by Mark Cummuta

Day 2: Soul Searching

Aug 07, 20074 mins

Today I want to quickly bring you up to speed on what’s been happening so far in my search.

As I noted yesterday, I volunteered to step down from my current position when the acquisition of my company moved from possible to likely to highly likely. That ultimately will save my employer costs, but it also gives me a certain degree of flexibility in setting my own end date.

That foreknowledge also allowed me to prepare myself for a new job search.

I don’t know about you, but the end of a job tends to have a psychological impact on me, especially if the end came unexpectedly, as in a layoff. Unexpected career changes make me question myself and who I think I am. I find myself wondering, “What happened? Everything was going great,” or Why me?” or my favorite, “If only ….” Even though I volunteered to step down from this position, I still found myself asking the same questions.

For example, in my last job search, which led me to my current position, I turned down a competing job offer with a firm for a position I had specifically targeted as absolutely ideal for me. So when I realized that my current firm was a likely acquisition target, I went through a period of playing out my regret, jealousy, “kick yourself” for not accepting that other offer … repeatedly. You know: Stand six inches from closest wall. Move head quickly forward to impact wall. Repeat step two as necessary. It took me a week or two to move back to the positive aspects of what I have accomplished in starting up another successful business. Now I’m once again in “mission” mode!

After playing the ‘if only’ game, my next step was to consider what I want to accomplish professionally in my future. I noted in Day 1 that I am a former US Marine with nearly 25 years in IT, 10 in senior/executive management, dual MBAs and law school training. I hope to find an opportunity where I can bring all my skills, experience and education back to supporting our troops. So I will be focusing about 40 percent of my efforts into the financial services, merger and acquisition, and consulting industries, where the majority of my experience lies, and about 60 percent of my efforts into the defense, intelligence and aerospace industries.

BTW, my wife and I share a great deal together – kinda accounts for our triplets :-D. So, while there are generally changes needed for most career moves, my decision to target the military and intelligence communities may signal even more change for our family. That is because this career move might require us to relocate, since the major hubs for these industries are based in and around Washington, D.C., and around major military bases such as in Colorado and California. I’ve discussed this with my wife and our kids, who are all very aware of my Marine Corps days and my continued support for our country. With our kids starting at a new school this year anyway, the prospect of a move and therefore a new school somewhere else is less of an issue than it might otherwise be. So that means my family is solidly behind me, even if it means a relocation.

Believe me, the thinking and consideration I’ve summarized above took a lot of work and time–about two to three weeks time. I’ve been able to make these decisions faster in the past, but with the option

of a major career transition I wanted to make sure it was right for my whole family and not just me.

I’m happy to report that I’ve already had interviews with two firms, so in my next blog entry, I’ll tell you about those interviews and how I found those opportunities. I’ve discovered a veritable goldmine of networking opportunities online. And I will also tell you about a tip I learned early in my career that has proved so beneficial that I have been sharing it with everyone in and out of my sphere of influence.

If you have any ideas, comments or topics you would like to share, let me know.