After 12 years in many different roles, I have moved on from Melbourne IT. When I started as a contractor in the development team, the company had had two massive rounds of redundancies and was busy transitioning from being the monopoly registrar of .com.au domain names in Australia, to registrar of domains in a competitive market. Now the business is in another transition, having purchased Australian competitor NetRegistry, and seeing in the introduction of 800 new domain spaces like .company, .technology, and .wtf
The moment when it sunk in that I had really left was when, whilst sitting on a tram, I deleted the Exchange account on my dated company issue iPhone. As I watched the emails, tasks, and calendar bookings disappear I felt a true sense of separation from my former job. Whilst in the past a job was defined by a business card and an office, nowadays a job is defined by an email account, and a virtual task-list. Employment status is now defined by the cloud, by Internet technologies. Rather than simply provide a desk and a phone, employers provide a set of tools to engage with the world, their peers, and themselves.
The moment when the emails disappeared was when I realised I didn’t have to worry about the things left unfinished, or the things that had been finished, or the things I didn’t know about. Deleting the email account was a license to detach from the past and embrace the next phase of my career. There’s a lot to be said for switching off to really get shit done. Sometimes being connected looks very like being anxious and obsessive, rather than on-to-it and efficient. To really connect sometimes you need to disconnect the wifi, turn the device off and take a good look at what’s around you.
I’m looking forward to getting a few personal projects done and working on the next phase of my career, and getting really (dis)connected to what’s around me.