Friday, March 6, 2009

Remaining Employed, or 'Have you ever met an unemployed cryptographer?'

I happen to work for a very big techy company. These days, very big techy companies are in the habit of laying people off.

So on Wednesday, I found that I'm not exempt from this and they were laying me off. However the company doesn't just kick you out of the door. They put you in a special kind of purgatory called 'redeployment'. This is a two month period where your job it to find another job somewhere in the company. If you fail, then they kick you out of the door.

The screwed up part about redeployment is that companies who are laying people off don't tend to also be hiring people at the same time. So finding a job in the company during that period is not a likely thing.

Regardless, I sent out a one line message on the internal news server asking if anyone needed a security architect. One day later I'm juggling 5 job offers. It turns out that the techy world is very short of cryptographers and security architects. Every product group has some security or cryptography function in their products, because they have to, but by and large they don't have a clue how it works or what it does and they tend to know they don't have a clue and would love to hire a security guy if only they could find one.

Had I been tempted with a single job offering, I would have had to fight for it and I would be feeling relieved to be still employed if I got the job. Now I have a bunch of options, I'll be spending my days wondering if I picked the right job.

Eenie meanie miney mo...