And this pretty much sums up my summer.
I had an unexpected adult summer vacation this year as my job was eliminated. Again. I hated the job. I had already decided to just stick it out for a year and look for something else … I just was never going to be down on their wavelength and the culture was depressing. So, while once again I was stunned and shocked when it happened, I was totally relieved once a few days had passed, although frustrated.
At least this time I wasn’t totally starting from scratch. I had a solid resume, good advice from friends on explaining the short term nature of the last role and, well, at least it was summer and not the dead of winter! I didn’t have the same full on panic and being unemployed wasn’t an unknown quantity any more. (Is that a good thing or a bad thing that I’m now experienced at being unemployed?) I had a much better handle on being able to read between the lines on job descriptions (and only went on one interview that was stupid – somehow my salary requirements weren’t screened, so I was fairly shocked to have received an offer for an amount that I haven’t worked for in a decade.) and could more strategically apply for jobs that were both interesting and possible. It’s still hard to determine salary based off of job titles, but that’s nothing new.
I ended up having 2 fairly strong prospects. One was with a company I had both interned for and worked at before I moved back to the Midwest. I should have been a slam dunk stupid easy hire – the hiring manager and I traded war stories about mutual acquaintances the entire interview and I already knew the job (having spent the last decade doing it) and the company. The other was with a Fortune 500 company where I had a total debacle of a recruiter screen (not a native English speaker and a spotty cell phone connection) and somehow still managed to have a phone interview with the hiring manager. I hung up from that interview and decided I was completely in love with her approach and management style despite the fact that the job was a total unknown compared to the other role I had under consideration.
Shenanigans ensued along the way of course … 2 more phone interviews (I tried to push it along by always selecting the earliest possible day and time from the choices, which didn’t always work) and plus a trip to ATL for a face to face, including a lunch with 3 strangers (while desperately trying to not slop food on myself) as well as presenting a case study based on how I’d handle a situation in an industry that I have no clue about. It went fairly well – I was kept so long that I was literally running to make the flight back home, holding my head down because I was that “late” passenger that just barely squeaked through when everyone else had been seated for at least 10 minutes. That wasn’t so bad . . . there were 2 more flights back to StL that evening and the hiring manager had told me I’d be hearing from her the next day.
In the meantime, there were practically crickets chirping on the other prospect . . . I had followed up a few times and heard back promptly from the GM and was told to just be patient as the next person who needed to chat with me was on vacation, but he was sure I’d hear from her immediately upon her return. (I’m sure that was his plan, at any rate.) She finally emailed me for an interview almost 6 weeks after my first one (and well after I had already started my current role). That story isn’t quite done yet . . . I have some very friendly contacts/friends and relatives at that company and there are some rumblings over the delayed follow up time.
In the meantime, things kept clicking right along with the other prospect. No, I didn’t get the call back the next day . . . I conveniently held off on sending her my parking receipt until late that day so I’d have an excuse to follow up. She apologized and promised I’d be hearing from her the next morning. Yeah . . . that turned into being hired as late as possible on Friday evening (YAY!) and the excitement of being on the job (and flying back to ATL) that Wednesday. HR was NOT happy about that one as they had to expedite the background check, never mind that she wanted to buy another plane ticket for me before I had been officially cleared. Sillly HR people. But, hey, I GOT AN AWESOME JOB! The kicker to this story is that I actually also scored a boss who has a clue, a company that has very clear development objectives and landed on a rocking team. Looks like the last job just served as a place holder to get me through – I would have never applied for this if I had still be there.
My first day is worthy a blog post in and of itself for being exceptionally memorable for the capers that ensued and for the fact that my lovely new boss couldn’t be any more awesome and has been as excited to bring me on as I have been to join the team. It’s a big ol’ sloppy love fest and I hope that it always remains as such.
In other news, The Fella and I have parted ways. It was unexpected and I’m still rather miserable about it. It’s a new experience for me … the divorce was a totally different scenario – I felt like a huge weight was gone once the process had started. This feels more like wanting to completely retreat and avoid many of the things I’ve done before as my single self. It’s been confusing, which seems to be a theme for the year, and it’s taking time to process through something that was such a huge positive in my life abruptly disappearing. Thankfully, I have friends who are willing to smash plates, play bartender, and eat ice cream with me and otherwise keep demanding my presence.
The horse has been an amazingly helpful creature this summer too – we moved barns to a friend’s new place and I was out there pretty much every day during my little break. I’m not much of an organized religion girl and tend to view my church as being on the back of my horse, but it’s nice to be told in a truly sincere fashion that someone is praying for you and being pleased as punch for your successes. Plus, this place is delightful and being able to just spend time with Sampson with no agenda and having someone enjoy all the smooching (because how could you not want to smooch this horse!) was so very good for my battered heart. As Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of the horse that is good for the inside of a (wo)man.”
This new job has been a plus too, besides the obvious reasons, because it is so much more challenging than anything I’ve ever approached before. It takes up most of my available brain space. Combine that with actually working as a paid wedding designer for a few weekends over the next month or so, Sampson being used in a fashion photo shoot for the local paper, well, keeping busy is supposed to help, right?
Now, with regards to Miss Marilyn Monroe’s quote about good things falling apart so even better ones can happen … well. This is holding true for the job situation, which is back on an actual career track (woot!). It remains to be seen on the relationship front … but I am a believer in things happening for a reason. I can only wonder what the reason on this one is and what it means for a future that seems quite hazy and somewhat dark for the moment. To complete all of the clichés, only time will tell.