Pounding Pavement

Most of my friends and family have heard by now, and even though I don't think I'm supposed to say anything, I really don't care at this point.

My company is laying me off. They're restructuring the IT group and they just don't have spots for me and my coworker of almost 7 years. So now I have to, for the first time in a long, long time, look for a job.

The last time I looked for a job, I was in Colorado. It was 1996 and I had just stopped going to school so I could pay for my apartment and car. I got a job through a temp agency with TCI Cable. They had new cable boxes and need people to test their functionality. I watched TV for 10 hours a day for 2 months. When that stint was up, I stayed on with TCI and worked at their HQ. I started helping security with the parking garage and the key cards, then moved to archives.

Then I met Mrs. A and moved to Texas. I was able to transfer my employment with TCI and worked at a phone center in Houston. My brother in law told me of an opening with his company. I interviewed for the News Reader position and got the job. After the company went under, I was kept on as office support under the new company. After a time, a few people I knew, including my brother in law, moved to Austin to start at a rival company. Eventually, I was offered a job there as well (over ICQ) and so I moved to Austin.

While in Austin, I worked at a company that changed its name, then was bought, then sold again. Now I'm working with remnants of that original crew from 1999. Once November hits and I leave, and February hits and my coworker leaves, there will be only one person left who original worked on the software from almost 7 years ago.

Now, for the first time in 9 years, I have to actually send out resumes, make phone calls, send emails and call in favors. Even though I've technically worked for 7 companies in that time, I've only ever had to update my resume once, and that was for an internal opportunity that was pretty much a lock.

So, I have to find a new job. It sucks. It sucks bad. I have 2 little kids, and a brand new house. Mrs. A hates her job and has been looking to leave it. Her wedding photo business is doing well and is accounting for about half or more of what she brings home. But no matter what job I get, we're going to suffer a pay cut. I won't say I was overpaid for what I did, but I came to work every day and did my best full of the knowledge that it was all temporary. At some point, someone would say, "Holy shit we're paying this guy a lot."

And I think that's what it came down to. I don't want to go into specifics, or name names or anything like that. It's just business and they needed to do what they did, and now I need to do what I need to do; find a new job.

So to start, I'm looking for graphic design jobs. I've seen ten or twelve in Austin and I've sent resumes, but no bites yet. I will eventually go back to finding work in my field, with my skill set, then anything technical, then anything at all. In the end I'll probably be able to collect unemployment, so I won't be totally lost.

I mentioned something to my friend here at work. I said, "Keep in mind, there's several thousand people now in Austin from NOLA. They're all looking for jobs too." She said she hadn't even thought of that.

Not all doom and gloom, we'll be fine. I've got friends in several companies that I can find if they've got work, so it'll be ok. Some people have said this is the best thing that could happen. I'll be so happy when I get out of here and into a new job. I have to disagree with that. I know their intentions were true and they're just trying to be positive, but honestly, the best thing that could have happened was a raise and then some training. The worst thing is that my house and job were in New Orleans. I'm somewhere in between, I'll let you figure it out.

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