Thursday, November 28, 2013


There have been several coy and a few pretty direct references at this blog lately, about the fact that I’ve been looking for a new job.  This is something I’ve had to do at least (at most?) every three years in my life, and at three years, four months in my current job, perhaps it’s been overdue.  Even working at the institution I do, there is always change, and this past summer I became concerned.  I applied for a number of things internally, had that interview for a job I didn’t want, and reached out to past colleagues on LinkedIn.

Being stodgy and middle-aged, I tend to view social media with, let us call it, a certain skepticism (if not outright snobbery).  But LinkedIn is handy for reaching out to people you’re not much in touch with, who can speak to your professional abilities.  I did a lot of reaching out during late summer, when my “concern” was at its peak, but left it at a light routine for the most part.

(Perhaps to some extent I considered the power of social media to be a contradictory phrase, and so the whole thing was - in perhaps the same way it's "safe" still to be unpublished - a safe bet.  Nothing could come of a note on LinkedIn, right?)

But ... HUH.  One of the first people I reached out to, an HR professional I respect – and, indeed, like – a great deal, told me about a posting set to go up the very next day, and I applied for it.  Got the phone screen, got the interview, but did not get the job.  I forgot about it.  Until, two months later, another recruiter from that firm reached out to me by email.  “So and so told me to reach out to you.”  I reached back that day, we had a phone screen that day, we set the interview for a convenient time ...

... and, while I was chatting with said professional in their lobby after two hours of interviews, they were leaving voice mails on my cell and at home, stating they were ready to make an offer.  Seriously – I don’t believe I had left their building.

As one might guess:  that offer has come to a profound change in my life, even though my initial concerns of this past summer have MONTHS-since resolved into a more generalized unsureness about what direction my career might take, leavened with vague hopes but little power and momentum leading to something specific.  Let it be said:  my management, from that internal interview (and before) have been supportive of me.  They even provided opportunities to work on a Communications team for an executive I heartily adore.  I have so much to be grateful for.

I truly thought this interview would turn out to be much like the internal one – “I’ll see the process through” – and I’d stay where I am.  I’ve been at the current gig three and one third years, and (as with most every employer I’ve come to in the past thirteen years) had hopes of retiring from there.  It’s taking a compelling situation to take me away, but taking me away it is.  This opportunity involves a job I’ll get to create for myself, and at a level I haven’t occupied in a long time now.

I realize, typing this:  I have missed the executive level.  I work for executives now, of course – and I have the pride of being a public servant, as well.  But the new opportunity puts me bang on top of Operations for a firm which:  well, this HR professional whom I so appreciate and respect found worthwhile.  If this person felt the place was worth their time, I have to think there is something *there*.

It is unreasonable, the extent to which I am blessed, and my gratitude I am incapable of truly conveying.  There’s also a very great deal of fear – “WHAT HAVE I DONE!??” – and excitement.  Let’s face it:  the process by which this has come about has NOT been insulting.  Someone I respect thinks highly of me.  I was a little wooed.  And, when it came time to make a decision, I realized something precious:  there could be no really *bad* outcome for me.  If I stayed where I am, I might have found a new path.

At the end of the day, though – that path wasn’t clear, and this one is.  There are enough uncertainties and worries in my life, taking control of the means by which I live it – that thing we *call* a “living” itself – means a great deal to me.


TCW said...


DLM said...

Tom, thank you! It's crunch time right now, making sure my current employer will be well taken care of, but I am beginning to get excited about the new relationships and the new job.