Well, a small hiatus in posts and now it's interesting to go back and read the old stuff. Boy, it's interesting to see how I thought I knew what I was talking about, even just a few years ago - and I didn't! Not in hindsight. Retrospective views are so insightful - just a shame we're mostly hopeless at seeing our own futures.
So I did finally jump ship from corporate life. The "new" IT job at the defence company lost it's lustre very fast. I was jaded, tired and grumpy with life. In looking around I took a job way closer to home with a $20k pay rise. The company was said to be growing fast - set to double in the next 12 months and they needed me to manage their Project Management Office *which I was to set up and write all the protocols).
This was one of those times I really should have listened to the niggling doubt in the back of my mind. The little voice that said, "Why on earth if the boss is no nice is the company so small after all these years and why can't I tell what they're feeling?" Now I'm good with people and being able to tell where they're at and with the new boss I had not idea. I worked it out later though - it was because they had no idea themselves.
Anyway, within a few months of me starting I was handed 3 major failing projects to sort out. The senior partner was sacked by the boss and in 6 months the company had so little money they were about to fold. I looked for other work but had foolishly rejected several offers just months before and now the GFC was hitting. To make matters worse my old employer fired 400 odd people who work in my same field to the market was flooded. I dawdled and strung things out but with no good prospects in sight my employer started to collapse: they had barely 8hrs a week work for me a week and I had to go. Later I heard most of the others were gone before the year's end.
Annoyed (with myself mostly) and mortgages and OS holiday booked for the whole family (all 5 of us for 4 weeks!) I had to find something. My daughter's comment when she went back to live with her mum of "I thought you were going to buy me stuff and instead you lost your job" summed up a lot of disappointments.
Anyway, I did contract work back in defence for a while but my heart was not in it. My wife, angel that she is, increased her work from 3 to 6 days a week. People kept asking me to write software so I succumbed and wrote iPhone apps which was actually fun (I'd never used an Apple computer before, which you have to have to write iPhone apps), and then the work built up. It hard, but also wonderfully refreshing to just be my own boss and control my own destiny. It's also freaking scary. Some months there is no income, some months I earn 3x my old (very good) salary.
Now we're back from overseas and I have to drag up the business, which isn't much fun. I realise now I need a product to develop and sell, to call my own and generate ongoing income. I'm still managing projects and writing apps but the real deal is roiling away in the background, simmering and growing and hopefully will vindicate the heartache and the path taken.