Archive for April, 2009


For the 2nd time in less than 3 years I find myself being made redundant. The first time was because the office I worked in was being closed down. This time it is part of a “cost saving” exercise, but I believe that the net effect is going to be to close down the software development effort at the office where I worked.

I’m pretty sanguine about it (at the moment) for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, this time round I’m a little more financially secure. The missus is working (albeit part time), I have (some) savings and I’ve got an endowment maturing later in the year. This was meant to be used to pay off some of the capital on the mortgage, but it might have to be “income” for the back end of the year if the job hunting doesn’t go well.

Secondly, I’m starting to look at it as an enforced career changing moment. While you’re in work there’s very little incentive to think about long term plans and goals. If you’re not careful your current job can become a bit of a fur-lined rut.

Having said that though, I’m not sure what I want to do next. Part of the reason for this post is so I set out the options in a clear way – hopefully so I can then make a decision! So what are my options?

1.       Development Manager. Positions like this are very few and far between, but it doesn’t need the technical skills.

2.       Team Lead. There’ll be (a few) more of these roles about, but they’re more likely to be filled by someone already in the business who knows the technologies and has the domain knowledge required.

3.       Senior Developer. Again, relatively more of these should be available, but would require up-to-date skill sets – which I might struggle with if I choose the wrong area. Also, coming from Team Lead/Development Manager might cause awkward questions to be asked and the interviewer might think I’m after their job. Perversely it might cause more problems for the role after this one – “why did you take a step down”. Though with the recession this is easily answered – “I needed a job”.

4.       Contracting. This doesn’t have the potentially awkward questions that a permanent developer role would have. It’s for a fixed term so when (ha!) the economy picks up I’ll be in a better position to get the next permanent role. But it does have the same technical drawbacks as the permanent developer role, and there might be issues if I try to go back to a permanent role later.

Whatever I do might well involve a longer commute. I’m limited to the location I want to work as I don’t want to move house. Why? – well I’m happy in my current house; we haven’t finished renovating it so we wouldn’t get the maximum price for it. Also it would disrupt my kids’ education. The eldest is half way through his ‘A’ levels, the middle one is about to start his GCSEs and the youngest is about to go up to secondary school.

Last time it took nearly 4 months from the redundancy being announced before I found another job, and I’m not expecting things to be any quicker this time. Though I had been looking for a new job for some months prior to that so I could be looking for a while (not a nice thought).

© 2009, Chris. All rights reserved. If you republish this post can you please link back to the original post.


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