Nothing seems more futile than trying to be productive while being sick (sneezy with a runny nose) and also there is nothing more futile then applying to jobs online. Ok so they both just seem futile, at the moment, and are magnified by working in conjunction to double the futile feeling I have in my chest…
This morning as I made breakfast and a paleo berry crisp for later, I was listening to part 2 of the History of Howard Stern on Sirius Radio. Howard was talking about being fired from WNBC in New York and the feelings that arose in its aftermath. As he discussed his pain and his worry about his future career, I could not help but empathize. I have been out of work (but gratefully doing contract work) since the end of May (2015). I was let go (by a man that I have approved to be the replacement CEO for my original partner back in 2008) from an iteration of a company (GTxcel) that I had founded in 2004, Godengo.
Eleven years is a long time to be working at the same place nowadays (especially when you are a startup founder). In my parents time you pretty much worked at the same place your whole life but in todays market most of my friends resumes have stints that last no longer 2 – 3 years. My resume features just 2 just jobs spanning 16 years. It feels empty and I wonder if recruiters and prospective employers see it that way too.
The reality is that in 16 years, I went from being a guy who knew some HTML to COO of my own company that now, in its current iteration, generates more than $10 million in revenue each year and has 90+ employees. During that time I created a Software as a Service Content Management System targeted to magazine publisher that has been used by 400+ customers worldwide. I hired, managed and worked with some incredibly talented people and could not have done any of it without them.
When I was let go, I was not surprised. The writing was, as they say, on the wall and I knew my time was short. But it end it doesn’t change the feeling of a loss of purpose and mostly a loss of connection from the community I was a part of.
So now a new chapter begins and I am blessed with contract work (from a customer who contacted me 1 week after hearing I was let go – she said she wanted to give me time to mourn) and once again I get to hire an old friend and colleague (who is super talented) to work with me on this project.
The future is still uncertain of course but like this stupid summer cold I know it will eventually change course…