Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Turn and face the strange.....

(With apologies to David Bowie)


It's been a busy time these past few months. 
Let me explain. 
No, there is too much; let me sum up.

The Job decided that the profit margin on the project I was part of was not high enough to suit the career aspirations of the C-level acolytes in charge of the business unit, so it was dropped, along with 90% of the team.  So I found myself in good company as I started to look for a new job in earnest.  Fortunately, the severance package was nice, so I was not left hurting.  Still, the sudden but inevitable betrayal was not a fun time.

The biggest problem I had was exactly what I had complained to my then boss 5 years ago when they started splitting the group up - my continued presence in the 'maintain the old application' subgroup meant that I was not learning new skills.  "Don't worry," I was told, "We will rotate other people in as their parts deploy, and you will get to learn new stuff."

And the check is in the mail......

The moral of this fable is that you never trust the organization to honor any offhand statement - if they say they will do X, set up a monthly reminder to ask them about X, until they do it, or you get something else of equal worth, or you do X on your own.  If they haven't delivered within a year, assume they will not ever, and do it yourself.

Especially when it comes to 'rotating' work assignments - it's way too easy for the folks who are working on the new stuff to take longer than planned (intentionally or otherwise), and for management to feel that they do not know the current set of issues in your area of control, and keep you where you are "just until things settle", which may never happen.

Another bit of advice is to look for a new job every quarter, minimum.  You don't ever have to take one if it gets offered, but it keeps you in practice for interviews, keeps your resume up-to-date, and lets you know what the market for your skills is. 

Oh, and one little trick if you are looking for a job and are on LinkedIn - search for and visit the profiles of every recruiter in areas you are looking for (tech sectors and geography); when they look at the activity on their profile, they will see your visit, and get curious about you, and visit you in return, where your profile should be able to grab their attention.

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