Twofish's Blog

April 26, 2007

Popping open the parachute

Filed under: Career, quantitative finance — twofish @ 3:34 pm

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….


1 Comment »

  1. I love this entry, especially the part about your “series of strategic decisions which seem to be paying off right now in a big way.” I love that larger framework you’ve set for thinking about these issues.

    I’m going to try to copy of some of it. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Debbie — April 27, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

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