I know I'm a little late in replying to this thread, but my experience has
been similar to Debbie's. After some preliminary quick job-switching as I
moved up from operator to programmer, my job history looks like this:

Job 1 - 4 years as a contract programmer. Seeing the feast or famine nature
of this work, I left this to take

Job 2 - After a little over a year, the company was sold to an upstate
company that closed down the Long Island office.

Job 3 - This was a division of a mega-corporation where the System/36s
primarily fed data to the corporate mainframe. After taking 2 months to
develop a system that they'd thought would take me at least 6, I spent 7
months attending meetings and sending memos trying to get them to decide
where and when to do the user acceptance testing. I was so bored, I found

Job 4 - Eight years and I thought I'd found a permanent home until the
company was sold to an out of state company that closed down the New York
office.

Job 5 - A year and a half until the company was sold to an out of state
company that closed down the New York office. (Speaking of patterns...)

Job 6 - Another mega-corporation, this time in Massachusetts. I should
learn. I only lasted a month until I could move on to

Job 7 - Seven years and I thought I'd found another permanent home until the
company was sold to an out of state company that closed down the
Massachusetts office.

Four months unemployed.

Job 8 - A three month contract that was not renewed in time so, with no
prospects in Massachusetts, I bit the bullet and relocated to

Job 9 - a company in Arizona where I've been for almost two years. This
company was sold to an out of state company before I took the job, but I
decided to risk it since my son and daughter-in-law live in Arizona and I
was going to retire here anyway. I'm still on this list because I'm afraid
of history repeating itself one more time.

As a side note, this company has several openings and has recently brought
in a TON of Indian contract programmers because they can't fill positions.
They don't seem to understand the correlation between the salaries they're
offering and the lack of takers. On the other hand, they've recently hired
two guys who had been out of the field for a year each.

I love my coworkers and will stay here as long as possible, but I've become
resigned to the fact that, in order to stay employed, relocation is a
necessary evil.

Elise

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