Startup Life

No one could accuse Big Blue (IBM) of being cold, even at -19°C/-5°F outside

Forever The Happy IBMer
Forever The Happy IBMer

The rumors were true. There are layoffs & I’m among them. I have until 6 Feb 2009 to find a new job within IBM, or, yada yada yada. This is the second of two posts I’d like to share with you about my experience inside Big Blue. It’s all good. Here is a cleansed version of my 25 Sep 2008 internal blog. (All internal links have been removed.)

More on IBM Values

Reasonability prevails
A pattern was developing in my job search.  It started back in the summer – Q3 2008, when I heard how I could potentially fit into a Product Manager role but there was a hiring freeze. As a result, my profile would be moved to the “keeper pile” & I should get back to them in Q1 2009. While it was nice to know I was a “keeper”, Q1 2009 was not going to work for me. Another potential opportunity ended with a reason code of “we can only hire within our group”. Not good. The third point in this pattern emerged when I spoke to another unrelated manager – John Steinbacher, who stated – with all sincerity, that my being given six weeks to find work in Q4 is pretty much a death sentence. Barring a few exceptions, the standard practice is to lock down all spending – including hiring in every Q4. So it was suggested to me to ask for everyone to be reasonable.

And that’s what I did. I spoke to my manager Robert St-Laurent and then spoke to his new pier Christopher Flynn – who just happened to be visiting the Montreal lab on the following day. After confirming with Robert, Chris agreed that it wasn’t reasonable to expect someone to find a job in Q4 when he wasn’t even allowed to buy a pencil. So, I now have until end of Jan 2009 to find a new job, or, else yada, yada, yada. Of course in the meantime, I’m going to have to earn my keep while I continue the job search & we’re now in the process of defining exactly what that is.

So once again, my faith in IBM management and IBM Values has been boosted. Thanks to all for their respective reasonability & John for encouraging me to push back!

By the way, there really is something called Our Values at Work on being an IBMer. The proof is in the post 🙂

Next up
With 6 Feb 2009 coming up fast and a global financial crisis settling in, my next post will be about my evaluating where I am & how I plan / theorize how to get to where I want to be.

Do you think social networking tools like your blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or, some other web 2.0 tool would facilitate you moving on, or, distract you?