Friday, May 8, 2009

The Dragon has landed...

...a new job, that is!

All that's left to do right now is sign the papers. The IT guy has already contacted me about the type of laptop they should purchase for me (talk about serendipity...a couple of months ago, I decided to buy a MacBook Pro laptop, even though it was 3x the price of a Windows laptop. Turns out, the new company uses MacBook Pros as standard equipment! So, what I thought of as a splurge, simply because I wanted to learn how to use the Apple OS, turned out to be a wise choice).

The hunt is over. Considering today's market, my job hunt was exceptionally short. 4 months from when I lost one job and I start the next. There was a lot of luck involved, do not doubt it! Sure, I did the work of presenting myself as a good candidate. But, getting my foot in the door was luck, pure and simple.

Some people might say that losing my job was a blessing in disguise, meant to be, or happened so I could move on to something better.

Sorry...I'm not buying it. Stuff happens. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. Being thrown out the door from my last job is something I could have done without. If it hadn't happened, I'm sure I would have been content to have stayed there. There's a new manager that could have made all the difference with my job satisfaction, I had a lot of vacation saved up, the benefits were just fine for me, I had a nice comfy office, walking trails, and a convenient cafeteria. I won't have all these things at the new place.

That's not to say that I can't find the upside to the whole event. Here are some of the things I will take with me as I move forward:

I am more motivated than ever to make the new job be as successful as possible. I am determined to be the best I can be (I sound like an Army commercial, eh?), to prove that I really was the best candidate for the job.

A good network is crucial. Keep the good people close and as much as possible, be a person of integrity. I found my new job because a former colleague thought highly of me and got me in the door. I never worked closely with this person, but somehow, I made a good impression on him. And his recommendation made a huge difference during the interview process.

Live a more simple life. One of the big shocks for me was to realize that at any moment, my comfy and expensive lifestyle could disappear. There's no need for me to "live large." A more simply lifestyle will enable change in the future with a lot less agony.

Plan for the future. I had nothing to fall back on because I kept putting off vague action plans for education. Because I was not unemployed for very long, I was able to save some money. I'm going to take some of that money and put in towards education. A friend of mine pointed me towards some interesting programs at the Arnold Arboreteum. Something that's completely different from tech writing. I have a feeling that there's something there for me, something that will be a good alternative when I'm done with technical writing (and yes, that day is coming).

"Pay it forward." A lot of people were quite supportive and helpful while I was working on surviving my job loss. I know the despair when you look out and just don't see any jobs or hear only silence after submitting resume after resume. Or the emptiness when you realize that there's just *nothing* out there other than finding ways to fill the slack time. I intend to help out wherever and whenever I can. There are some vague signs of economic improvement -- I met with my financial advisor last night and my IRA is up 6%, which is so much better than the humungo loss I had previously. But, jobs are still going to be hard to come by.

So, now I turn my face to the sun and leave the winter behind me. The new job will be demanding and ever so slightly scary, but I'm up for the challenge.

(and all these lofty, good intentions...I wonder if I'll really stick to them...)

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