I have been dropping hints on Twitter that
a change is coming in my life that had a couple of people scratching their
heads. So now is the time for the big "reveal". On Monday, May
10, 2010 I will be reporting for my new job in an old career with the Naval
Sea Systems Command as a contract
specialist supporting major weapons systems acquisition. This marks a major
change in my career and life plans, and I want to explain it a bit and
shout out to specific people.
In June 1999, I left government service for an opportunity with what was then called Lotus Professional Services (LPS). For the next ten years I had the immense privilege of working with some really great people and customers, learn new things and new technologies, and ;earned things about myself as new challenges and opportunities came my way. Last March, my position with an IBM business partner was eliminated as sales were worse than flat. There was little or new work with Lotus software (despite all of the rosy "growth" messages being put out by some IBMers and their blogs). The few opportunities that were there had, as one friend told me, the best of the best going for them. Out of town opportunities were out of reach because of recruiters' refusal to look at resumes for out-of-town candidates.
I was lucky that I had a few customers stick with me after my position was eliminated and I will continue to provide services for them as needed. But I have been at a crossroads. With my oldest daughter three years from starting college, stability had to become my focus. As I have career status with the federal government, I began looking for opportunities in my old field as a contract specialist/contracting officer.
The tentative offer for this new job was made back in January, and it has taken this long to process the paperwork required for the security clearance, transcript, review, etc.
This was not an easy decision as I love what I have been doing and the people I have met along the way. But it is the right decision to make for my family and our long term stability. I will now have reasonably priced health insurance, a good retirement plan, and the chance to get back into the most dynamic type of contracting in the federal government. Of course I will lose a lot of freebies and other things, but they pale compared to what I need to do for my family.
I will continue to blog about Lotus Software and other topics, and I will actually have freedom to be more candid in my assessments. I will also talk about how collaboration and Web 2.0 approaches can make government procurement more transparent and efficient.
Right now, I want to shout out to some specific people in the outstanding Lotus Software community.
Tom "Duffbert" Duff - Thanks for opening my eyes to the world of writing and book reviews. This opened many doors that I never knew existed and will always be remembered.
Liz Olson Novak - Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write for Advisor magazine and to speak at Advisor conferences. This was a huge WOW that I will look back fondly on.
Rocky Oliver - for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings as a speaker at Lotusphere. There really is no better conference in the world.
Paul Mooney - for being a supportive friend, especially during the past year and for inviting me to speak at ILUG 2007. This is the bets free conference in Ireland and is put on by a great bunch of guys.
Bill Buchan - for letting me laugh at the world and at myself. A tremendous technical resource.
Tim Speed (IBM) - for providing guidance and wisdom when needed, and for including me in the acknowledgements in some of his books.
Jim Anderton - for being the great guy he was and opening up a great opportunity for me.
Joe Litton - for thoughtful insight and the best Mai-Tai's in the world!
Julian Robichaux - for outstanding geekiness and stepping in at Coke so awesomely when I left in 2006!
Volker Weber - for teaching me the German value of restraint and how not to drink the kool-aid at face value.
Bruce Elgort - for showing me that dreams can and do come true, and for the way to he so fondly keeps the memory of his daughter alive and part of his life. I am bummed I will not be able to see his XPages presentation to the Atlanta Lotus User Group (and Gayle) later this month.
Nathan Freeman - for being Nathan:-)
Jeff Paske and Chris Gedgougdas at MDI Group in Atlanta - these guys are awesome recruiters to work with and are straight with you. Their health insurance is now pricey, but you will not find a better recruiting company to work with, especially in the Atlanta area.
There are so many more to acknowledge but only so much space and time. To all that I have worked with and met over the past 11 years, thanks for being part of my life.
Comment posted by Duffbert05/07/2010 11:22:24 AM
Congrats in your new job, and best of luck in the future.
Comment posted by Andy Donaldson05/07/2010 12:00:25 PM
Congrats on the new job and best wishes for ya!
Comment posted by Keith Brooks05/07/2010 12:30:56 PM
Glad to hear you have it all settled. Enjoy the new job.
Comment posted by jack dausman05/07/2010 12:57:21 PM
Congrats ! The new position sounds important enough that your level head will be appreciated. All the best.
Comment posted by Mitch Cohen05/07/2010 01:21:49 PM
Congratulation and good luck!
Comment posted by David DeWell05/07/2010 02:22:24 PM
Good job buddy. I know the feeling sometimes but I am glad you are going to something you like.
Comment posted by Carl Tyler05/07/2010 02:24:23 PM
Comment posted by Roy Rumaner05/07/2010 02:49:59 PM
Congratulations and best of luck. You will be missed.
Comment posted by John Roling05/07/2010 03:09:56 PM
Congratulations on landing a gig. Even though it's not Lotus-related, it's good to have stability. Thanks for thinking of me on several occassions when opportunities arose to share in something cool. It was much appreciated.
Take Care & Keep In Touch with the Community!
Comment posted by Volker Weber05/07/2010 03:49:45 PM
Congratulations Chris! Very glad you found a new job in troubling times. I wasn't aware of the situation until you said you were not attending Lotusphere.
Comment posted by Chris Whisonant05/07/2010 04:01:25 PM
Chris - congrats. Keep us posted (if you can) ;)
Hope it goes well for you!!
Comment posted by Bill05/07/2010 05:34:12 PM
Hey - nice one! You know your family comes first, and this will keep you out of trouble!
The very best of luck,
Comment posted by John Vaughan05/07/2010 05:35:36 PM
Congrats on your new gig! All the best and don't be a stranger!
Comment posted by Wes Morgan05/08/2010 06:40:08 PM
All the best to you - heaven knows that Pentagon procurement can use the dose of sanity you'll bring to the table!
Comment posted by Brian Benz05/09/2010 06:22:32 PM
Congratulations and good luck with the new career!
Comment posted by Karl-Henry Martinsson05/10/2010 10:01:40 AM
Congratulations on your new job! I am looking forward to continue reading your blog. Will miss seeing you at Lotusphere. Take care, and enjoy the new job!
Comment posted by A Colleague of Yours05/13/2010 11:22:04 AM
Good luck with the career change, Chris! I hope you are having a great first week!
Comment posted by Vitor Pereira05/31/2010 11:59:41 AM
Congratulations on the new job and best wishes to you and your family!