Life and Times of an Unemployed Professional Speed Dater #1
This is a bit of a left field post to appear on a so called Networking blog, but if you lend me your eyes for a few minutes all will be explained :)
So I haven’t actually posted anything in some time even though, I have had subject matters that I’ve found interesting. I’ve been looking at a few different things which have ranged from scripting/automation topics such Python and Ansible, to even attending an amazing Network focused automation course run by NetworkToCode (shout out to Jason Edelman and everyone at NetworkToCode). I’ve also been concentrating on Next-Gen networking topics such EVPN, VXLAN, and have been looking into working towards my JNCIP-SP & JNCDS certifications (and other bits and bobs too).
The reason I haven’t posted anything is because over the last 18-24 months there has been a number of things (we could say challenging situations) that I’ve had to cope with with in my professional career. Looking back I probably let these circumstances impact my personal life too much and although these have been extremely frustrating and annoying, they didn’t kill me so it’s all down to learning (and I now know what I’m willing to put up with but more importantly I know what my professional worth is). These circumstances caused me to leave a position I had held at the British Broadcasting Corporation (for nearly 4 years) to pursue oppunitunity that I hoped would be a chance to move forward and progress to the next stage in my professional career. Unfortunately, after giving the position a good chance, and confirming to myself what I honestly believed, I decided the role wasn’t a good fit and I left with nothing lined up. So, on 1st June 2018, for the first time in 12 years I found myself unemployed.
Taking the step into the unknown wasn’t an easy choice and tbh I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone as it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. At the same time, you should consider a number of different factors that are important to you and your overall life situation. Before taking such a step or when I was thinking about leaving my position, I started second guessing myself and considering how my decision could affect others; whether that was family, friends, or especially my colleagues. The idea of considering my colleagues in such a decision, looking back, was an interesting one. I believed I was:
- Dropping them in the shit by increasing their workload
- Worrying about if I had explained what I was doing fully
- Potentially leaving work half finished
- Realising that I was a single point of knowledge in edge cases or projects
These were strong reasons at the time but with hindsight, although I believed these to be valid reasons, in my opinion they should not have been as big a consideration in the overall picture. Making my colleagues life easier would make me a good colleague/person however looking out for others when you are not happy in a work setting is simply taking your focus away from what is best for you and in this situation it was detrimental to me. I was spending more time in a negative situation, trying to do what best for others. This may all sound quite selfish and negative however sometimes being selfish and self focussed is the only way to make the best decision.
Once the decision was made and the process started, it was a relief being out of the negative cycle I had been in. I backed myself to find a better situation and was able to take a step back to re-evaluate what I was doing and where I wanted to go. With that being said, I quickly had the realisation of ‘oh shit, I’ve got no income or job’ barrelling down like a train with no brakes, which brought along its own stress and complications. Fortunately I’ve got an amazing circle of family and friends who are so supportive and understood what I was looking to achieve. Although, the fact remained that I had made myself unemployed and needed to find a job before I started eating into my house-savings, and for those of you who live in London you will know just how important these savings are given how shamelessly overpriced the properties in the UK’s capital are!
If I’ve peaked your interest.. Roll onto Part 2 :-)