Transition Job

Yesterday a big step forward, on many fronts – the transition to what hopefully is the last job working for the man. I officially accepted a new position with a new company…to start in a couple of weeks…this was a very stressful period, finding, interviewing and accepting a job while trying not to reveal my activities on the current…and now comes the official exit and “letter of resignation” process, which hopefully also goes smoothly. Lots to do and prepare for, before officially turning in all the Gov’t and company-issued IDs, laptops, security passwords etc.  It’s a little disconcerting, this being only the 4th time I’ve quit a job in over 22 years of professional service.

I’ll note that a few things needed to be crystal-clear in the negotiation process with leadership and HR at the new company, including:

  • The next vacation would be a paid one, even though the “accrued vacation balance” I’d have would go negative
  • My public-facing title needed to be something very well-understood, recognized and senior enough to benefit professional network-building – and not just a descriptive technical term no one outside of the company understands
  • Need to clearly understand the insurance benefits – small companies usually don’t provide enough for larger families, so supplemental life insurance and medical benefits are usually required
  • Reporting relationships within the company hierarchy are one thing, but actual evaluation responsibilities are another – I needed to make sure my evaluations would be by folks who are actually qualified and helpful to do this, vs. the line manager to whom I’d report
  • Onsite flexibility – upfront, I was very clear that I needed flexibility to come and go, and generally determine with my own professional opinion when and where I needed to be – i.e. no more “facetime” requirements, need to be present onsite during “normal business hours” if unnecessary, and requirement for office presence simply to be physically accessible – I am accessible 24 hrs a day, via modern telework tools..

Gone should be the interminable, useless meetings with 10’s of overpaid contractors and sincere government officials, all wasting another hour kvetching about status, constraints, risks and generally making no progress at all. Gone will be my presence among the shuffling herd of clackers milling about the the downtown government/contractor office and coffeeshop complex, the great “babysitting service” of this region.

While the strategic intent is not to simply now work another job for a long time, this new job is expected to provide much more ROI of my time – providing relevant learning, new relationships, client opportunities and overall much more equity in terms of professional development, experience and reputation all day long, to be applied to the quickly-growing “family business”. No longer will 10-12 hours every day be spent uselessly editing spreadsheets, reading hundreds of emails on which I’m one of 50 cc’s, creating and editing innumerable documents that simply populate the overhead of government compliance and oversight – without actually adding any value at all for the consumers, constituents, end-users or investors.

The new role is at a very small company, less than 100 persons, but one very tuned into and actively present and aware of my primary professional domain and interests moving forward, and is directly relevant and useful for the growth of my own business. A company and group of people I’d be happy to continue to work with (as a partner, subcontractor or otherwise) once the family business evolves enough.

Many items on the “quality of life” checklist are marked off, including:

  • Commute is cut from 90 minutes to 30
  • ID badges are cut from 8 to 1
  • Work laptops are cut from 3 to 1
  • Over 20 ID/passwords to sensitive systems are reduced to probably just 1 or 2
  • Clients, co-workers and professional discipline will now ADD to long-term personal equity, vs. SUBTRACT
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