I know I shouldn’t be happy to get laid off, but…

My New Cube?
I pointed out back in September that the common thread in your series of bad jobs is – probably – you. I certainly have had my share of troubles with my current client.  I spent a lot of time wishing they would just tell me to hit the road.  Call it the Law of Attraction (be careful what you wish for) or just call it part of the overall economic woes, but my client decided to start jettisoning consultants at the end of November.  I am one of the consultants.  Since I completed all of the work they asked me to do over a month ago, this is not much of a surprise to me.

Too often I think people stuck in bad jobs wait for something like this to happen. They secretly wait for a layoff or something really bad to occur in order to feel justified in quitting.  As a consultant, I didn’t want to irritate a client with some significant contacts in the surprisingly small world of the Manhattan financial service industry.  Yet at the same time I have been hoping, with great intensity, that I would have an excuse to leave.  Now I have it.

I know most people in times like these feel a great deal of anxiety and cling to their jobs (and they should, to a degree). A measure of how much I hated my current client – and to a lesser degree, all of my clients in my semi-crooked industry – is that I did not feel one second of anxiety, or remorse, or worry when I heard my contract would be up.  I felt nothing but joy.  I cheered.  My fellow consultants thought I was nuts.

That was last Friday. Now I’m starting to do my usual between-clients fretting:  making sure the finances are in order (they are), making sure I have some leads out on new clients (I do) and preparing to alter my routine as I do every six months or so.  Every time I have new work ready to go within days; I haven’t gone more than two weeks without working (except by choice).

I am asked all the time by employees of my clients whether I feel exposed or unstable in my position, and I realize more and more with each contracts’ completion that I don’t. I am more confident each time that clients are easy to come by, and the REAL challenge – the one that I should be scared of – is not finding the next client but having the guts and the determination NOT to find another client.

Anyone who is working in a job where they have tension so great that they yell in delight when laid off from that job is probably not working in the right job for them. I may be regretting that joy if I struggle finding new work, but I suspect that if I took another stab at problogging I might do even better.  Knowing it was my only source of income for a while would give me the incentive to work out the logistics.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I keep thinking that maybe there’s some truth to the idea that if you want something badly enough, events will conspire to put that thing in your lap.  It certainly happened to me this time!

photo credit: Todd Baker << technowannabe (loved it!!)