Hack The Planet

Because if you don't, who will?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Being Thankful

With all of the madness going on in the world, it is nice to have a day to sit back and practice gratitude for all of the good (and bad) things in my life. We often think of only being grateful for the good, but usually the bad is what really shapes us. Here are a few things I am thankful for today.

Being laid off twice in one year during the internet bubble burst of 2001 helped my career more than I could have known at the time. In 2000 I was sure I was going to be at a startup that was going to make me “rich”. I had shares, every company that went public went big, or at least seemed that way to me, so I was set. Then the bubble burst and reality set in. I was handed a severance package and was on my way to another startup.

With all of 14 of us in the entire company, and the economy still reeling it wasn’t a surprise when I was let go again, and then later the company folded. This could have really driven the nail into my IT career. There I was, straight off of being let go for a second time, living on a friends couch because I had burned through my severance and not knowing if things would turn around.

I was lucky to get another opportunity at a larger company that had more stability and an incredibly gifted team from a friend and mentor from a previous company. The skills I learned at this new company, and the people I worked with helped propel my career forward in ways I couldn’t imagine at the time. If I had not been let go, I would not have been open to working for a larger organization, I would have not met some of my closest friends, and I would probably not be working in the career field I am. Sometimes a little hardship opens the door to much greater rewards.

Struggle also helps reset what you are willing to do and can be a great ego check. After being let go I was willing to do whatever job was required. Overnights? Check. Overtime? Please, Sir, can I have some more? Everything and anything I could do, I would do. If I hadn’t gone through the hard times, I would have missed out on a lot.

I am also grateful for the good times. Working for and with great people throughout my career makes me feel very lucky. Many of my best friends are people who started as coworkers, and some of those coworkers started off as High School classmates, which makes me even more thankful to have had wonderful people around me throughout my life.

As you move through your career, be it Information Security or something else, surround yourself with good people and you will always be able to work through any hardship or struggle.

I hope everyone has had a Happy Thanksgiving, and a safe holiday season.

posted by holliday at 9:27 pm  

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