For the only time in my lifetime did the recruitee have the upper hand over the recruiter. The recruitee didn't have to take the arrogant, classless, disgusting, poor, unprofessional, unacceptable behavior that existed both before and after the crash. They simply took a job elsewhere. While we can't wait for the laws of supply and demand nowaways in Pittsburgh to correct this bad behavior, we can certainly leverage the internet and blogs.

The time is ripe for Pittsburgh's version of "f-----company!" ...Mike?

Mike Madison said... 9/14/2007 7:04 AM

Thanks for the invitation, Anon, but considering the intensity of the reaction that I provoked when I observed that a local restaurant is charging a disproportionate price as a "stem fee," I'll pass for now. Pittsburgh's business commmunity has a notoriously thin skin.

Still, you've given me an idea. Watch the blog.

Anonymous said... 9/20/2007 11:57 AM

Does Steelers' Success Equal Economic Stagnation?

Sentiment reigns supreme in Pittsburgh, especially in sports and policymaking. Despite clear economic problems, sports arenas continue to mushroom up around the city. These buildings sit empty most of the year but consume tremendous resources that could be better spent on transportation, infrastructure, tax cuts, and other issues that would make the city more globally competitive. My hypothesis is that success in sports has skewed the city's priorities, resulting in a tremendous amount of misplaced resources. This trend continues with a new hockey arena. To quote Gov. Rendell: "For the last year all I've heard out of Pittsburgh is 'Keep the Penguins.'"

Those words speak volumes to anyone serious about economic and cultural development in Pittsburgh.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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