where did that job go?

i lost my job last week. or maybe the week before, i don’t know.

this is the third job i’ve lost in four years. clearly, there is a gap between the value my employers perceive in me, and that which i perceive in myself. or not. i’m just not sure. as an “information worker” in the new millennium, it’s hard to tell. it seems that you can be an intelligent, valued, and productive member of a company, and yet still lose your job.
something has changed since the days of employment for life, i’d say. it seems those days are a quaint anachronism, at this point – a pleasant, yet unrealizable, memory of the past.

i don’t know what my future holds. in the next year or so, probably more consulting work. i don’t know any more if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. consultants are criticized for wasting people’s time and money, yet grudgingly accepted as providing a valuable service. which is it, ultimately, that sticks in people’s minds? the waste or the value?
i tell people that i lost my job, and from my fellow knowledge workers in the bay area , i get knowing support. from others, there is a sadness i sense, bordering on pity. “lost another job, huh? well, i keep hearing that things are tough in that Internet business…hmmmm. good luck!!”

good luck, indeed. anyone got a crystal ball? i’ve got a future with a beautiful wife, kids, and mortgage to support. should i stay in this crazy business, or get out? it’s hard to know what to do.

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2 thoughts on “where did that job go?

  1. elaine

    you were laid off. note that this is very different than being fired (which is usually performance-based). you kick too much ass in what you do to ever be fired. my advice, for what it is worth, is that you should do what you enjoy and be damned good at it. everything else will fall in place from there… chin up, my friend. :-)

  2. Ruth

    In the last 4 years since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve been laid off once and fired once. Despite what everyone said to me and despite my clarity on what happened in in each situation, both experiences hit me pretty hard. What I also discovered in the search process each time is that there are pletty of jobs out there I can have, but few I want. What I wanted was a work environment that develops people, has sound management, and capable co-workers. This combination is much more rare than I had hoped. After a while, I didn’t have the luxury to wait for that perfect job. However, I do remember that when I graduated from B-school in 2002 (very bad job market) many of us had to take jobs simply to get into the job market. There were a few who held out for the right one. It took some of them 3 months after graduation, others even longer to find the right opportunity. A few years out, most of my other classmates have changed jobs 2 or 3 times, but the ones that held out for the right thing are doing extremely well. Contracting can be a great to buy yourself yourself some time until the right longer-term gig comes along.


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