Suddenly a lot happening

Well, you know what they say: there’s never a dull moment!

What with COVID-19, a lot of our customers (mainly financials like insurance etc) have stopped their projects, because it is/was hard to collaborate remotely on something entirely new. Which means the revenue took a hit: fewer software sales, fewer consultancy projects. And the ratio between revenue and costs is holy for our CEO, since that is what the stock price is based on. So he started using the tools available to him to reduce costs, and one of those is laying off people as part of a reorganisation.
I’m in a particularly vulnerable position when it comes to reorgs: I’m the only person in the Nijmegen office that is doing product management, so it’s easy to state that that work is going elsewhere, leaving me without any work to do. If you want to surgically cut costs, then that’s an attractive way to do it. And my work is easy to spread to others: one of my products is now a ‘small’ product, so someone else could take that on in addition to their own small product, and I’m a co-PM for another product, so there’s someone to take that work on as well.

So I wasn’t really surprised when I was laid off three weeks ago.

It was clear from the severance settlement proposal that my (now former) employer wanted to get everything resolved as quickly as possible, without any lengthy legal proceedings (just as it was the previous reorgs). Of course I had the proposal checked with my legal assistance insurer, and there were a few things that needed a bit of attention. So in my reaction I went through those points one by one, and formulated a counter-proposal. All of my points were accepted, so in about one and a half weeks there was a signed severance agreement.
I’m using my time by following trainings to get some professional certifications that should help land me a new job. Last week, I had a quite intensive online training for two days: start at 08:45 and end at 17:00 both days. It was amazing how well the course, which was originally designed for classroom teaching, was adapted to online. We used an online whiteboard and all, and it really worked out nicely (except for that one time when the four of us all were dragging a hundred virtual post-it notes across it…) There’s an exam involved, which is quite similar to most of those certification exams: multiple-choice questions, and you need to get a certain percentage right in order to pass. I did some trial exams (with much fewer questions) and when I could pass three of those in a row with a scoe of 100%, I decided to go for the real exam — best get it out of the way, right? So now I also have the Professional Scrum Product Owner certification.

Other than that, I do have some other projects, but I’m also spending a lot of time in Animal Crossing too…

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