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Career 2.0

There’s a lot of tension in this town
I know it’s building up inside of me.
I’ve got all the symptoms and the side effects
Of city life anxiety.

I could never understand why the urban attitude
Is so superior.
In a world of high rise ambition
Most people’s motives are ulterior.

–Billy Joel, “Running on Ice”

I hope everyone had a festive New Years Eve and is not too hungover.

It is time to bring my readers up to date on my situation. I want to emphasize from the outset that this is a celebratory post, and should be treated as such.

In late October 2008, I — like about 100,000 of my colleagues around the world and across the industry — was laid off from my position as an investment banker.

The event was not entirely unexpected, although the circumstances surrounding it were, for lack of a better word, frustrating. More on that, perhaps, in future blogposts.


The ironic part, the part that makes this a celebratory post, is that I was planning to quit anyway. Not right away, but after enough time to squirrel away the money I needed for what I have since dubbed “Career 2.0″ (the groundwork for which was already being laid months before the event).

So if my firm offers me a $90,000 severance payment to do immediately what I was going to do in 18 months anyway, then why would I be upset about it? Had it been a voluntary program, then I would have been first in line. (Did I mention full medical and dental benefits for 33 weeks — no COBRA? Or the $1,700 per month in unemployment benefits? That doesn’t exactly warrant “crying in your beer” — more like “giggling over your cava”.)

Will I miss the $130,000 annual salary? Sure. The annual bonuses that had reached $75,000 in years past but had recently retrenched to an impoverished $45,000? You bet. The 33 holidays, vacation days, personal days, community service days, etc., each year? Actually, that I’ll write off. But all the rest of it, all the way down to the $200 Tiffany gift card on my tenth anniversary with the firm and the free flu shot each winter. I will certainly miss it all.

Of course, there is the flip side — my boss, my boss’ boss, my boss’ boss’ boss. Up and up (and over — literally to other continents). Them I will not miss as much. I’ll settle for being grateful about their “difficult” decision in the face of “challenging times.” (Made challenging by whom, incidentally? Certainly not by me.)

So why break the news now, after over two months? The reason is because Career 2.0 is accelerating much faster than I originally anticipated. I can’t go into details, as I have signed confidentiality agreements. What I can say is that it is entrepreneurial in nature. But before I put pen to paper and money to good use, I did want to make one brief solicitation to my readership.

But you’ve been through it once
You know how it ends.
You don’t see the point
Of going through it again.
And this ain’t the place.
And this ain’t the time.
And neither’s any other day.

–Billy Joel, “Code of Silence”

Not for a job, mind you — I have transcended “jobs.” But I would entertain one exception: namely this blog. Punditry and commentary. If anyone out there has any interest in hiring me as a paid occupational journalist or commentator, then I would consider that — but nothing else.

The other alternative would be something entrepreneurial — Career 2.1? Perhaps someone out there needs an investor-partner for some relevant enterprise? Small law firm, consultancy or new media venture? I’m available and can commit up to $500,000 in capital (as well as a stratospheric credit rating, and maybe a guard dog).

If you’d like to discuss any opportunities, then feel free to email me.

One thing I left out: I’ve also concluded that it’s time for me to leave New York City. Again, that’s a decision that was in a sense made for me — not only by my former employer but also by the idiot politicians who are running this city into the ground. But if it’s the decision that I was poised to make anyway, then why nitpick about cause and effect?

Again, more on that later. For now I can only say that Career 2.0 entails going west — very west. But I’m willing to consider almost any major metropolitan area if the right opportunity presents itself.

I’m a mark for every shyster
From Topanga to Berlin.
And I should have learned to kick them out
As soon as they crawled in.

So to every bank in Switzerland
That stores my stolen youth:
I’m alright because despite the laws
You cannot hide the truth.

–Billy Joel, “Getting Closer”

For the time being, nothing whatsoever will change here. I will neither be blogging full time nor shutting things down. The blog-to-Twitter ratio is falling a bit, but that would have happened anyway I think. If circumstances require me to significantly adjust my blogging, I will of course let you know.

The economy notwithstanding, I am very excited about my situation, and I hope you’re excited for me. I’ll disclose more details about what, where and when as I’m able to.

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