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So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Farewell BaseballFarewell Baseball

Today was my last day at work. I start a new job Monday.

I've worked at the job I'm leaving for about twelve and a half years. It was my first job out of college. I worked there from 1996-1999, then took a break to work for a startup for three years. In 2002, I was thrilled to be able to return to the job I left, and I've been working there ever since.

Changing jobs was a very difficult decision, primarily due to the fantastic team of people I am leaving behind now. Several of the people still working there were working there when I first started in 1996. Such longevity is extremely unusual in the software development industry. These people are more than my coworkers, they are like family. My time at the job has been highly rewarding, and I hope to be able to work with each of the people on the team again at some point.

It was difficult to make the decision to leave, but it was time to go. Over the past several years, the company has been shifting strategies with how they produce the software that I wrote for them. The more things shifted, the more obvious it became that there was not going to be a good long-term fit for me going forward. I started looking for another job, and things actually fell into place pretty quickly.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had some great conversations with people at the old job, including several levels up the management chain. Everyone seemed interested in hearing what I had to say about how I'm seeing things change on our team, and what can be done to help ensure the future success of the team. I hope that the team continues to thrive. Who knows -- if things at the company shift back to create an environment similar to the environment there was two years ago, I'd welcome the opportunity to work with my team again.

I'm really excited about the new job. I'll be writing software that the company sells, instead of software that is used internally. I haven't done that since the startup I worked at. It's different when you write software that the business is built around than when you write software that plays a supporting role. The new company also uses a semi-agile methodology, which will be a welcome change (and challenge) from the semi-waterfall methodology that I've worked in my entire professional career. I've been reading a lot about agile lately to help prepare.

The new job is not going to be without its drawbacks, to be sure. Notably, my commute is going to change from about seven minutes to an hour fifteen or more. I'm not going to be able to meet yarbiedoll for lunch anymore. I already told my ticket rep with the Grasshoppers that I won't be renewing my season ticket for baseball next year. I've dropped off the committee I was on at church. I'm sticking with the praise band, but pretty much everything else I was committed to that takes time, I've cut back. I'll be listening to a lot of podcasts on my commute. It's definitely going to be a different mindset, with the new commute.

As I finished out my final days at the old job, many of my coworkers came by to wish me well. I'm definitely going to miss that team. On the flip side, I'm looking forward to getting to know my new team.

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Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
kittles
Oct. 29th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
It is unfathomable to me that someone could stay at the same job that long. My longest job to date is my current one - at just over 5 years. And the 15 more I'm slated to stay there seems sooooo long. It's a credit to that company that it kept you happy for that many years. Good luck with the new place!

For podcasts I recommend Renewing Your Mind, Coverville, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Morning Stream (host of Coverville is on there, plus Scott Johnson is just hilarious), This American Life, The Moth, and WNYC's Radiolab.

drmellow
Oct. 29th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was really hoping I'd be able to retire from my old job. *shrug*

I've listened to Renewing Your Mind from time to time, might make it a regular again. I already listen to Coverville. I go hot and cold with Dave Ramsey, so we'll see about that. I'll probably pick up The Morning Stream -- a coworker loves it. I might pick up This American Life, I usually enjoy it when I catch it on the radio. I've been meaning to pick up The Moth for a while -- one of my friends has told stories there before. Don't know anything about Radiolab, will check into it.

What I already have in my podcast queue: Acmecast (local comic book store), ESPN: Baseball Today, Filmspotting, The Java Posse, Key Life with Steve Brown (same genre as Renewing Your Mind), Onion Radio News, Podcacher (geocaching), The Roadhouse (*awesome* blues podcast). I can listen to podcasts during the day when I'm working, but it's been hard to keep up with all of those. Right now, e.g., I have a 1.4 day backlog of podcasts I haven't listened to.

Thanks for the suggestions!
kittles
Oct. 29th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Radiolab and the Moth are both like different types of This American Life style storytelling. I love stories.

If you like movie podcasts, Scott Johnson also does one called Filmsack, although I haven't listened to that one.

I have tons I haven't listened to also - I listen to crossfit and paleo nutrition podcasts and they get backlogged a lot. :)
drmellow
Oct. 29th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)

My same buddy who listens to Morning Stream also recommends Filmsack. ;)

captain_phil
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
Good Luck with the new job.
drmellow
Oct. 29th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

meep
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
Hey my brother with the equally long commute!

Good luck at the new job!
drmellow
Oct. 29th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
WooHoo! I had a lengthy commute when I was in college, co-oping in the DC area. The length of that commute is a big reason I didn't even consider looking for work in DC when I got out of college. Promised myself I'd never do that again.

So much for my promise. But things are different now. Back then, I was a slave to terrestrial radio and cassettes. Now, I've got CDs, MP3s, podcasts, even satellite radio is an option. In addition to the podcasts, I've already lined up a series of educational MP3s, and I'm looking forward to being able to use my commute time to help expand my mind.
meep
Oct. 29th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
So how do you play MP3s in your vehicle?

I really need something like that. I've got a buttload of podcasts in iTunes that I'm not playing b/c I'm in the van as opposed to the train.
drmellow
Oct. 29th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)

If your vehicle has line in for audio, a m-m cable. Mine doesn't, so I picked up a short range FM transmitter for about $50. Tried it out today and it seems to work fine.

prester_scott
Oct. 30th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
I hope the salary raise is commensurate with the cost and hassle of that long of a commute.
drmellow
Oct. 30th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
No, I'm taking a pay cut. Salary is the same, but bonus drops 4%. Other benefits are similar. Obviously, my commute expenses skyrocket, making the effective pay cut much larger than the drop in bonus.
prester_scott
Oct. 30th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
"It wasn't a good long-term fit" was a good enough reason to offset that pay cut?
drmellow
Oct. 30th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, very much so.

I might write more later in a protected entry. In the mean time, refer to the protected entry I made in June for a glimpse of some of the difficulties I've been dealing with for a few years.

I'd have loved to have received a raise with this career move. I'd have especially loved it if the new company were in my town, instead of down the road. But money isn't everything, and I make enough for us to be comfortable. We'll have to tighten our belts a bit, but I'm sure we'll be fine with the new work situation. I know it's going to be a much, much better fit for my skills, career objectives, and general workplace happiness. I'll be re-evaluating the whole situation in the spring, when I get my first formal review with the new company. That should be enough time for the shiny of the new job to have worn off and allow me the chance to think about it "for real."
asqmh
Oct. 30th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
Man. I missed tons being away from LJ.

While I know that moving on has got to be hard, I'm glad that it seems you're transitioning into a positive place.

I hope the best for you.
drmellow
Oct. 30th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
If by "missing tons," you're implying not reading about my career stuff, you haven't missed anything. Before a few days ago, I've been very absent from posting/commenting on LJ for years (I've faithfully read the whole time).

I definitely think that the move is positive. Check back in a few months and see if I'm still singing the same tune. ;-)

Thanks!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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