Time to ask for my hat?

I am working at a small DARPA contractor. Doing DARPA type things. Over the last few months I have felt like I was being dealt out of a lot of rounds in the business. When given a tasks or am in teams to do things my input is being ignored. An example is that we must have an excellent web presence, our branding and brand development are important. My boss feels that “anything will do” for a website and that we can get to it later, and that the brand is just a logo that is also not that important. I know he has other things on his plate, but http://www.ast2.net is garbage and anybody can see that. The work we have been doing is less innovative and some other factors are making me feel like heading out, maybe it is me but maybe when the going gets tough the tough get going?

Also I don’t like where I live, it’s not where I want to be in ten years and it’s not where I want to be by the end of the summer. I can scrape by and hustle my way though life and enjoy my surroundings.

Do I pack up shop here, and move, do I work through it and apply and “pound the pavement” looking for something, do I go off and do something else that I love for the love of it and see where that goes? Or suck it up and try to continue to tell my ‘visionary’ boss that some of his vision sucks, and shouldn’t be done?

It sounds like you’ve as much as made up your mind to leave, and that you’re in a situation where you may have a little time on your hands to work on your next move.
If you have kids and/or a mortgage, it gets more personal and complicated.
If not, take the good from this experience and go.
Years from now you’re more likely to regret stagnation.

You’re ready for a change. But this economy is far from out of the woods.

Leave nothing without somewhere else to go. It’s always easier to find a job, if you already have one.

Believe me.


If you’ve made up your mind to leave then start looking for other jobs in the mean time.

Much easier transition than leaving, finding out you can’t actually find the job you thought you could, and then run into a real nightmare of a situation.

Additionally, consider it from a new employers perspective. If you are unemployed, and have been for several months, you will be much more likely to take a lowball offer than if you are currently still employed.

Just quitting doesn’t make sense from either perspective.

True, I need to get to work then (on a portfolio and making connections). Would it be bad of me to see if the company can pick up the tab for my IDSA membership?

Would it be bad of me to see if the company can pick up the tab for my IDSA membership?

I’d say ‘yes’, unless you are going to stay, and they derive some benefit from your membership … otherwise it’s rather misleading, don’t you think? If you’re not going to invest any more of your energy in this company, why would you expect them to support you in an effort to leave them?

You’ve got a great employment/network resource right here.

True, it is misleading and in that way unfair. I was trying to be cheeky.

Taking nothing away from the resource on which we are all posting, may I suggest you still consider an investment in an IDSA membership? I know there are those who frequent these boards that might feel differently, but there are a lot of valid arguments for how the IDSA community can help you during these “crossroads” moments in your career.

I think online resources like Core77 are invaluable in terms of how you can connect with so many individuals with a vast array of expertise, but there really is no substitute for direct, face-to-face connections with someone you can have a one-on-one discussion. At our conferences and the numerous Chapter and Section events throughout the year, IDSA creates the opportunity to look a fellow colleague in the eye and ask them, “What do you think?” Not only can you show someone your work (you can do that on Coroflot), you can talk about what you really want to do and they can get to know you as person and not just a poster on a discussion board. Personally I am more likely to recommend or refer someone I have met in person because I firmly believe in the value of looking someone in the eye.

In line with the sentiment of some of the other posters, I would discourage the idea that your employers should be the one to pay for professional association memberships. While your participation in these organizations can be very beneficial to your employer, the core benefit is to the member interested in developing their network and skills; and it speaks to their commitment to their career and community. It’s a worthwhile investment and I can personally speak to that as several of my past positions are the direct result of my IDSA network.

Depending on where you are interested in moving, I strongly encourage you consider attending the District Conference (now called “Design Dialogues”) in that area of the country that interests you. This would be one of the most direct way to reach out and directly connect with folks who should be able to give you some useful information, contacts and advice. (Go to Events | Industrial Designers Society of America - IDSA for info on the conferences.)

Lastly, I agree with the previous posters that it is always easier to look for a job while you have a job. Just consider that the networking and personal interaction IDSA offers can be invaluable when you’re looking to make a change.

Best of luck,