I’ve worked from home since the late 90s. When IBM made me go in a few years back to replace my badge, I joked that the next time I would need it was when it was time for me to turned it in.
Well, I was close. I used it for the first time yesterday to go to a seminar describing what options are available to those like me who are part of an IBM Resource Action ("RA"). Which is IBM’s way of saying that my job no longer exists, and I have until June 29th to find another job within IBM or I will be offered a modest severance package, and can pick from an array of options varying from helping me find a new job, connecting me with a non-profit organization, and retraining.
TL;DR: I’m fine, nothing has changed. I’m already working with a non-profit, namely the Apache Software Foundation, and find my work there to be very rewarding.
And, by the way, the key advice from the seminar is to network. That happens to be something that I’m fairly good at.
In fact, now that I’ve told my family, my book editor, many people within IBM, and several hundred of my closest friends at the ASF — many of which want to spread the word and help me out — the inescapable conclusion is that I can’t tell all of these people without the word getting out. So I might as well do it myself, in order to ensure that everybody gets the correct message.
For starters, the most likely outcome is that I’m going to simply retire. My wife and I have planned for this for several years. This may be the nudge that was needed to make it happen. And like many retirees, I will donate my time to work for a non-profit. I’m just ahead of the curve as I am already doing that.
The second most likely outcome is that I will find an equivalent job within IBM. By equivalent, I mean an opportunity that lets me work full time on open source and open standards in general; and in particular lets me devote the time I feel necessary to the role of ASF President. I would need to feel comfortable about that before accepting, as retiring later would mean that I would have lost the opportunity for the severance package. The good news for those who are predisposed to root for this option is that that job has already been identified, and the management team there is working through what it takes to make it happen. There is no guarantee that they will get HR approval, however, which is why this is listed as the second most likely outcome rather than the first.
And finally, the third most likely outcome is that I take a job outside of IBM. I have a number of people saying that they will shop my résumé around. Based on these requests, I have now produced one. I am not looking for a headhunter, but if somebody feels that they have a perfect opportunity for me, I am willing to listen.
Again, whatever happens, I’m fine and nothing has changed.