The end of an era and the prospect of new opportunities

It’s the end of an era…

At the beginning of August, after coming back from vacation, I was advised that my position at IBM was eliminated. I had been with IBM for the last 15 and a half years, through two acquisitions – the longest I have been with any company (as my LinkedIn profile accessible from the side-bar can attest). It has been a roller-coaster ride over the last few years, but I generally enjoyed my time with IBM and, especially with all the great and amazing people I have had the chance to meet.

Since then, I’ve gone through the usual loss stages and I last week I started to actively look for new opportunities. The first thing I noticed is how hard it is to write a résumé when you haven’t had to do one in over 15 years! I’m now thinking that a job search is a full-time job!

This is also a good time to revisit my strength and what I want to do with my career going forward. I still have many things to think about in that regards. I do love technology, so it will definitely still play a role in my future. And perhaps I’ll have more time to blog…

Wish me luck!

Traveling on vacation

I’ve been on vacation for a week now…kinda…

We decided that it was time for the kids to meet my spouse’s extended family, which meant a trip to Turkey (Istanbul to be precise). We have been planning this for close to a year, using airline points to pay for the travel. On the way in, we have experienced, in order, weather delay (Ottawa to Toronto), equipment problems causing a 2 hours delay (Toronto), a kid with air sickness (Toronto to Frankfurt), a missed flight because of earlier delays (Frankfurt), a still sick child (Frankfurt to Istanbul), and one piece of delayed luggage out of four (Istanbul). Of course, with the delays, the youngest’s nap time no longer lined up, so she was very cranky… And finally, we did not manage to reach my father in law in time so he waited for close to five hours at the airport. All in all a good trip…

The other interesting thing was that, as Canadian, I needed to pay a US$60 visa to enter Turkey. I haven’t had to pay for a visa in ages (I think Kuwait was the last one…)! And it is, by far, the most expensive visa to enter Turkey! I wonder, why does Turkey not want Canadian visitors? We are not traditionally dangerous…

I am writing this as I sit in Ankara’s airport. I came here for a day to talk to customers – I get to play evangelist and I get one more day of vacation later. And, most importantly, I get to help our Turkish team with the message that IBM Rational is back in the systems space. However, the account team may not be so sure about my visit, it seems I have brought the bad weather (rain) to Istanbul and that I have done the same to Ankara (snow). I may get a reputation with this…

And that is why I am actually able to create this post: no family obligation and no one to tell me to get off the computer!