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Published in ‘Aardvark Daily’… http://www.aardvark.co.nz/daily/2002/0923c.htm

I think it was about 2 years ago when I said to my wife Sarah, “Whatever I do, don’t let me be a web designer”. This was just after a large dot com (or dot co.nz) business my employer was involved unfortunately failed in a hailstorm of nastiness (Not his fault, he was a great Guy! and is a great friend), and made me sit back and take stock of my career… (NB: I met my wife through the bust – so that was great!)

I found myself in a place where after 9 years of hard servitude as a high-end Mac Operator/Designer, suddenly the jobs had changed… Hmmm the jobs were still there… it’s just that an experienced (both technical and creative) designer seemed to “just not fit” in the world of 1-2yr experienced MacOps which seemed to be streaming from every orifice of all the “Creative Institutes”. (Isn’t it interesting that in the past a design or technical course taught you foundational skills, yet today they teach you for $Thousands how to use a couple of bits of software which, by the way, are generally out of date by the time you graduate). And hey! who dropped all the Zero’s off my nice high salary. It seems the salary level has in the last 5 years become inversely proportional to my experience level?? (NB: Many fishing trips on the bosses boat during this period… and I bought a couple of nice cars!)

Ok, so after the Graphic Design scene and the bomb, I thought I’d try my hand at the Visual Effects/3d Animation game. Having dabbled over the years, I got in with a leading Effects designer and freelanced for a while.. “What’s that? you want a website?…” – ok, back to the 3d Animation. Now theres a good field! Hmmm… Thousands of kids spending $Thousands, learning to use 1 or 2 software packages (At least web uses three or four) which if the industry swings, they’re all out of a job… Hmmm Jobs?…1 Job for each 200 kids (i think) – and seriously underpaid, with an average shelf life of 6 months. (NB: I’d better have a latte for a couple of hours then I’m off fishing – take the mobile)

Right, I’ll try the home office… the Parnell Visual effects thing was great, but gosh darn it! I’ve just had too much of that Southern Motorway… Right, on to the visual effects…”What’s that? you want a website?…” ok, now where was I – oh that’s right… In the lounge watching Oprah waiting for a client to come over. Hmmmm Visual effects seems to be fizzling, had enough of Graphic Design (no money in it)… I guess there will be some good money in the web… I’m sure I can come up with the next great idea, Yeah! no one’s done it!, It’ll sell… (oh-oh Dot com hype got me for a sec… sorry about that) (NB: Nice day outside, I think I’ll go for a Kayak down at the beach… Take the mobile)

“Whats that! Changes to the XYZ website…Yup! I’m on it! ” – Darn it… Now I have to drag that darned Sea Kayak up the hill to the house! …. 2 mins later (minimum charge 1/2 hour) “Changes done!” (NB: I wonder how my mates going – I think I’ll visit him… After washing the car)  OK, Sarah and I have just decided… Had enough of the Southern Motorway… Were a virtual business!… We don’t need a location!… I have a mobile!  Packed up the dog, cat, horse, horse float. Rigged up the double cab Hilux Ute (2yo), sold the house and headed to Christchurch.

(After a couple of months) Hmmm… I don’t know about the industry down here… seems hard to find work… People are nice though (NB: Said to myself as I drive down the driveway of the 26 acre lovely farmlet overlooking the Alps, which costs to rent, the same as a small house on a busy corner in Auckland)

Wheres the web going? Will I be out of work soon? I wish I new Cold Fusion and Flash better… I’ll never get any
work… (NB: Said to myself on the leisurely 20min drive in to town past beautiful scenery, paddocks, trout and salmon rivers etc… Ok, I’ve found a carpark right outside – better do some work I guess)

Will I be a good provider? Is the industry going to collapse? Where are the “Hot Jobs” (NB: I ask myself while planning to take a day off and go fly fishing with Phil up in the Alps in a couple of days – It’s been so sunny and rainless for the last two months, I figured “Why not”  Hmmm… Where are the “Hot Jobs”

I think if we are open to change and open our eyes, we will see that the web has offered us a lifestyle found in very few other jobs… I for one love working creatively in the IT realm….

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About The Author:
Julian Stone begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is the CEO of ProActive Software, developers and creators of the leading web based project management software http://www.proworkflow.com.