Archive for the ‘-Not Sorted-’ Category

Being sought instead of seeking

Monday, March 14th, 2011

I’m in a position of unusual strength. Right now, I have in my possession three job offer letters from three small to mid-sized startups here in the Bay Area. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend weighing things out, and I’ll continue to do so for at least the next 24 hours. No matter which one I choose, I’ll be making a new career high in salary. And that’s just as a starting point. Not bad for someone without a college degree, huh?

Maybe this is something I’m going to have to get used to going forward? It could be, but I’ll never take it for granted. As Andrew Grove said, “Only the Paranoid survive.“, and that line of thinking has served me well through the years (professionally speaking, of course).

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the forum…

While my move meant I was likely to be in this position of hunting for new career opportunities, it wasn’t originally going to unfold this way. I had been in talks to work remotely with my last employer for at least my first few months on the west coast — a “soft landing” where I’d still be drawing salary and they’d still be receiving pixels and bracketed code. But at the end of January, business goals changed and three-forths of the workforce got laid off. Guess which side of that fraction I was on?

Strangely enough, being laid off actually helped me this time ’round. Unused vacation time and a decent severance package helped pay for my relocation costs and have made what would have been a more stressful situation less so. And starting with a clean slate here on the west coast just helped me further.

Been through the lows and the highs

This was all in stark contrast to my last job hunt in ’09, where I spent three months after being laid-off frantically getting anyone in the New York market to give me the time of day. It wasn’t anything against me per say, but the economic downturn that kept all the eligible employers sitting on their hands. There were days when I sent out 20 or 30 copies of my resume, all to no response. The afternoon I finally started getting some traction, I think I sent out over 75 copies of my resume. Remember: when all else fails, turn to brute force.

This time, it felt like I barely had time to hit the send button before the phone started ringing and the emails started pouring in. I’ve come to find out that I started looking for work just as the San Francisco market has started to hungrily snap up anyone with halfway decent design skills. Add to the fact that I’m a designer that can code, and I become an even tastier morsel for those companies. It’s nice to be the hunted for once, and not the hunter.

All good things must come to a start

For the most part the hunt this time has been a lot of fun, with the occasional moments of hand wringing thrown in to keep me from feeling like I was dreaming. But the hunt is drawing to a close, and it’s time for me to start earning my keep. My half of the rent for this great new apartment isn’t going to pay itself, and there’s only so long you can stare at the same blank walls before you start getting stir crazy.

Remind me I said all this in two months when I’m trying to find some “free time”.

Sea Changes

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The last time I put pixel to page here, I wrote about change. My words spoke of newfound opportunities, needing to be brave and sizing up what life was giving to me. Then the line went dark for nine and a half months as I put my head down and did the best I could to give life to those words.

Well, let’s just say I jumped on the opportunities, and they’re starting to pay off.

As I write this, I’m sit in the bay window of my new home — an apartment my girlfriend Shannon and I share in San Francisco. We made the move out here over three weeks ago with only her new job and a pull-out couch in our friend Nick’s place as knowns in a vastly swirling sea of variables. I also have two job offer letters in my possession, with one more a near certainty. Not bad, considering January ended for me with the notification that I was being laid off from my job, which all but eliminated my chances at working remotely — even if just for a short time while I made my transition.

Those who have been following along on Facebook and Twitter should have a decent idea of some of the ups and downs, but I plan to go back and share in the outlines with full color details and insights to my life as it was through all this transition, and life as it happens in this new land of opportunity.

Here’s to the adventure!

Moving forward at great velocity

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I’ve been away from the writing for so long, I don’t even think I’m the same person anymore. Once again, my purposes here seem to be at a crossroads, and I’m starting from square one. Fine by me — I could use the excuse to rebrand and refocus.

For certain, my life hasn’t been dull since last I wrote. My work has been satisfying in ways it hasn’t been for years. The skills I ply for my trade of choice have never been sharper, and as I write this I’m on a train to Boston to give them a further tune-up. The majority of my writing these days has been focused in the professional and personal realms, mostly sequestered in the walled gardens of email. And I’ve even managed to add spice to my life where relationships are concerned — slow and steady, but satisfying to a degree I’ve never known before.

I can say with no sense of sarcasm that it’s never been a better time to be me.

Of course, to make all this new Andrew version 3.3 work, some deep changes in old habits and expectations have been made. Old hobbies that were dead on the vine (like the podcast I always expected to get back to “someday”) have been pruned away. Spoiled expectations (such as my decade of 10 am start times my work day) have been brought back to the new reality — I’m an adult. Time to fuckin’ act like one.

I’m generally healthy, mostly happy, and the chance to make the most of all these newfound opportunities is there in front of me. I just have to be brave enough to take it.

The push

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

As I close in on two whole months at Inform, the largest and most visible sign of that work is just days from a public unveiling. The hope is Monday, but I’ve been around my industry long enough to know deadlines usually slip like a dog on a freshly washed floor.

The better part of this week has been a good old-fashioned bug hunt and code cleaning. Its been so long since I had my hands in one of this magnitude that I forgot how rewarding it can feel when you finally best a bug and inch that much closer to the finish line. Of course, that’s usually countered by some persitant pain in the ass bug that won’t die matter how hard you try; usually a cross browser issue. And when you still need to factor in that curmudgeon of web standards know. As IE6…ugh. Here’s hoping this will be the last big project I have to deal with that piece of shit.

I’ve certainly earned my cookie today.

Short, but certainly sweet

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009


Jill and I at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens last spring.

Jill and I at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens last spring.

To my ever-loving girlfriend:

You deemed me “wickedly adorable”, and managed to deal with my special brand of insanity.  You managed to teach me how to smile, and gave me many chances to practice.  You might never realize just how much I grew as a person, all because you came into my life.

There were many ups and downs through the year just past, and there’s certain to be more in the years ahead.  But you managed to keep me steadfast and level headed — a level of comfort I have been missing for quite some time.  I think with you at my side, I might just be able to make it through whatever life throws at me.

Here’s to the best thing to happen to me in a long, long time.

Happy first anniversary, Jill.  I love you.