Gainfully Employed

I start my new job next Tuesday.

This is a big thing for me. For those of you who may not know, I was laid off from my job here on June 0f 2009. Two years is a long time to be unemployed. I’ve no animosity towards my former employer, so if you’re hoping to hear gossip about that company, forget it. My lay off was a business/financial decision that had nothing to do with my performance. If it did, I wouldn’t have been given the generous severance that afforded me a comfortable two years of living.

Yes, money got tight in some spots, buy I’ve been getting by, paying the mortgage and the bills, and I’ve had some some room for new technology in the household. It’s been a good two years, but in all honesty I was ready to be a part of the work force well over a year ago.

I won’t go into details into how I got the job here,* but suffice to say it happened fast. As in the space of a week and a half. My head’s still spinning from the fact that I’ll be starting next week, right after GenCon.

Interestingly enough, I can bookmark the Great Time Off between GenCon ’09 and GenCon ’11. I spent the latter half of June and a chunk of July alternating between states of anger and funk. I still remember that day, 15 June 2009, standing outside my former place of employment with my personal office effects in my backpack and a cab voucher in my my hand at about 8:30 AM. Have you ever been so emotionally overwhelmed you were just numb? That was me. At some point around July, I realized that I could take a break and enjoy what life had to offer. So I said “the hell with it,” and went to GenCon and blew off a ton of steam.

While I’d like to say it’s finally over (ie, my unemployment), that’s not entirely the case. Yes, I have a job next week — it’s as a contractor for six to eleven months. That means I need to keep looking for what’s next, unless of course I’m offered a permanent position. I’m not going to expect that to come through. It’d be nice, yes, but anything can happen. Maybe I don’t quite cut it as an employee, or perhaps they need to let me go at contract’s end.

It’s still a good thing though, for several reasons:

1) It’s a job that I was very interested in for reasons other than “a job’s a job.

2) It’s a paycheck, and a worthy one at that.

3) I can sock more money away into my own retirement fund (I’ve multiple funds set up).

4) It gets me current tech experience and is something I can put on a resume to close that gap and say “Yes, I’m still relevant to the IT field.” That’s for when the contract expires, assuming the Best Case Scenario hasn’t happened.

Having a day job will affect writing and gaming, obviously, but that’s not going to be an issue. In fact, I’ll be happier this way, as I can use either of those to wind down from the work day. Plus, it’s going to require some stringent time management. I’m good with that. Having to order one’s life is a good thing in this situation — it means I’m not lacking for things to do.

And now I can breathe a little easier.



* And it is, in fact, an IT job and not package delivery — although at this stage I would not have said no to such.


3 comments so far

  1. RenegadeScribe on

    Congrats! Glad to see you have work. A lot of us in the IT field are hurting since the this current recession hit, and the commoditization of IT workers in general. (cheaper to outsource it than pay real wages, apparently)

    • mikebrendan on

      By the way folks, Renegade Scribe is the author of “Calling Home” a really tight SF story that was originally done using Twitter and Plurk to tell the story. You can find the graphic novelization at

      Read and enjoy.

  2. mikebrendan on

    The outsourcing thing seems to go through cycles, and with some companies, not all. I’ve learned that my former department is no longer working with the off-shore contractors they hired a few years prior.

    But yeah, the recession has been painful to IT, especially for specialists like myself.

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