So since leaving WhitePages.com a few months ago, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of people – bigcos, smallcos, nocos – searching for what I wanted to do next. Sometimes these searches can be very directed – when I went to WhitePages, I was aiming for something specific (executive leadership at a mid-sized company with a strong business). This search has been a bit less focused – more of a What Should I Do With My Life(TM) sort of search – and so it’s taken a good deal longer. (Also, global financial crisis, maybe you’ve heard of it.)
The process has of course been interesting, but after a planning conference call for Velocity 2009 last week where “for example, if you’re unemployed like Scott,…” was (kindly) used three times, I decided it was time to get a damned job.
But I didn’t really want a “job” – in particular, I didn’t want a job where I was unambiguously working for someone else, and I didn’t want a career ladder that I felt obligated to climb (one of my favorite things about being at WhitePages). I’ll write more about this, and the job search, in a post in the coming days, including some tips.
So after coffee with Matt K (where he really pushed me on what I wanted to do), some well-placed phone calls, and a sign or two, I’ve decided to dust off the occasional-sometimes-consulting business and make it my real business.
I have a first contract (which I’ll write more about in a few weeks) that can feed my family and a bit more. I’m looking for one-two smaller advisory-type contracts. (<weak_pitch> See “contact me” on the right if you’re looking for some help on technology/program management/product strategy, app prototyping, lead generation, etc.</weak_pitch>) I’m also taking what I’ve done for free for years – pairing up great jobs and great people – and turning that into a sometimes-for-pay-service.
I was talking to Todd Sawicki about caused him to stop consulting and go full-time with Lookery. He said that he went full-time when he realized that he wanted to join something more permanently and be more part of something. I liked that answer, because it was as natural as the decision to _not_ do that – it makes you think about moving between consulting and full-time employment as more of a continuum and less of a straight path.
So, I’m on “my own” (still working for people, but in different ways) for a while – not the least-scary decision in the world, but one of the easiest, once I finally saw it clearly.
I still have a personal project or two to improve, so those will be out soon. In the meantime – on on!