It's amazing how quickly plans for where you're going with your work can change. It seems like every other day there's a news story about thousands of layoff in some industry or other. That's at the really harsh end of change and fortunately I'm not being subjected to that right now. No, right now I have the luxury of change happening at a pace of my own choosing. Still, I've been surprised how a few things have come together in the last week that are creating a sort of "perfect storm" of change for me.
My current contract was initially for 3 months but I've stayed on for 18 months so far and we (the project team) were all sort of lazily assuming I'd be around until at least the end of this year. I've know for a while I could make considerably more money by taking up a new contract somewhere else but I've also learned from experience that money is only part of what makes working worthwhile.
The work I am doing is more interesting than most of the work available and the environment and people in my current workplace are definitely among the best I've experienced (when I'm complaining about bad work situations I'm usually talking about previous workplaces.) So being happy in my work has led to me not being worried about missing out on potential extra money. Some changes in my personal situation have had me thinking more money would be good but it hasn't been a driving factor.
Then came the news of a restructure at work. My project manager is getting a (well-deserved) promotion which means someone else needs to take over the day-to-day project management role. I like my current PM, she's one of the best I've worked with. The most likely replacement falls into the "not so much" category. She's smart and extremely experienced in IT but she has a tendency to typify the attitudes that non-IT people really don't like.
Namely, she tends to see everything in terms of systems rather than people, she tends to tell people what systems she's going to give them rather than ask them what they require from a system and she doesn't seem to be much for respecting other people's boundaries. Which is to say, she's loud, pushy and frequently tells people she knows exactly what their requirements are, despite the fact that the very loud words flying out of her mouth contradict what is being asked for. Not what I look for in a manager.
The same day that I received the news about a new project manager, I received one of my semi-regular calls from an agency desperately looking for someone to fill a position. I said that I wouldn't be available but I asked what rates they were talking about offering. The figure was what I expected but it wasn't until a little while later that I did some maths and thought "holy crap, that's another thousand bucks a week!"
In my twenties I couldn't even conceive of earning 50 grand a year and here I am being able to increase my income by 50 grand. Couple that with being stuck with a manager I don't like if I stay where I am and I can see some changes in my future. Changing workplaces is always a risk but I can put up with a dickhead for six months for an extra thousand bucks a week.
Besides, in a worst case scenario, there would be plenty of blog fodder in complaining about the fuckwits I have to work with. I'm running out of old material for horror stories - I could do with some new ones.