Searching the Job Market

Instead of writing my thesis, I’ve recently been surfing around the net looking for job prospects. Fortunately, I know almost exactly what I want and the reasons why:

Desire Reason
Small company. Because I’d rather be a large fish in a small pond. I’d like to have some knowledge of each aspect of the business so that I can see how my work fits in the organizational whole. A smaller firm also gives me a relatively larger voice in the operations, which translates to more opportunities for contributions and growth.
SoCal. The weather is Southern California is nice. I absolutely cannot live anywhere that has an actual winter.
Systems Software Development. I like computer work, especially arguing about trade-offs in the software design process. I wouldn’t have pursued a degree if I didn’t like programming software.
Stock Trading. I’ve long been interested in markets, and now I’m interested in market mechanics. I’ll never live out my dream of financial independence without if I don’t acquire the knowledge. And I won’t do that if I don’t get a job where people are working on automated trading.

But this observation led me to realize that I’m a specialized good looking for a specific role. It’s a classic case of the double coincidence of wants problem. I have software development skills and am looking for a trading system, so I’m in the job market seeking a firm that has a trading system and is looking for a software developer. In the job market, the double coincidence of wants is further exacerbated by a double coincidence of schedules. If a firm desires to hire someone immediately, I couldn’t join them, because I must first finish my thesis and graduate.

I still consider myself fortunate because this particular pair of wants coincides often. However, when I include my other desires listed in the table above, the number of firms which fit my criteria becomes demoralizingly few. Especially since most of the trading firms are in the New York area.