Archive for August 29, 2011

Avoiding Complacency: Keeping My Eyes Open to New Possibilities

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I was recently laid off from my job. What you might not know is that I started applying and interviewing for new positions outside of the company a week or so after receiving the news.

I am actually in a good position compared to many of my coworkers who were also let go. First, I have been at the company for quite some time, so I will earn a fair amount of severance for my years of service. Second, I moved into the position I was eliminated from just a few months ago. In order to move to that new position I needed to update my resume, work with HR and interview. With those simple acts I felt better prepared to venture into the world around me in search of opportunities. Many of my coworkers have not written a resume or interviewed for a position in over 10 years.

My current company offers great pay and benefits, so despite not being particularly happy in my position it was those perks that kept me working day after day. Of course as soon as I heard the news of my layoff I wanted to know how my benefits really compared to other companies.

Within a week of receiving my pink slip I began searching for a new job. I posted my resume to a number of companies and waited for the phone to ring. Astoundingly the first phone calls came just a few days later. It seems the pitiful state of the economy has not impacted the technology industry in the DC area, which is great news for me!

I interviewed at a number of different places just to get a feel for what was out there. As I expected the smaller companies, (50 to 100 employees), offered slightly lower salaries and fewer benefits, but many of the mid-to-large sized companies have similar if not equivalent perks.

Since I will receive a decent severance package I was able to walk into each interview calm, cool and relaxed. I reminded myself before I picked up the phone or walked into an office that I don’t need to start working right away. I think that further boosted my confidence and allowed me to feel at ease throughout the interviews.

Through the layoff I’ve learned that it’s easy for me to become complacent. I’ve been unhappy with my current job for quite awhile now. I haven’t agreed with the direction our management is moving in and I haven’t felt personally fulfilled in years, yet I continued to work at the same company year after year because the known of my current job seemed so much better than the unknown of any place else.

As I’ve mentioned before I view my layoff as a blessing in disguise. Although I don’t know if I will be any happier working for another company, I now know that my job and company are not one-of-a-kind. Granted I should have known and recognized this prior to my termination, but it’s better to recognize the truth sooner than later.

Moving forward I’ll need to remind myself of this once I start my next job. After all, old habits can be difficult to break.

August 29, 2011 at 1:10 PM 4 comments


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