I’ve been saving this post for sometime, but it appears that since I am the only one left, the time has finally come.
Well if you know me, then you know I’m a fond believer in the fact that it can always get worse. And today it did. I am now the only engineer left at my company. We have 4 people on the administrative staff and 1 on the engineering. It feels almost like office space. I would like to reassure myself with happy thoughts of greener pastures and a company that appreciates what I do and the effort that I put forth for them, but it’s harder to do that each and every day. Everyday, the spiral continues downward further and further and the fight to stay out of oblivion becomes more tiresome each day. I find myself waking up to my alarm only to watch it tick the minutes by as I wait until the absolute last second before getting out of bed and dawning my armor of sarcasm and bitterness for the day.
It is a shame that the only recourse that I can currently take is to scour the market place in search of any employment that might not be horrible or at least is horrible, but within reason. So far, my searches have been a waste of someone else’s time as my resume is deposited into the nearest waste receptacle. It’s not that I think I’ve got a bad resume, in fact, I’ve had a ton of people tell me that it’s great. I just think that there are too many misconceptions out there about what makes a good employee. Years of experience has never really been one fore me, but I can see how other people who’ve only worked in one or two positions for most of their career could count it as lead bricks. Where I think they are missing the picture is that when you work in consulting, it’s a much more fast paced game. Constantly moving from one client to another requires a lot more discipline (at least I think it does) to make sure that things don’t slip through the cracks. But then again, I don’t have a degree in HR and I’m not wanting to make this into a sob-fest over how I haven’t found a job I enjoy yet.
I have to say that I’m rather disappointed in the fact that I haven’t found a new opportunity yet. I guess that I have, but at the time I wasn’t ready to take an offer for a job that I didn’t want to do. Guess that I just didn’t plan on things getting as bad as they have. In all reality though, this is my own fault. This pretty much the result of taking the easy way to employment. I know many other people who’ve had excellent experiences transitioning from their CO-OP job to full time employment with their company; however, that was not the case for me. In fact, I know that I knew better than to take this position. I didn’t officially get my offer until I was well out of school because it was taking so much time to get in touch with my boss to actually make the offer. I also knew that I was selling myself short when I took a salary that was 10k under the low end of the average for even support technicians. All in all, it was a very poor choice on my part.
Generally, I never look back and say “Man, I wish I could have done that differently,” because I think if you do that a lot, you aren’t happy with who you are as a person because all of the choices that you’ve made lead up to who you are and where you are. This time I will though. This is the third time ever that I regret making a choice. Looking back, I should have attended the career fair that Engineering Tribunal spent so much time working on. But it was my choice and I made the call and I’ll deal with it just like I have for any other choice I’ve ever made. The difference with this one is that short of starting my own company, I can’t choose for someone else and have them hire me. Hmmm….options are limited, outlook is grim, sounds like a setup for a bad Sci-fi movie.
So what can I do right now to get a new job becomes the question. Well, obviously, improving the resume helps but that’s generally never enough. I could work with the head hunters; however, I’m not so much into that. While they are a good source, the seem to be a double edged sword in that they really only want to work for their companies and take part of what I could get as an offer … so they are kind of out. I’ve registered at Monster and Dice to try and get some presence there; however, that doesn’t seem to be working as well as I would like it. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong areas or using the tools improperly, I’m not really sure. I’ve tapped all of my friends with the exception of one (sorry Steve, Sara wants me to stay here for the moment) in hopes of trying to find leads there; but that doesn’t seems to be working out either. So what am I left with short of going door to door and ask if anyone wants to hire someone who’s interested in developing and working with computer security tools which I can’t do since I sold myself out for only 1 week worth of vacation. Right now, I wish that I had a really good answer to that question, but I don’t. Chances are that I’m not trying hard enough to get a new position. I could be denial of servicing HR voice mail systems and filling mailboxes left and right with cover letters and resumes by the pound, but that just doesn’t seem effective to me. I hope that Greg can give me some advice as to what I should do. I’m going to be meeting with him at the next INFRA Guard meeting with the hopes of finding someone in need of a dedicated individual.
So as I sit here listening to Weezer, Eve 6, and The Offspring in hopes of drowning out the country music in the background, I try and think of what caused this company to begin to sink. As I trace through everything that I can remember about working for my current company, it becomes more and more apparent that the most recent of events have only been masking what lead to this downfall. Normally, there is never just a single incident that is the cause of a problem such as this, but this time I think I can trace it back to one specific choice that was made. Back when I first started with CAPC, we did networking and security and it was a lot of fun. Then something changed and everything began to go down hill from there and I allowed myself to believe what we were doing at the time was security work and it was going to make me happy. Serves me right for lying to myself like that. What happened was we went from projects and one off engagements to IT support and once we were tainted with the poison, it was all over but the kicking and the screaming. And I kicked and screamed a long time, even now, trying to get us to leave the support side. But as my boss just made is so apparently clear to me after asking me if I was looking for another position, I know that this company will never go back. To quote him:
Even if we sell the most wiz-bang security solution the world has ever seen, we’re still going to have to support it.
My left finger we’ll have to support it. We’ll choose to support it because we know that we can leech off of the profits for a long time. This company is doomed and it is trying to drag me down with it. All I will have when it’s over with is a resume stained with the vileness of the IT support world that will always try to hold me in its clutches.