Towards the end of last year I had a funny feeling. Tech companies were laying off staff at a rapid rate and in numbers. And as I was watching all of this go down, I started to feel uneasy.
I’ve always been entrepreneurial and independently minded. Except over the past few years, that changed. Maybe it was having more responsibility with 3 kids or maybe it was that I was just being lazy. The steady pay cheque was convenient and anything more ambitious would take risk and be a mammoth effort.
I did try break away during Covid. I bought a WordPress plugin business and built a small SAAS offering. It was to be my ticket to freedom. But all that became overwhelming alongside an already busy schedule, and I ended up selling. After all, the steady pay cheque was safer right?
The problem with the pay cheque though was even though the money was good, the work I was doing was not. Don’t get me wrong, I worked on some interesting projects over the past 7 years at my previous organisation and every now and then I would really enjoy what I was doing. But there are only so many celebrity gossip websites you can work on before you go insane.
The work I was doing was not aligned to many of my interests. And I was expected to put in 7 hour days (billing by the second with a start/stop timer). The pressure of that bloody timer was heavy. But I justified the contract because the money was good. Never mind my sanity, the bank balance was healthy. I burnt out 3 times that I remember.
And then came the calendar invite on the 15th of December. The very day that I started at this organisation, 7 years ago. I was on the way to the Kruger Park for a break from it all. “Contract discussion” was the title of the meeting. Deep down I knew what was about to go down. Part of me didn’t want to believe it though. I was knee-deep on an important project and had worked extremely hard on it. In fact as the invite came in, I was already on leave but I was in a coffee shop on the way to the Kruger Park doing a site migration. I had given a lot to this organisation, for so many years. Surely I was appreciated and anyway, as I was constantly reminded, I was a highly valued team member.
It turned out, I would be one of a number of people losing their contracts a week before Christmas. After a lot of anger, resentment and uncertainty, I came to terms with what had happened.
The truth is, I should have left this organisation a long time ago for many different reasons. Would I have left if I was not let go? It’s unlikely. So being let go was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to re-evaluate my career and priorities.
It’s now 8 months later. Things moved fast and I’m currently working with a new organisation that is incredible and aligns very well with my values and the way that I like to work.
And I’m enjoying software again, something that I almost gave up at the end of last year. I’m also working on my next side hustle. An exciting product for WooCommerce store owners that I hope to launch an MVP of later this year.
Things are looking up.