The strangest part of my employment transition isn’t my new environment – it’s getting other people to accept my transition.
Why This Still Isn’t the Last Post
The last post will be issued somewhere before the end of November. I have one last commitment to keep and my post will revolve around that commitment. It’s something of interest to the industry and I’m pleased to have been asked to participate in it. I had gotten involved with it before I was offered my current position. Then, my employers were kind-enough to allow me to see it through. More on that another time.
I’m bringing this up because people have had all types of questions about what the last post would be about. Some even wrote to ask me to write about specific topics. However, no, I won’t be writing about topics upon your requests. I have already selected my final topic and you’ll see it when you see it, basically.
No, Not Accepting New Customers
No, I’m serious – I’m not accepting new customers. If you saw the home page of this web-site, that’s what it says. Not only did I promise my new employers I would close-down my business once a few final commitments were handled, but I don’t have time to keep running my business.
What’s a bit funny to me is that a lot of the larger businesses sneer at us smaller businesses. They don’t understand the work it takes. That, in addition to all the different types of knowledge you have to have to stay in business. I agree it’s not the same as running an entire department at one of the huge companies. But I would also say that being able to understand budgets, marketing, strategy, and other issues at some level are more valuable skills for a wide variety of jobs than a lot of people seem to realize.
No, I Really Can’t Do Work on the Side
As a fairly regular occurrence, one person or another will suggest to me that I could still do some work on the side. No, I can’t. I’m not getting a new business license when I move to Illinois, for starters. Secondly, I canceled all my business insurance. Even if both of those weren’t true, I just don’t have the time. Also, my current employer might frown upon it.
I was just talking to an industry friend about this how even simply maintaining this blog is too time-consuming for me. That’s the case even without writing anything and with using a platform such as WordPress. There are just a lot of maintenance details to handle that I am looking forward to getting rid of in the near future.
The Things That I Don’t Miss
After doing the same things for so long, I almost don’t know where to start about the list of things I don’t miss.
Let me start with the blog. The impression I’ve gotten from a number of readers is that they don’t believe that I won’t miss writing this blog. Seriously, I don’t miss it at all. It really was just a part of running my business. And, while I tried my best to provide something valuable to read, it was just part of my job. (However, I did enjoy the people I met as a result of writing this blog. That is something that I actually will miss!)
I don’t miss spending inordinate amounts of time in LinkedIn. I don’t miss the LabWare LIMS / ELN, the SampleManager LIMS / LES, etc… Being the expert in systems like these just isn’t that interesting. This is especially true when, like me, you’ve worked in most of the industries and functions that these systems are applied to. Even consider the systems I’ve used limited times, such as the Labvantage system. Even they are only as interesting as the project I’m working on. Each system has slight variations. Even then, after you’ve worked with a number of them, they start to look a lot more alike than you might think.
The bottom line is that, for me, the systems don’t make projects interesting – people and their processes make the projects interesting. Software isn’t that hard to learn. It’s been my job for a long time and it’s a skill you learn like many other skills. People who haven’t done this think it’s impossible. It’s not. Figuring out the people and what they’re doing – that’s the challenge.
Comments on Strange Numbers
In considering shutting down my business, I thought about the fact that my readership numbers seemed strong, for whatever that’s worth. You know that I take all these numbers with a grain of salt. But I realized I was satisfied walking away from them – in leaving on a high note. I think I did mention this in a previous post.
In announcing I was moving on, suddenly, yet more people were interested in linking with me. More people have read my past blog and LinkedIn posts. More people have joined this blog than in the same amount of time beforehand Of course, part of that could be that they realize they have to read anything they’re interested in before it goes away, so that could be a big reason behind the bump in the numbers.
First of all, I do find it a little surreal that I just show up to work, my boss might assign me some things to do, I probably actually do them and, just by magic money shows up in my bank account. Seriously, this is the best deal ever! As much as I loved invoicing and collecting the money (I seriously loved that part!), it’s nice to have someone else take care of it for me.
Past that, every day, it seems as if there’s some other unexpected perk that I’d never have even thought about.
But one thing I do also seriously like has to do with talking to friends and family. Except for the few consumer products I’ve worked with, over the years, when friends and family asked me about my latest customer, and I then told them, they’d say, “Who?” In later years, I think they stopped asking. They had no idea who any of the companies were or what they did. Now, I’m truly shocked how many people know my employer and then respond with things like, “You’re so lucky” or “They’re awesome” or “What a great company” or some other such enthusiastic reply. That’s not the response I used to get when I worked for some of our industry’s services groups. However, some of the words people would use to describe them would put this blog into a different rating category so I won’t include the comments, here.
In any case, if you’re about to ask me if they’re all that great, well, it’s hard to say. They actually might be that terrific but remember that I’m still new. I’m still figuring it all out. But I’ll admit it’s nice to work for a company that people both recognize and don’t hate.
And, of course, just to make this as clear as possible, this blog is unrelated to my new job, does not in any way speak for them. In addition, if you’re offended by anything I just wrote, please direct the heat my way because they really weren’t involved in any way, shape or form. 😉