I haven’t written much these past few weeks. It’s not that this has been a quiet time; It really hasn’t been. Over the holidays we visited with Mom while my brother’s family was also with her in New York. Then they all came down here to Virginia with us. Then they all went back to Mom’s house and we stayed here. Then we started the new year of 2008.
But I haven’t written much just because it’s been a stressful time besides all that. In late December I started to look for a new job.
When Winnie and I decided we needed to move away from the Mississippi coast, finding a job was my number one concern. My post-navy work in military-style logistics has developed into a challenging and satisfying career. At the same time, there never was much of this type work available down on the Coast. In fact, the shipyard I was working at for most of my post-navy career was the only place on the Coast with significant demands for this work. The last time I changed jobs, my search took six weeks with only one interview the entire time – the one I was hired through.
I suspected there would be more opportunities in other parts of the U.S., but I was still nervous.
I actually landed my present job with a small contracting company within six weeks of posting my resume on monster.com. I also had several other viable contacts during that time, but this job looked interesting and got us into the Washington, D.C., area where we really wanted to move to.
For the first several months all went well in my new job. I was working for a very small company with a few moderate-sized contracts. The contracts, as happens with most government-sponsored contracts, were behind schedule with serious funding issues. I found myself doing a lot of “new business development,” writing proposals for wining new contracts, just because there was not a lot of logistics work to be had. While I enjoyed writing proposals, I could also see that these were long time-frame projects, with even a contract award months or even years down the road.
About early December, I decided I needed to move on. I felt my logistics skills were getting “rusty,” and really did not want to be in the position, again, of not having marketable skills. So late one evening just before the Christmas holiday I updated my resume and posted it back on monster.com. What I expected was to start looking in earnest right after the holidays.
What actually happened was getting two serious e-mail contacts by 10:00 AM the next day. I was honestly astonished. Over the next several days I received several more contacts. I followed up with all of them, held phone screenings, then arranged in-person interviews with three companies. All in the week before Christmas.
All three interviews, and a fourth scheduled after Christmas, all went well. Two lasted for over one hour, friendly and very positive. One thing I learned was just how much demand there is for my logistics skills. One interviewer even commented that he didn’t see many people with a steady, progressive, logistics career like mine. I wisely refrained from replying that my career choice was a matter of being the only decent-paying job I’d ever found back in Mississippi.
Yes, I’ve learned these past years that keeping ones mouth closed is sometimes a good thing.
I ended up with a choice of job offers to chose between, a situation I’ve never encountered before. After looking at the work offered, job locations, and discussing the choices with Winnie, I opted for a company located closest to our house and also offering the most interesting work.
I gave notice last Tuesday to my present company. It was a bitter-sweet feeling. I had really wanted to work the projects I first came up here to Washington to do. But, no one is irreplaceable, and I’m leaving at a time when my company can find a replacement and keep the projects moving. There are a few business proposals I wrote still pending announcement. It would give me a great deal of satisfaction to know that I won even one of these. But, I’m moving on to a larger company with more to offer me and with a whole lot less commuting.
I start my new job February 4th; another adventure with life in Washington, D.C.
Moving On After Starting Fresh : Moving on to another new job in the Washington, D.C. area.
Its Official – We’re Moved! : Our story of moving from an apartment to our own house in Northern Virginia.
A Story of House Hunting and the Urban Pioneer : On taking an urban pioneer spirit and looking for city house.