On Unemployment

Double entendre....on darn, already off to a poor start.

So, as 1 1 month ago, I took the leap, signed the papers, and volunteered to leave my former employer.  This came with some stipulations.  For one year, I may not:

  1. Try to recruit anyone actively employed at Lexmark or assist any new employer in same.
  2. Besmirch or otherwise criticize Lexmark.
  3. Return to work there.
That's right.  In the course of one afternoon, I went from a a fully-employed Software Architect at a (nominally) Fortune 500 company to 4 weeks from out-the-door on the job market.  

Today marks my first day of official unemployment.   As it stands, I have no job offers outstanding, but that's certainly not been the case through the past 4 weeks.  

So, the first week, I got offered a job at a startup.  No interview, just say 'yes to the dress' as it were.  I was so excited I nearly leaped out of my skin.  A STARTUP!  There's nothing more exciting for a developer than the opportunity to go your own way, to be a founding part of startup.   I put that one in my back pocket and decided to test the waters a bit more.

The next week, I had several phone screens and landed an interview at The Other Big Place in town.  Good group of folks, but it felt just like my old gig--software group amid a massive Hardware company, large legacy codebase they were trying to modernize.  Honest work, and a much more technology-focused group.  Representative quote: "We code here.  Basically 95% to 100% of your job will be coding.  Are you okay with that?"

Long interview later, offer #1 was on the table. I chewed on it for that next weekend and turned it down.  I didn't want to go back to the same place I just came from, proverbially speaking.  

Through a contact at work, I got an interview in a place up in Cincy that had exploded in growth over the past 3 years, with a culture that seemed like a cross between Google and Thoughtworks.  (Turns out, Thoughtworks was a consultant of theirs, so seems natural they'd adopt some of their policies.)

Need to pause here for emphasis--it's hard to imagine a better fit for me than this place.  Something like 300 engineers, all staff- to senior-level, with Coding Dojos, Hack Weeks, Scrum, Pairing, and Linux development.   Interview was a joy:  Intense 1-hour deal with their senior folks, good vibes all around.  I had an offer in hand by the next day.  But, it meant a move.

So, local startup or move to Cincinnati?

Neither.

So this is where I must introduce the architect of all this change: God.  My prayer life had been pretty consistent since January when they announced the voluntary exit program: This is your time to go.

So, from there, I was in denial right through the last day of the voluntary program, when I finally filled-out my paperwork and submitted it.  Listening to God isn't exactly something I do quickly, but I do get around to it.

So, praying over both opportunities I had, there were a couple of directives:
  1. You're going to be moving.
  2. You need to be patient.  Basically, I got the "Love, Joy, Peace, Patience..." verse running through my head.
Thus the verse, Proverbs 14:12 --> "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."

But such....good....jobs!  One exciting without requiring my family to move.  The other only a moderate move to a place we generally like, Ohio.

It wasn't to be.  Upon discussion with several people trying to choose between the above the dichotomy, it became clear there wasn't a real winner because neither was where God had me going.   I was praying about jobs, not about where He wanted us

Praying over the map, I felt the pull to Texas.  Whitney laughed because her prayer life was just the same.  So, I look.

So, here I sit, back in the Ensor LRC where I was 18 years ago.  Yep...kids born that year are now here at Georgetown College, and here Old Fart Me sits, re-embarking on the job search.

Dear Reader, this is going to take me some time to work through.  I poured much (too much?) of myself into that old place, so now I have to find-out who I am in middle age.  This will likely be my forum.

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