It has now officially been over one year since I was laid off from PacketVideo. It’s been a very long and emotionally emasculating year. What follows are my thoughts on my situation, the industry in general, and where I go from here.
Like many IT professionals, I find myself gainfully unemployed at the moment. Well, that’s not entirely true; I have a temp job doing data entry for a health care company. It is mind-numbingly boring, but it brings in enough money to help keep food on the table and a roof over my head. Over the past year, people have frequently asked me “Do you think the economy will recover” or other similar questions. I have tried to put the best face on the situation, but optimism has never been my forte.
Let’s face it; the IT economy will never be at the level it was before the “bubble burst”. As an industry, IT is facing the same migration of work that manufacturing and other industries have previously seen. IT jobs are flowing to India and other developing nations as they are providing workers that will do the job cheaper than US employees will. That is how capitalism works; get the job done as cheaply as possible in order to maximize profit. While people can have a jingoistic attitude toward capitalism, capitalism will only be loyal to the person that can “show me the money”.
But I do not begrudge anyone of this fact. It is the nature of the beast, an inevitability. So, where does this leave me? For the past year, I have applied to numerous companies yet have had few interviews; this too is not surprising as the number of candidates for any position is astronomical. There are a lot of bright people out there as well as a lot of paper tigers. Throughout this year, I have felt more like a paper tiger.
I know I am a bright individual; by no means am I a genius or the most skilled person out there. But I am smart and can do the job well; I learn things quickly and have done well in every job I have had. Yet day after day, rejection after rejection, I feel like my skills amount to a handful of dust minus the fear. There are no regrets looking back on my career path. I have taken jobs that have interested me and have learned a lot from each one.
Here I stand at a crossroad; do continue in my chosen field, or do I take another path? I do not have the answer at the moment, but that is the one good thing about unemployment. It gives you plenty of time to think.