Throughout the last several years of my IT management jobs in the public sector I really got tired of the increasing amounts of paperwork and other growing obstacles preventing us from doing the job properly. It used to be much better with the old management team which fully trusted the CIO and other fellow IT managers. It seems that instead of getting more lean and effective with budget cuts, the growing number of rules and approval procedures was choking the institution and its IT department, which was in a miserable shape with only enough rope to hang ourselves when I was finally and fortunately laid off. I say fortunately because it was good for my physical and mental health, which you will understand if you know how burdening it can be to wake up at night and wonder how many more people you will have to let go and how in the world you will be able to do your job with even less people and money at your disposal.
In fact, although I often used to ask my staff “Do you want logic or do you want to work here?” I too am so fed up with numerous and ridiculous obstacles in the public sector that I am activating my own company and I will write no business plan. I will stay away from accountants and lawyers as much as I can. My wife is an accountant and my fiscal destiny has already been in her hands for many years, but that’s one of very few accountants I really trust. As a business owner I will have control and be able to devise creative ways to eliminate clutter, so unless I grow fond of it, if any company of mine gets burdensome on any level, I can sell or abandon it and start a new one. When you’re the captain, it’s never late to change the ship’s course and make life simple by keeping the clutter at a reasonable level. I’ll weigh my cost/benefit, and if it gets too costly and/or time consuming, I’ll ditch it.
A recent read of Steve Pavlina’s “10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job” confirmed my decision (one more time, after many years of being a freelance musician, then a bar owner and then many years of being an IT professional) that I don’t want to work for someone else, except in rare cases when I have a full understanding and a blanko check from an employer to get all I really need (not want) to make things work.
I don’t believe everybody should quit their job right here and right now, but I do find myself in the article which is quite inspiring, like many other Pavlina’s posts. I am tired of upper and middle management “technology experts” with phantasmagorical beliefs that everything works right out of the box with miniscule cost and minimalistic crews. I’m much better off on my own, free of the ever increasing procedures and limitations because of someone else’s mistakes and sloppy or greedy work. Institutions trying to function more efficiently must be very careful about instating new procedures that negatively affect the majority who do things right and instead focus on fixing issues with individuals who did things wrong.
But I hope I’m out of that game. Instead of all that, I will have my own misconceptions that I can make with far less work, and when something important doesn’t work, I can abandon it instead of pouring more money into it so we don’t become a story in the newspapers, which is a frequent top management concern with big projects in the public sector.
Perhaps I’ll work more, but I know I’m working for myself. One realization I had just a bit after I started this web site is the absolutely cumulative effect my work has on this place as opposed to lack of acknowledgement when I work for someone else. Everything I do here has my name on it, I can reuse it in any shape or form and do whatever I desire with it. I can write about anything I want and publish it whenever and wherever I want. If someone tries to take credit for my work, I can get their site shut down and I can sue and get a hefty compensation. I couldn’t do those things working for others. Not that I cared much because my work was for a good cause, but it would have been good to hear my name sometimes when other people used my instructions, analysis or signed their name on the official correspondence I wrote. This place however, will continue building my reputation and my business, whatever direction it takes. Bye public servant world, hello world of choice.