I may have set my self up with that title, implying that I will have more thoughts later on in this process. Likely but not guaranteed.
It is now a little more than 3 weeks since I was let go from Food52. While I very much appreciate the advice I got from friends to take a break and rest before I jumped into a job search, that is not who I am. My anxieties would not let me sit in a state of unemployment without trying to make some progress towards finding a new job. It has become clear that I, like I am sure many, define a large part of their being based on their career. While I have not enjoyed the emotional rollercoaster of self worth, it is a good lesson to learn. I look forward to the day when I can retire and I need to make myself ready to define myself through the activities I love that are not my career.
While I wanted to start making progress I did not want to open the floodgates right away, so I have a roadmap of sorts for the finding roles that I could be interested in and apply for them:
- Share my situation with my network and see if anyone has any openings
- Find companies that I respect and look for openings there
- Reach out to recruiters that have contacted me in the past with interesting roles
- Mark myself as “available for work” on LinkedIn
At this point I am still in phases 1 & 2 which pretty much happened simultaneously. My network included friends, former coworkers, and the job boards on a few Slacks that I am a member of. I was not surprised to get compassion and positive feedback from my friends and former coworkers, but what did surprise me was the response from the various Slack communities I am a part of. While I participate in these groups, I am not very active an some of them are huge so I had not been expecting the reception my message got.
I was overwhelmed by the positive and supportive response from these communities. I had numerous people reach out with ideas and several with specific opportunities that they encouraged me to apply for. People were willing to schedule calls to talk about roles and give their time to help me, basically a stranger. This was truly touching and I can’t give my thanks enough.
A choice I have to make in my process is about the size of the company I want to work in. A criticism I had of my time at Food52 was that as the senior-most engineer I did not have a community to work with nor did I have a clear path of growth. I am finding in the roles that I apply to that I have a choice of looking at larger organizations that could bring with them a community of Staff+ engineers to work with. And that idea is very tempting. The other side is to look at the smaller companies and know that I could have a large influence on them in a broad set of topics. I am not ruling either out but it is interesting to me that the difference has been rather stark in the companies I talk with.
So at this point I am in later stages with a couple of opportunities that I am pretty excited about. My hope is that I do not have to advance to stages 3 and beyond, but I should know more in the coming weeks.