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Job Security is a Myth

Dear Reader,

As I writ this, I am on “Sabbatical”. I took a few days off to plan and write.

As I was packing to go, the lovely and talented Kathy and I were discussing a couple of large purchases we are contemplating. During the discussion she said “If I knew your current situation were permanent, I’d go ahead and buy both.”

What she was referring to was the fact that I am currently a contract employee for a couple of different companies, this means my job is not permanent. It did make me think.

In my career, I have been fired three times. (in no particular order)

  • Company fired the entire development team including me, the Director. New CTO and he just wanted to clean house and bring in his own people.
  • Company pivoted and in an instance, no longer needed the role I filled.
  • Company was preparing to sell and needed to “trim the books”.

In each case, I can point to a solid WHY. I know why I was let go. In each case, I thought I had a secure job and was safe. In each case I was reminded that – at least in the US – job security is a myth.

Note, this is not me whining about being fired and I like the system here in the US because it gives entrepreneurs the flexibility to be wrong before they are right.

The point of this post is to remind myself each time it comes up that there is no such thing as job security. A job is a transaction, not a family, no matter who tells you different.

You are only there trading time for money, and the eye opening thing is, you are the cheapest solution the company could find for the problem you solve.

Cherish your time at every company, but  don’t take it for granted. Don’t assume that you will be there tomorrow. Always be prepared for the worst, even when you are enjoying the best.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Mistakes were made

Dear Reader,

At the end of March, 2019, I was let go from  a job that honestly, I thought would be the last company I worked for. (that’s a different whine) Most of you probably don’t know – not for any failing on your part but because you’ve got your own crap to deal with – is that I went into an emotional tail spin.

I did not, as I proclaimed loudly on Twitter, “crawl into a bottle of rum for the weekend”. I drink a lot less than I pretend to. :) I did not go into a deep bout of depression. But being fired as a developer shook me to my core. For whatever reason, the company walked away from me and my skills. I was let go from a company where I was doing the one thing I knew I could do well. It’s hard not to take that personally.

I handled this badly. I shut down emotionally. I withdrew from my community of friends. Honestly, I was ashamed, and I did not want to talk to anyone until I could hold my head up high again and proclaim “I AM A DEVELOPER”.

My community, my tribe, my peers, my friends, whatever you want to call them, are there to support me, not judge me. If they are secretly judging me then they really aren’t my friends to begin with.

I’m not out of the woods yet but I am better than where I was. I am now to the point where I can at least talk honestly about my journey. I am better because I didn’t shut everyone out. A few of my friends, continued to reach out, continued to talk to me, and continued to support me, even when I didn’t want them to. That and the continued love and support of the lovely and talented Kathy.

Yes, mistakes were made, but thankfully, I have enough people that love me enough to overlook that mistakes. Those people pulled my out of my hole when all I really wanted was to wallow in it.

To each of you – and you know who you are – thank you.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Humility: Part 1

Dear Reader,

I suffer from an overabundance of confidence. Two events though have shaken that recently. First, I was fired.

Many men of my era have their identity wrapped up in being a productive member of society and being the provider for their family. Being fired shook me to my core. Especially being fired as a developer, my primary vocation.

It has taken me a long time to come to grips with this event. At first it was humiliating. I’m not saying it is not still, but I am learning  to accept it, to get back up on my feet, to start moving forward again.

Humiliation is a good thing. It has forced me to take a long hard look at myself.  I know I will get a job again, I will be contributing again, and I will once again be providing for my family. I know that this too will pass. But I want the person that comes through this trial to be a better person than the one that went in.

If not, that means I did not learn, I did not grow, and I will be here again.

Until next time
I <3 |<