On the sidelines

Going out to my car the other day, I noticed this coffee mug hanging out on the garage floor. It had fallen off the shelf where I put empty Coke Zero cans and travel mugs when I have fresh beverages to take with me somewhere.

Google Mug

Yep, there it is. One of the more practical bits of corporate schwag I received from Google during the three years I worked with them as the search guy for EarthLink – lying there collecting dust. And I gotta say, that’s how I’ve been feeling about my “career” of late.

I was happy to get laid off last fall – as strange as it sounds, having it happen about a month after my first child was born was great timing. Severance came in handy and things are shaky enough at my former company that I would have been nervous having the wife quit her job to stay at home with the baby.

After the layoff, our plan became for me to stay home with the kid until my wife was done with some major projects at work. Then we would switch roles and I would go back to work. My window to go back opened about June 1, so I’ve been actively looking around for not quite two months now. I don’t like what I’m finding.

As my buddy Dave and I were discussing the other day, it’s not that there aren’t jobs available in Atlanta – just not interesting ones. Actually, I imagine there are some interesting jobs out there, but I’m not in a position to find them right now. I can manage to do interviews during the day, but networking and the like is really difficult to do with a 10-month-old tagging along.

In the best of times, Atlanta isn’t a bad market for interesting new media things. In not-so-great times, it’s not so great. The best leads and casual but serious offers from former colleagues have all come from the west coast. But as much as I enjoyed spending time in L.A. and the Valley at my old job, moving there just isn’t going to happen now. It was highly unlikely before I had a child – and just isn’t going to happen now. As I told one recruiter from the Valley; I like being married, and my wife and kid wouldn’t come with me to California even if I wanted to move.

Something will come along, I’m sure. But it’s different now that I’m actively looking – I’ve started to feel like that coffee mug collecting dust. I thrive on the challenge of new things. I get that with my little sideline bits like EAV Buzz, but in the best weeks I might get 20 hours to devote to the “professional” projects I do for fun and to stay sharp. And I ramble on about Yahoo and things to just keep my product brain healthy.

Keeping perspective is the hardest thing – what I’ve done is best for my daughter and it shows in her development. She is the “product” I’m “managing” right now, and we’ve had a successful launch. Maybe if I put together a PowerPoint showing her progress I’ve feel more “in the game”.

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3 Responses to “On the sidelines”

  1. Matt says:

    I doubt you’re looking to move to Birmingham either, but we’re hiring at al.com for two positions.


  2. Smoove D says:

    Don’t forget to use the words “leverage” and “synergy” several times in that Powerpoint.

  3. TCL says:

    I feel for you, brother. Sounds, not surprisingly, like you have the right perspective, though.

    I’ll bet not many people have a Google swag mug and a hoe sitting next to each other in the garage.

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