Another, Fresher Start

Looking back to the post below from when I first started this site in 2012, it’s quite a strange feeling of nostalgia thinking about four years passing by – very quickly at that.  I was moving back home to Fort Myers, FL because I was tired of hearing “no” from Silicon Valley hiring managers.  Sure, I could make attributions to the market and shift the blame off myself, that is to say, unemployment dropped from 2010 to 2011 in Santa Clara and San Jose slightly, but fast enough to suck up top talent like a drain hole and leave a vacuum of unemployed labor looming in an area with the most expensive housing market in the nation.  Combine that with pre-recession inflationary pressure from the economic rebound, and it was pure hell vying for startup or corporate low-hanging fruit job requisitions.   Who were we kidding really, candidates like myself (fresh out-of-grad school with no professional experience) were a dime a dozen.  Positions were in-demand because of low cost, however at the time it didn’t feel like it to me.  So the decision to come back to FL was one of retreat and refresh – thus spawning the blog and this page.

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I moved to San Jose in the Summer of 2009, ouch.

I started the blog in the summer of 2012, and as you’ll see it was mostly a WordPress version of Pinterest for my infographic collection (what a nerd).  Nonetheless, as I’m gearing up for another move, I have to look back for a moment and appreciate the last 4 years.

Moving back to Florida allowed me to really bond with my parents after being 3,000 miles away for 3 years (boxing once a week with my Dad).  My wife and I have earned the most money in our entire lives, and resided in the nicest dwelling (albeit, in a bona fide retirement community).  And I’ve grown so much professionally- all-in-all a very productive 4 years back in Florida.  Now, what next?

Notice how above I’ve listed purely objective performance indicators.  Sure it’s important to achieve what you want in life, and set goals to do so, but when I look back I notice that one thing was shockingly remiss, qualitative happiness!

Harvard University, psychologist Daniel Gilbert contends that we place too much of a premium on authentic happiness, i.e., actually getting what you want and seek out to achieve, when synthetic happiness is just as good.  He likes all of this to the impact bias of over-estimating both the positive and negative anticipated hedonic affective response to future events, e.g., anything from losing a job, to moving to a new city, to gall bladder surgery.  That is, with relatively few exceptions, we tend to bounce back from any good and bad life surprises due to our psychological immune system.

If you’re still with me, I know what you might be saying, “well this article is completely about you switching gears and moving to another city”….ummm?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure if moving to Austin, TX is going to be that much better in a purely philosophical sense, but I do know that I’m ready for the next act to begin, and I have that scary, excited energy that reminds me of being young.  Speaking of youth, I spent a lot of it scurrying about the major Florida cities seeing my favorite bands when they came through.  And it was the best- being with my friends who I played music with and making memories.  Live shows were worth traveling across the state, and we saw a lot of shows.


When I think about making the decision to move to Austin, one obvious spot on the “pros” column (the fact that Austin is the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World“) casts a domineering loom over the other pros and cons.

I doubt that I’ll lose my People Operations passion and grab the drum sticks to start gigging for a living.  Of course the explosion of tech startups and footprints of Silicon Valley outposts lead to a healthy economy, with lots of opportunity to be found.  So I’ll likely stick to my day job, and hopefully find a band to make noise with on the weekends.

In the coming months I’ll be looking to connect with anyone who’s interested in discussing People Operations, either consulting, contract roles, or possibly permanent positions.  Definitely looking to also hear anyone’s “horror stories” because I know my impact bias is in full effect right now!  I’d love any other real feedback, e.g., traffic, cost of living, population influx, etc.  And of course, I need to know what the best spots are to eat and see music.

I’m a little scared, and very excited to make a move and discover what the next journey in life has for me – stay tuned!

A Fresh Start (2012)

I decided to create this WordPress blog to try and build an online presence to supplement LinkedIn.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had a difficult time keeping up with a previous blog I created, and it definitely fizzled out.  But I would really like to use this site to share anything I happen to find interesting regarding organizational behavior, industrial-organizational psychology, and management science.  (Update: I’m pretty much just posting infographics!)

Thanks.  I look forward to building this site out over the near future.

By the way, that is my wife’s cat, Osiris!  And she’s adorable, so she deserves a page of her own.
Thanks in advance for checking us out!
Mike Cilla

One Comment

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  1. michael mongoven July 2, 2012 — 4:32 am

    Mike, I look forward to following and possibly adding to your posting. Good luck in your search. Michael


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