One year as a contractor, and later 5+ years as a permanent employee for the large financial services company, and I’m out again. This time with a severance, highly relevant skills, a lot of glowing references, savings, a hot job market…so I’m fine. My last day is Thursday, August 31.

I was actually notified of this 10 months ago. Having such a large lead time made it great to plan ahead financially, but it messed with my mind and mood much more than I would have guessed. On the other hand, during that time I found unexpected skill and satisfaction in teaching and mentoring others while transferring my responsibilities.

If I was asked a year ago if I was a good teacher, I would have emphatically said “no.” I’ve always tried to share my work / work out loud / work in public, but in the past when I’ve to directly transfer knowledge, I’d dump my brain and think I did well, but often later I’d find out the learner didn’t absorb anything and was just nodding along conversationally. So I’m not sure how or when that changed, but I think it must be micro lessons over time as I documented, shared, and blogged my work I might have picked up when people “got it” and when they weren’t paying attention. Or maybe I’m in The Matrix and someone accidentally uploaded teaching to my simulation.

The obvious move for me is to move straight into another devops/cloud job with a big company, but I’m going to take at least a month or two off, smell some roses, see some sights, and perhaps dip my toes into the IT consulting business. I have technical skills but no business plan, customers, nor experience in running a business, so I’m pretty much guaranteed to fail. And that’s ok. I can go back to a real job in 2018 if I need to.