On This Street Before

I flip back and forth between employee and consultant. I’ve been working for a long time now and have had a wide array of positions. I’ve been a radioman in submarines, student, test manager, SQA testing, systems analyst, QA manager, project manager, program manager. Some of these were as an employee, some as a consultant.  One of the lessons I learned years ago is that companies have no soul. As organizations they must do what is needed to maintain and grow.  That doesn’t mean the people are careless, just that they have to answer to a non-living entity.  Out of this lesson it was made quite clear that I am the master of my living. Whether that living is as an employee or as a consultant it is the same.

So now I find myself thinking of a “My Fair Lady” song lyric, “I have often walked on the street before…” as a metaphor for looking for my next position, again.  I do like the challenge of change and the opportunity to improve the lives of those I will encounter.  And, I find myself wondering what it would be like to be in one place for a while. Preferably home.

“… but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before.”  I find myself thinking about finding some other way to make a living.  I’ve been working in information technology for over 20 years. I’ve worked in a number of different areas with most of my time in data warehousing, some time in compensation, a lot of time in retail, POS, backend systems and recently in pricing.  It has been interesting and rewarding. But, I’m wondering is there something else I could do.  I love to teach and I’m told I’m pretty good at it. I don’t have any formal education in the field, but have a lot of experience. I’d love to make a living writing, but that takes more time to develop than I have presently available. I’d love to make a living building guitars, but that is amazingly difficult. Maybe be a chef.

Oh well, I think I’ll need to keep the pavement beneath my feet. Perhaps I can forge a new path while trodding the current pavement.

I have been in somber mood this holiday, for the most part. As I contemplate a move after three years in one assignment I find myself not as excited as in the past.  I’m not sure if it’s leaving those who’ve become friends or just the idea of picking up again.  Some of the somber is probably from not knowing where I’m going. It’ll be somewhere in the southeast, centered on Charleston, SC, but that leaves a wide swath from Jacksonville, Fl through Atlanta, Ga, Columbia and upstate SC, and Charlotte, NC.  At least I’ll be able to use y’all.

Such are the dilemmas of a consultant when we need to move on.

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