Former IBM worker finds new career

Posted March 26, 2009
Updated March 27, 2009

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— Hundreds of IBM employees in Research Triangle Park were laid off Thursday and Megan Kirkpatrick can understand what they are going through.

Kirkpatrick worked for the company for 25 years, when she was laid off in 2002. She was based in Pennsylvania when the company moved her to RTP in 1991.

Kirkpatrick said there were layoffs during 12 of her years with IBM.

“Every year you wondered, ‘Is this the year?’” Kirkpatrick said.

Former IBM worker finds new career Woman embarks on new career after layoff

When she was let go, Kirkpatrick was a single mother raising two children. Her son, David, was in high school and her daughter, Amy, was enrolled in college.

At the time it was a major setback, but Kirkpatrick said she saw an opportunity to market those same skills that helped make her successful at IBM.

“I had started out as a teacher directly out of college and I thought what are my skills, what do I love?” Kirkpatrick said. “I actually found a job that married my two careers.”

Kirkpatrick is now the business alliance coordinator for Wake County Schools.

“I’m working with business people. I still have the marketing and business connection. I work with students using my teaching background and I’m making a difference,” she said.

Kirkpatrick encourages those recently let go from IBM to use her strategy.

The most recent layoffs come as IBM announced profits increased in the latest quarter by 12 percent, which exceeded Wall Street's expectations.


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  • TheAdmiral Mar 27, 2009

    I used to support Megan when she worked at IBM. She is a real nice business woman, and when she was let go the support team missed her wit.

    I am glad to see she is doing well.

  • superman Mar 27, 2009

    With the school budget cuts-- she may not have a job herself. They will be cutting non-teaching jobs first.

  • ethicalhacker Mar 27, 2009

    Yes there is life after IBM, I opened a small business that is growing but its a race. Losing my home, losing my vehicle, losing everything I had worked so hard to accomplish. In my new business any customers that use, support or utter the words IBM will find themself paying 4x charges over other customers I have. Let me show them better software, better support and better service at a cheaper price using real AMERICANS speaking REAL ENGLISH. FORCE IBM OUT OF AMERICA NOW !!!! - Just ask the residents of Endicott - "Nearly 1,000 in Endicott sue IBM for TCE-related harms - NEIGHBORHOOD TOXINS"

  • FairPlay Mar 27, 2009

    Sometimes changing careers is not about the money but the security and the work. Good for her.... shame on WRAL for spreading doom and gloom.

  • haggis basher Mar 27, 2009

    "The way WRAL was reporting "Black Thursday" you would think it was the end of the World"
    lets see 300 hundred jobs that paid probably 60K plus each versus one job in teaching..........and its not as if teaching is exactly secure anymore either. Yes there is life after a good job but its not one most folks want to have forced upon them when the CEOs are making millions by doing it.

  • Pseudonym Mar 27, 2009

    You mean there's actually life after IBM? Really??? The way WRAL was reporting "Black Thursday" you would think it was the end of the World

  • pleshy Mar 27, 2009

    Working for the state should not be a career...

  • Z Man Mar 27, 2009

    Of course her income is now 33% of what IBM used to pay her but hey - she has a pension and health insurance.