Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Day of the Next Phase

And so begins the first day of the next phase of my life. Yesterday, I was laid off from my job of almost 7 years. With all things like this, in hindsight there were signs, and then again there weren't. I was aware that the company was considering layoffs; my boss had solicited input on a few people in our organization. And I felt like I was being cut out of meetings by the consultants who were brought in to run the project I had been working on. So, maybe I should have known but I don't generally seek out signs of bad news. I never could quite ask my boss, "might I be affected?" I'm pretty sure he would have lied.

Our company is very sales driven and when the economy goes bad and the sales are down, they basically have one response: roll heads. I had seen it twice in my seven years, and I had arrived on the scene a scant six months after a fairly major layoff. I guess one spot of good news is that I'm on the leading edge of this one so I won't have to watch as others are affected. And, given the generally cheap nature of this organization, they gave me an o.k. (not generous) severance to help me make the transition.

On the bad news side, we were at a stage in our lives where the money was flowing out faster than usual. The combination of a construction project at our house and my daughter's impending wedding has caused us to dip into reserves that might normally have helped us make the transition a bit easier. Timing is everything.

Back to good news. I've been through this before so I know what has to be done. My resume has been kept fairly up to date. I have a number of friends and associates who will help me in any way they can, including my now ex-boss.

Over to the bad news. I'm not getting any younger. The economy is not great right now. My skills are not technology specific in a market that seems to increasingly value specific experience. Prices are going up.

Good news. I don't have to drive 45 miles each way any more. I don't have to cross the stream of traffic from the neighboring high school at 7:15.

Bad news. I'll miss the time I spent with the guys in my carpool. I'll miss the daily association with the people at work whom I've grown to respect and to care about.

Good news. When (not if) I find another job, I'll expand my circle of friends. I'll have some time for home projects, although it will be at the expense of taking time away from job hunting.

Enough of that for a while. It's time to review the severance matierials, update my resume, work on a job search plan and begin linking in to networking and job sites. I'll probably be posting to this site as a way of keeping a few people informed of my search and progress. Stay tuned and carpoolguy becomes jobsearchguy.

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