Monday, May 23, 2005

I Become Unemployed (What, Again?)

For the moment, I just want to think of it as being returned to Freelance Availability(TM).

So, for the past few months, work has been drying up at my regular gig - a web design company called True North Media. The big project I was working on was completed, another mid-sized project started and then stopped, and a lot of work suddenly went from "We need it now" to "We're thinking if we really want to do this or not". This is the nature of the beast in web design, with alternating cycles of feast and famine.

In this case, the famine was deeper than expected. On Thursday I was let go. I had been working half-days for a while, making up the rest with small freelance opportunities. With regrets from all involved, I was laid off.

Now, I "saw this coming" in the same way as you sees your eventual demise coming - it's understood on some basic level but still a bit of a shock when the grim reaper appears at your bedside. We've been a small and nimble company and usually came up with something. This time we were just caught short.

And it was a bit of shock because I had truly enjoyed working there in terms of challenges, environment, and personalities. The work (when it was there) was interesting and fun, and had the added value of allowing me to do things I had never done before, like organizing and producing a CD-ROM for a new toy line. The environment was ideal for me, in that even when the work slowed, I still had an office environment, and a management that was cool on freelance work (though I have done well as freelancer, I really like the personal interaction and structure of an organization). And the people were, quite frankly, a great gang, and it was fun working with them.

So, what now? Well Thursday night I cleaned up the office and Friday morning I wrapped up the hand-offs of my (few) current projects and backed up my files. Friday afternoon I called my folks with the bad news (always the hardest thing). and then went to see Sahara with Kate (a wonderful bad movie which I highly recommend). Friday night went for a walk around Green Lake and had dinner with Monkey King and Shelly. Saturday I pretty much crashed, and Sunday I started back in on some outstanding freelance work. And started telling people in the rest of the world that I was back on the market (after such a long time in the business, I keep my resume updated at all times).

And on to Monday. Finished one project in the morning, mowed the lawn in the afternoon, and now I'm working on hitting a milestone on a second project tonight. I'm making the transfer back to the "outside world". I have a cup of tea on the desk (I tend to drink soda when I'm in the office) and have the local jazz station in the background (I tend to not have music in the office). I've got a couple leads and a strong desire to find a regular gig in the near future.

We'll see what happens next. Onward,