My employer and I are parting ways after nine and a half years together. It is an amicable separation, and I wish the [unnamed] technology corporation, and especially my soon-to-be coworkers the very best. I am happy that the severance package is reasonably generous.
I feel a bit bad for my coworkers because they still face the same aggressive schedules but with about 30 fewer engineers. However, the company is actively working to reduce headcount, and those left behind almost always bear greater burdens on their lives. Sixty-hour weeks are not uncommon in the tech industry, and over the years I’ve endured the occasional 100-hour week. When that happens, breakfast, lunch, and dinner is brought in because there is no time to eat otherwise.
There was a time when I didn’t mind fifty- and sixty-hour weeks. But that was when everything was new, exciting, and fun. That was when I worked at the “old HP”, where almost anything was possible. In the beginning I learned something new almost daily, and I love learning.
Here is why this “job separation” feels like a good thing:
- Severance pay is a nice perk.
- I believe my best talents are wasted in my current role.
- There is virtually nothing for me to learn in my current role.
- The is little chance of me moving to a significantly different role (within the corporation).
- I will never get rich working for a large corporation, unless I build it myself.
- Going to work feels like stepping into the Matrix.
- True creativity is treated like the flu… people avoid it as much as possible.
- I am willing to bet on myself and my talents!
I am passionate about creativity and I have largely refused to drink the corporate Kool-Aid. Pretending to be a Kool-Aid drinker is extremely taxing, and feels disingenuous.
Creativity is more habit than raw talent. Creativity can be exercised and developed, or it can be quashed and stifled. Creativity is dangerous to boring people and their boring jobs. In contrast, creativity is energizing to interesting and open-minded people.
I prefer to use my energy to improve the world in my own unique way, and with my own unique, somewhat flamboyant style. I can relate from repeated managerial feedback that my style is not appreciated by former employer. My style is friendly, lively, and centered around humor with a touch of sarcasm. Liveliness, humor, and particularly sarcasm are not appreciated in my former corporate realm. What passes for humor is so sanitized that any pre-existing wit is sublimed into the corporate HEPA filter of political correctness, anxiety, self-censorship and banality. That culture is one reason this [unamed] corporation’s advertisements are so uninspired.
I am managing my own company now. It is a start-up, and it is my passion. It is being built around disruptive technology — technology that will make waves in the world of investing. Technology that few will understand, but which produces results that almost anyone can appreciate. The culture of this new company will be based on a simple idea — be bold.