March 27, 2009

So I got laid off.

Not laid, laid off. There is a difference.

So, anyway, IBM decided that I was too expensive to keep in my current position and decided to let me go. I'm not too worked up about this. It's not like I cared for IBM that much. They offered great services and benefits for their employees but they are also a little restrictive. I always felt like big brother was watching me, and long time IBMers seem to all have this forced enthusiasm that scares me.

I have a number of options. IBM gives me a 30 day grace period with which to look for a new job within the company before they severe my employment and wash their hands of me. which would be nice if it weren't that it was giving a couple thousand others the same grace period to apply to the same jobs. Apparently the odds are better if I'm willing to move to another country. There's also an outplacement service of which I intend to take full advantage.

More importantly, I think, is that this affords me an opportunity to shift gears a little. Up to this point I've been running on inertia. What I've always really wanted to do was found a company of some sort and be my own boss. Failing that, getting a degree, (eventually masters) in CS or similar always seemed like a worthy goal. When I got out of school, I was offered, almost by accident, an entry level position at IBM despite lack of any prior experience or training. The job had expansive benefits, flexible our, and plenty of pay for my needs so I thought I'd be a fool not to take it. I figured I'd say with the company for a year or six months and accrue some savings and experience before striking it out on my own.

Of course, then the depression hit and with so many of my friends out of work I felt that I should be thankful for having such a nice job. Almost felt guilty for anting to do something else. Also, given the economy, leaving just seemed like a bad idea. So, even though I strongly wanted to leave I didn't and just stuck with it because it was by far the easiest and safest option. I kept putting off my goals. And then I got laid off. So now I have no excuse. I wasn't a moment too soon.

So now I'm going to bill myself as a freelance software engineer or a startup guy. On that note, I kind of wish IBM had notified me a day or two sooner. I've been working on a project in my spare time and I had hoped to turn it into yet another dot-com idea. I even went so far as to apply to startup school. The application, though, was due the day before IBM let me go and I know I would have put more effort into it if I ad known I would be laid off soon. It's too bad, really, but in the grand scheme it's rather trivial.

So my course of action next? It's hard to say. I'll certainly apply for more jobs within the company, but I don't know that I even want them. I'll make sure that I take advantage of the time I still have my health insurance to get those health appointments that I've putting off. I've enough savings to live for a few months at least if I'm cheep so that's probably enough time to establish myself as an independent businessman if at all possible. Or I can find another company.

It seems the future's bright and getting brighter.



Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh man, that's a bummer getting laid off. I mean, even if you didn't want the job, it's nicer to leave. I just got let go for being too sick. I didn't want the job and was planning on quitting in the next couple of weeks, so no big deal, but, dang it, I wanted to end it on my terms! But that's just me. It sounds like you are taking a much more sensible attitude towards this. Way to be sensible, Andrew.

1:15 AM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Verivox said...

While a bummer, I think that it is fantastic news. I've been working on my company for the past year now, and it's hard to do while working a full-time job. Speaking of which, maybe we could collaborate, depending on what you intend to do. In any case, I wish and pray for the best.

8:01 AM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger Andrew Stine said...

Shame Jenn, but I'll keep you in my prayers.

Verivox, I'm certainly not above collaboration. Shoot me an email and I'll tell you what's going on.

8:44 AM, March 30, 2009  

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