I don't know if its human nature or its just me, the longer I get used to something, the harder it becomes to let go. I don't know why I become so attached to things. Case in point: my job.
I have been working at my current company for the last five and a half years. It has been one hell of a ride for me. You could say that I learnt my ropes in the jungle of corporate world here.
Flashback to Summer 2000.... I was working at Cognizant Chennai and it was more like College to me with fresh graduates (I graduated in '99 btw) enjoying working together in a multi-national environment. We partied hard and spent the weekends watching movies and hanging out with friends. When my boss decided to desert our company and wanted a group of us to follow him to a new small company, I was very skeptical. I merely went along because a bunch of us wanted to know what is it they wanted to do. I accepted the offer on the grounds that I would be sent to my current employer in the US on the very first day on a temporary assignment. And that's exactly what happened. I quit Cognizant on friday and landed in California on Sunday morning. I stayed in a Motel 6 with another friend and colleague - Maneesh. Lot of nostalgic moments and classic gaffes there worth another post :).
I still remember that next day. My very first day here. The day was spent mostly on interviews. I had to explain every bit of my skill set down to the dirty details. And I thought I blew it. To my surprise, I was assigned to a very interesting team. The rest is history on how I moved from CA to NJ and how I went on to become what I am today.
I have learnt so much over the years both professionally and personally. I was very passionate about my work in the inital 3 years - literally living at work -- be it weekends or late nights. I used to live and breathe my project. The thing was -- I was never planning to live here in the states -- but eventually did only due to the kind of work I was doing and the kind of people I was working with. So in the initial years, I lived on a "temporary" state of mind, never settled here. As things became more permanent (read: I became a fulltime employee and all that), things seemed great.
I was one of the youngest guys around the office -- which was bad and good. Bad part: I had to really prove myself beyond doubt before I can get someone to listen to me and start accepting my ideas. Good part: Well you know what they are :). I was having a great time at work with my colleagues and at home with my roommates. It was like our own version of 'Friends'.
As with any company, our company started having its downward slide some time during the end of '04 and then the hell started. It was painful to see the company that I consider so near and dear to me disintegrate. It was like a free fall. People were laid off in droves. People started leaving. That's when it started hitting me. I was in a dilemma. Should I wait and see if the company can bounce back? Should I quit now while I am ahead? I obviously chose the first option and I stayed. I stayed on and still worked my heart out for the project that I was working on - though it was not my cup of tea. I always consider every oppurtunity presented to me as an oppurtunity to learn something new. Be it as trivial as organizing a lunch. I have learnt a lot over the so-called 'lean' time here. But there was always an air of 'uncertainity' - When is the next round of layoffs? (When) Are they going to close our office? etc. But I survived all rounds of layoffs and continued to stick around like those who stayed behind in the sinking 'Titanic'.
I have decided that enough is enough and am moving on. This is my last week at my company here and irrespective of what happened in the last year and half here, I somehow feel saddened. All my memories that I remember over the years are flashing in front of me. My new employer has been very kind and understanding to let me complete my current assignment here to the complete satisfaction here before I join them. My new company which has some of the folks that I have worked with before, is again a very small startup company working on something that I have always wanted to work on but never did. I am very excited to start working there on Monday the 13th.
More on my new job later but this week is for cherishing good memories...