Last week I left my previous employer. It feels like jumping out of an airplane (with more than a little push). It’s not a bad feeling actually. Scary mostly, but not unpleasant scary.
It’s hard to describe my current status. Technically, I’m unemployed and “out of a job.” The curious thing is that I don’t feel as if I am unemployed or “out of a job” since I’ve been as busy, and perhaps even more so than when I was employed. To quote a useful expression, my job is now to get a job, and that involves calling people, writing resumes, preparing for interviews, reading back and forth, travelling. A lot of stuff which means that I have much less time for blogging.
I don’t want to talk too much about the last days of my employer right now. Someday, but it’s too soon to talk about it. However, looking over the last several years, I made a series of strategic decisions which seem to be paying off right now in a big way.
The first big strategic decision was to leave the employer before my last employer. This was a good decision because at the time, I had the chance to continue on albeit with relocation, and I decided to jump ship. This is good because I’ve been “between jobs” before. I know what to do, what not to do. I’m finding in particular that resume writing is *much* easier to do the second time around.
The other big major strategic decision that I made was to put too much of my identity into my new employer or the software I was writing. This meant that in leaving my employer there was much less emotional trauma than when I left Halliburton, and *MUCH* less trauma than when I left MIT. One thing that shows this is how little time it took to clean out my desk. I got notice at 2:30 that my employment was at an end. By 2:45, I had packed up my office and left the building. There wasn’t really anything in there that was personal. Only my personal laptop which I unplugged and carried with me to my car. This was in contrast to when I left Halliburton when there were boxes and boxes of stuff.
The other thing that made this much less traumatic was that I defined my “job” as something much broader than the 40 hours that I spent at “work.” I saw myself and still see myself as a “junior faculty person” with a work week of between 60-80 hours. This made it trival to cope with losing a job, since it was like losing a source of grant funding. Annoying, but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
More to come….