Getting Laid Off

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One week ago I got a call from my manager at IBM. He told me that I am on the list to be laid off as of June 11.

This is the second time in my 12 year career with IBM that this has happened to me. These lay offs come when the business slows down and it appears to me that people are chosen based on their being on the bench. IBM will disagree with me on this, but I've seen it happen multiple times and I have seen some VERY talented individuals get hit by this very thing in the past, often developers who were far more talented than I who on the same team as me, but when it came down, I was on a project and they were not. This particular lay off hit several people within IBM Global Services. Not the best way to manage people, but not uncommon within IBM.

So, how did I end up on the bench? Well, for starters, IBM's interest in Lotus Notes development dropped dramatically about 6 years ago. My manager at that time told me to either learn some other technology or leave IBM. I learned IBM Tivoli Identity Manager (ITIM), transferred to a group that focused on TIM and started working on project. I was on a 6 month plus project with the Treasury Department in Washington, DC for about one month when the Treasury Department realized that they were paying for my travel. They terminated my portion of the contract and all of a sudden, I was on the bench. My team scrambled to find me some work while they tried to find me more ITIM projects; enter IP. IP had a need for a short term Lotus Notes developer, my team decided that I would be able to work the IP project for a short term, then get back to ITIM work. As you all know, the IP project went a bit longer than expected. During that time, the ITIM team re-organized and they moved me to a different team. That happened a few times while I was at IP - I had 5 different IBM managers and was part of 3 different teams during my time at IP. The team that I ended up with was the WebSphere Extended Enterprise Enablement team.

After the IP project ended, this new team was planning to send me on a project in Seattle that they hoped would sign soon. In the interim, I attended some WebSphere Portal training (both Admin and Development). The team that I am on now is the WebSphere Extended Enterprise Enablement team and WebSphere Portal is one of the key pieces of software that they help companies implement.

The Seattle deal fell apart and was not signed, and the pipeline for our group was not healthy. As a result, I've been sitting idle for basically the last month, so my name was added to the list of lay offs.

I am currently searching for other openings within IBM, but I am also exploring other opportunities. I've been traveling for work for the entire time that I've worked for IBM, so I think it would be nice to find something local.

At this time, I think I will continue to search for a full-time position either within IBM or something local. Although if I do not find anything in a few weeks, my mind may change.

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