Thursday, February 02, 2017


On January 19th, 2017 my position with Oracle Corporation was eliminated.  This marked the end of a 19 year journey that started with a tie and a one page resume on the library manufacturing floor, through product design and development, program management, business analysis and finally software security and software reliability.

I knew there were deep cuts coming, but I had survived the layoffs to date that shrunk the organization from over 1000 people to under 400.  I started cleaning up my resume and my office in advance, as I had a bad feeling about this one.  The coup de grace was uneventful and took all of 10 minutes.  I got to the office at 8:00 AM, met with my manager at 8:30 AM and was out the door for good by 9:00 AM.

Then the self doubt, negative self talk and overall feeling of despair settled in.  I had cleaned up my resume, reached out to folks on LinkedIn and even knew of a job fair the next day.  I was mentally split between finding work as soon as possible, finding work in my field, and trying to find my dream job.  That mystical unicorn of what I am good at, what to I enjoy and what are people willing to pay me for.

I looked into industries to follow my passions:  Life sciences, biotechnology, financial analysis, and manufacturing.  I have been leery of getting back into tech or grabbing at program manager jobs.

Before I met my wife, I had a short list of criteria - family oriented, healthy lifestyle, good with money, good relationship with parents, has hobbies, and a few others.  I have recently started putting together the same list for future employment:

200-10,000 people
Has vision and mission statement
Make a difference in people's lives
Data driven organization
Opportunity exists for learning and career growth
Senior leadership is onsite/visible
Position involves problem solving, research, collecting/analyzing data

Notably absent was a minimum salary, specific industry or job title.  I want a career for the next 20 years.  I enjoyed the people I worked with at Oracle, but slowly lost the magic that existed at StorageTek and less so at Sun Microsystems.

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support over my situation.  Friends, neighbors, colleagues have all reached out and have been willing to help in anyway possible.  My wife is leveraging all of her connections and I even have a phone interview set up for next week.  The shame and stigma I expected from being unemployed is non-existent.  Folks want to know how I am doing and is there anything they can do to help.

I am exactly 2 weeks post job and my days are very different

7-8 AM - get kids breakfast and off to school
8-10 AM - job hunt, e-mail, etc.
10-11 AM - television
11-12 PM - exercise
12-1 PM - lunch
1-2 PM - television
2-3 PM - clean house
3-5 PM - pick up kids, monitor homework, piano lessons
5-7 PM - prep dinner, eat, hang out
7-9 PM - family time
9-11 PM - a little more job hunting, obsessing over situation, and television

It is amazing how fast the day goes.  When there are errands to run it gets downright hectic to manage groceries, library, shopping, etc.  I can definitely see how stay at home parents do not get bored.

Here's to the next great thing!


Bob the runner said...

Hey Steve. Sorry you were on the short list. Sounds like you have a good approach for the way forward. Hopefully you can find something better. I saw you on your bike the other day but was driving by so couldn't stop and shout at you. Hang in there and see ya soon I hope. Bob

Sanjiv Gupta said...

Thanks. I have been on the bike a lot more and have been getting to the gym for weights also. Maybe I will see you at the club meeting in a couple of weeks.

Philip Wang said...

Hey Steve, sorry to hear about this. Glad to hear you're being positive about everything and have some stuff lined up already. I'm not super connected or anything, but please feel free to reach out to me if anything pops up that is in my LinkedIn network!