Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Living on Borrowed Time

It's always hard to have friends leave you behind. I recall one of the most depressing type of experiences during my army service, one amongst many but a particularly memorable one, being the sight of friends that joined after me getting released from the army before me (not everyone has to serve the same duration at the Israeli army).
Of course, these days I am not in the army nor in Israel anymore. However, the sight of good friends leaving my workplace does have significant impact still. It sort of brings that good old notion of "what am I still doing here?" into the agenda again. Some major career moves of mine have started through these very thoughts.
And now I'm at that same junction point once again.

This time there is a twist. Not only am I having my best work friend leaving me behind; this time I have my workplace going through a peculiar chain of events that, essentially, mean it will shut down in a few years time. Probably two years in the minimum and four years max.
And while two years is still a long time, the realisation that the place I go to work at on a daily basis has no future in it for me is proving to have significant impact. What reason do I have to make an effort at such a workplace? Sure, I value my income for the next few years, but as far as aspirations and motivations go, they all disappeared into a black hole.
Thus I find myself as a peculiar position. Career wise, it is clear that the best thing to do would be to abandon ship and look for something else. On the other hand, staying put would mean enjoying all the benefits my doomed workplace has to offer, and there are certainly plenty of those; it also means a potentially nice redundancy package down the line, if I prove patient enough.
Given the frequency of good jobs in my field, the general lack of companies that make me feel "wow, I this is the place I should be spending the bulk of my conscious hours at", I suspect it would be that other hand that prevails. Regardless, these are testing times.

Image by David Jackmonson, Creative Commons licence


Uri said...

Is age a factor?

I’m not sure how easy it will be for me to find a new job now, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be more difficult in two years.

Is that the same down under?

Moshe Reuveni said...

I can tell you some of my colleagues are definitely worried about ageism.
Personally, I think the problem is clearly there, but it pales in comparison to other problems:
1. The Melbourne IT job market being generally small and, compared with Israel, uninteresting. You won't find Intel here, just government and companies maintaining their IT. Recent austerity measures introduced by our lovely Liberal government at both federal and state levels make things even worse.
2. Due to the size of the IT market here, a lot of the jobs require significant travel.
3. I think xenophobia is a bigger problem.
4. Most positions nowadays are short term contract ones rather than permanent positions. You often get paid more, but you're always on the lookout for the next job, with everything that comes with that.

I rank #4 as my biggest problem.