I’ve been with my company for twenty years. For the past fifteen years, I’ve been working remotely in some manner. From 2002-2015, this meant working from a small office in the middle of Iowa. When a decision was made to close that office, my boss gave me the opportunity to work from home. Working from home has been great – I’m a lot more productive outside the hustle and bustle of an office environment. From a personal perspective, I loved not having a commute, and I could even throw a load of towels in the washer in the morning and flip them into the dryer at lunch – freeing up valuable nighttime laundry time for clothes. [Editor’s thought: Trust me, this is more life changing than it actually sounds.]
Alas, all good things must end. My company has decided to consolidate its systems employees into four core locations. My living room is not one of those core locations. That’s probably a good thing, because it would be really crowded if a few thousand people had to work there.
I found out about this in early October. My employment will continue through the end of March. At that point, if I haven’t jumped shipped, I will receive thirty weeks of severance pay. That’s a decent chunk of change, and could actually put me in the awkward situation of attempting to delay the start date of a potential new job to avoid having the choose between the severance and a new job. However, at this point, the focus is on finding a new job. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to go to work in my pajamas any more.
Where to start? I’m 42 years old and my entire work history is with one company. But what are my skills, exactly?
My degrees are in business (Accounting and Marketing), but I’ve had some technical training on the job. Years ago, I developed Visual Basic COM components as part of an application rewrite. More recently, I’ve been a team lead and provided third level support. Not often writing code, but supporting applications and fixing them when things went wrong. And, of course, handling the paperwork that comes with supporting a system – IT inventory, disaster recover plan, and software purchase requests.
I’ve also worked a lot with various business areas within the company. I haven’t been tied to one particular business area, but have interacted with a wide array of subject matter experts. I’m worked with the business areas to gather, refine, and analyze requirements, and I’ve written detailed specs for programmers. Interesting, my wife is a CPA – so even though I haven’t taking any continuing education in accounting, our conversations about accounting topics have prevented my accounting knowledge from atrophying.
After poking around a bit on the internet, it appears that the best fit for this is business analyst. Interesting, my company actually uses the term business analyst to refer to many people who are actually subject matter experts.
So I need to figure out what kind of job I’m looking for, and pursue it. I’ll be writing a series of articles during my journey, touching on topics such as resumes, interviews, career fairs, and networking. I’ll be learning a lot as I travel through this journey, and I hope to prepare some of you who may have a similar adventure in the future.
P.S. – If you’re an employer in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area looking for an experienced business analyst with an expected salary of somewhere in the neighborhood of $95K. let me know :)
[Editor’s Note: Kosmo’s writing here over the years shows that he can handle just about any business career out there. Any company would be lucky to have him on their team.]