Saying Goodbye to a Job

Earlier this month was my last day at a job I've been in for almost 5 years. I started in the role only 1.5 years out of college with practically zero experience and leave my team (after some luck and lots of hard work) as a Senior Manager who was in many ways responsible for the day to day responsibilities of 10-15 people on any given day. That is "not your typical" jump in a large and conservative company and it has been a great ride to say the least. Saying goodbye to a job I'm leaving voluntarily is really hard and awkward. My day-to-day routine and the people I see and talk to more often than any friends or family (weird and depressing thought, huh?) are suddenly not going to be part of my day-to-day life. I will really miss most of my team members both in the US and India, everyone has been incredibly supportive, helpful, and hard working. It's especially awkward to be leaving people behind with the general understanding that I'm leaving to pursue newer and more exciting opportunities and yet they will be left behind with the same old challenges. Everyone has their own unique situation, but in some cases, many of the reasons that I'm moving for also apply to my team members, but I can't just outright say that.

Here are some other random observations:

  • Saying goodbye to team members you've worked with for 5+ years over the phone and/or video conferencing because they are thousands of miles away in India really sucks. Super impersonal and cold
  • One takes for granted what they know until you start to do knowledge transfer and you realize what others may not know. Ouch
  • Being a "lame duck" manager isn't so much fun as suddenly you can't make the decisions that you are used to making on a day-to-day basis
  • Over the past five years I've probably spent about $5+ million of my firm's money in the large projects I've delivered
  • Transitioning away from being a Subject Matter Expert and a "go to" guy for answers to being the new guy that knows nothing will be a really humbling experience that I've already started to mentally prepare for
  • My new job will be the first job I've ever started where I go into the job having a key set of competencies/skills that I will be expected to know from Day 1 and not just learn on the job.  Let's hope my assessment of these skills matches the expectations of my new employer

Eye-opening US Unemployment Graphs

Here are some really interesting charts showing the breakdown of unemployment, courtesy of Planet Money.  Those with a college degree have unemployment of <5%.  Those without a high school degree are around 15%.  Those age 20-24 are at 15% unemployment, everyone older is about half that.




















Check out the full list of charts here

Cold, hard realities

"Without the distortion of a credit bubble, it is clear that far too many Americans don't know how to do anything that the world is willing to pay them a living wage for.  No economic theory offers them easy salvation." Adam Davidson, the creator of one of my favorite podcasts, NPR's Planet Money, is pretty blunt in his assessment of the US economy and I couldn't agree more.  Read the full article here: NY times link.  If you haven't checked out Planet Money, you should do so.  They consistently have stories about things that impact your day-to-day life that you've either never thought about or have no idea how/why they work as they do.

Lazy Man's Summary of Adam's article:  No politician is able to create jobs even though they all insist that they can.  "Business-friendly" states such as Texas steal jobs from other states but create very few net jobs for the country.  Subsidizing green industries does nothing other than shift jobs from one industry (oil) to another (such as solar).  Stimulus funds do little unless they are enormously huge (and then they still need to be paid for).  Cutting taxes and regulations may or may not have a long term benefit, but in the short term they simply result in laying off many government workers and not growing the economy (ask Britain).  The best solution:  those without jobs need to learn new skills and move to where the jobs are in the country (Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming).