Many of you know that I took a new job about a month ago, after a few months of unemployment after my previous company shut down. Today, I went in, handed in my resignation, and walked out. I feel an awful burden lifted from my shoulders. When I got the offer, I wavered a bit on whether to accept it. The company did not come off well to me in the interviews, and the job was a step down from my previous position. But I ultimately decided to accept, thinking that any job is better than unemployment. I’ve spent the past month regretting that decision.Â The job turned out to be worse than I had feared. There was very little about the company that functioned, and many people put in long and difficult hours to make up for a complete lack of planning, poor product and project management, and having insufficient resources to accomplish goals. It’s one thing to work hard because sometimes it’s just necessary to make a deadline. It’s quite another to work hard because you don’t have a better strategy.
In the mean time, I had a dream job fall on my lap, and I have spend the past several weeks developing it. Rather than being an environment where careers go to die, it’s an opportunity to take what I’ve been doing for the past ten years, and take it to the next level. The pay is also comparable to what I was making.Â I’ve also been talking to a friend who runs an IT services company that is looking to start a new division that could use my services. We had dinner last night to talk about it a bit, and I think it’s got potential. He’s aware of the dream job opportunity, and is willing to hire me on contract basis until that job offer firms up, and then continue on a part time basis if I decide to accept. If that job falls through he’s willing to hire me full-time.
So that was basically all I needed to get the hell out of that other place. I’m employed one way or another, and both are interesting positions. They say it’s easier to find a job when you have a job, but in this case I got neither offer because I was currently employed. The dream job wasn’t aware of the current job until I told them when they started to do the background check (I didn’t want them to be surprised if they found that), and it actually complicated things a bit more than if I had just been unemployed.
So I would say I learned a lesson, not to take the first job that comes along if you have a bad feeling about it, but it was one learned could only have learned in hindsight. I couldn’t have predicted I’d have two very good opportunities fall on my lap a few weeks after accepting a job. The big lesson I’ve learned in this is never to allow yourself to become unemployed if you can help it, and I could have. I knew the company was in trouble a year ago, and decided to risk riding the bomb down. I didn’t really get the job hunt started in earnest in the two months I had while I was helping wind the previous company down, because I thought there was hope of starting over again with the same idea. I took a huge gamble on the CEO’s plan in that two months, and lost the bet. That forced me to do some things I wouldn’t, under ordinary circumstances consider doing. I always figured the reason that employers were wary of the unemployed was because of the belief that if someone didn’t want them, and doesn’t want them, they must not be very good. That might be part of it, but I also think part of why the unemployed have it harder is because they aren’t thinking carefully about whether a job is really a good fit — they need a paycheck, first and foremost. That’s going to make it much more likely they aren’t staying, especially if the job is a step down for them.