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PCBD-Oct2014

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58 The PCB Design Magazine • October 2014 TIM'S TAkEAWAYS column by Tim haag InTErCEPT TECHnOLOGY Blink and You Will Miss It The year was 1987. I was married, owned my own home, and our first child was a year old. Life was great—better than I could have ever imagined. And then it happened: I got laid off. This was the company that I had planned on being employed with forever, and yet they showed me the door. I was devastated. My ca- reer as a circuit board designer, which had just started, was now in serious jeopardy. Was I going to lose my house? Could I sup- port my wife and child? Was this an indication that I couldn't cut it in my chosen profession? I was 27 years old, and it was one of the lowest points that I had ever experienced. I knew one thing for sure though; I did not want to work as a contract board designer. I didn't want to go from job to job, I didn't want to give up on the perks that I had enjoyed at my previous company, and I didn't want to pay for my own benefits. I wanted the security that I had become accustomed to and I wanted my future to continue as I had planned it out. To be honest, though, I was scared of what was around the next corner. But since full-time jobs for junior designers were not in abundance, I was forced to widen my search for work. Even- tually, I would end up full-time at a service bu- reau, which is where, for the next seven years, my career as a board designer really took off. But before I got that job I spent three months as a contract board designer—exactly what I said that I would never do. Isn't it funny how that tends to happen a lot in life? The scenarios that worry us, the ones that we try our best to avoid, are often what we end up facing. Friedrich Nietzsche said, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Well, that adage certainly proved to be true in my situation. If I hadn't been ripped from my se- cure position and forced to contract for a short season, who knows how my future would have eventually unfolded. And if it hadn't been for that brief season of hardship, would I have had the strength and flexibility to succeed later on? I wonder how often it happens that the season of challenge that we are confronted with in

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