Sometimes Mistakes are Made

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. 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. 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.

22 thoughts on “Sometimes Mistakes are Made”

  1. The bad news is that these things are nerve-wrecking and can cause some of the most unpleasant moments in life. The good news is that they have a way of working out for the better in the end. Looks like you’re entering that second phase now. Congratulations!

  2. Sometimes our situations go from bad to worse to WOW! Predicting the WOW! is difficult at best. Trying to schedule it is nearly impossible. But it sure feels good when it when it sneaks up and lands in our laps!

    Congratulations indeed!

  3. You have done what needed to be done. It takes strength and courage to change our lives for the better. Hope you enjoy the new opportunities very much.

  4. Awesome! Glad to hear you are finding things that you not only like to do but also are getting paid well for them.

    Anyway, Congratulations on your new digs and potential new digs! Keep up the great work that Bitter and yourself are doing.

  5. Great news and an awesome post. I understand about continuing to ride a bomb out of hope for change (even though I’m not a democrat). I’m in that situation at work right now, having ignored several good offers for a company that I still think has potential but hasn’t proven it at all.

    Loyalty is a good thing but it’s always a one way street. I think loyalty is nice but there’s a fine line between loyalty and sheer stupidity. Glad you didn’t cross over.

  6. Best of luck, and hope you find the career move rewarding.
    Just started my 4th year of being self employed, it isn’t easy, but not sure I would want to go back.

  7. And here I am in the same position you were last year. I’m here at the Sunoco refinery waiting for plant closure in July wondering where I’ll be able to make money like this.

  8. Awesome news on the ‘dream job’. Glad you’re out of a miserable sounding position.

    But I can also tell you that I’ve heard a number of stories from people who waited and turned down positions only to find themselves still out of work a year later.

    It’s a challenge to make the right choices, and often we don’t have enough information to make them.

    Glad it’s working out for you.

  9. Congrats. I take it you were having to work outside “Free” America. Hope the dream job works out and if it doesn’t, maybe you can do your own thing and make buckets of money. Keep up the good work and make sure the dream gives you time to blog.

      1. Rats! I was hoping you were able to get out of there. I don’t like working in downtown Seattle but New Jersey makes me think of the parable about no shoes versus no feet.

  10. Congrats!! Perseverance does pay off. Back in the late ’80s, I was laid off from IBM, took a job at John Wanamaker’s just for the income but kept looking. I’m now a Sr. IT Project Engineer for a major oil.

  11. Good on ya’ for recognizing and acting so soon. I took a job that I had misgivings on day #1 and truly regretted on day #2. But I stuck it out for 5 years and welcomed the layoff that set me free at 5 years +3 wks (I received my 5 year pen set at my layoff party).

    Best wishes on the new venture!

  12. That’s awesome! I learn a lot from your blog, and your struggles over the past several months have been no exception. Thanks for sharing your experience. The knowledge that the sun also rises is a huge part of preparing for bad times- anyway, I’m glad for you. And happy 5th year! I first started reading you while in Mosul over three years ago and you’ve been a daily read since. Keep it up!

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