Jobness: December 2003 Archives

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

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It's official. The whirlwind of the past few weeks has settled. On my desk is a copy of an offer letter that I have signed and returned. My mind continues to grapple unsuccessfully with the bittersweet realization that I'm leaving.

My new job is back in California. It's so funny, I spent most of my time in Chicago in a melancholic depression. I didn't feel that I truly belonged here until very recently. (And that's not a slight on those who have tried to make me feel welcome, I can't imagine trying to survive here without you guys.) Just as I'm coming to appreciate where I am, it's time for me to go.

But this kind of opportunity doesn't come around very often. It's basically my ideal position. I'll be a Senior Application Software Engineer for a 60 person firm in SunnyHell^H^H^H^Hvale. My group (currently just [bit-rot] Matt, Sean, and I) is charged with developing applications to create turn-key solutions for enterprise customers based on our standard developer framework.

(Apparently, my job also involves taking some of the workload off of Sean who needs a vacation. :-)

Holy Turnabout, Batman!


Wow. I just returned from my latest interview, and it went a lot better than I had any right to hope it would. I've been fretting since Friday when they called to make the appointment. As I've mentioned before, my technical skills are not exactly a perfect match, so I was certain that it was going to be an embarrassing barrage of questions that I couldn't answer.

Instead, they were interested in probing my customer support skills, and were very receptive to what I had to say. The more I spoke to them, the more excited I got. They liked the breadth of experience I could bring to the position, and the fact that I obviously have some experience dealing with irate and irrational users (in particular, they seemed to enjoy my use of the term "triage" for the inevitable case of dealing with more than one at a time, and that it's better (when possible) to give people waiting something to do (something to try) so they're not sitting on their thumb (stewing in the case of the irrational user)).

And it's quite a bit more of a challenge than I originally thought. I would be responsible for keeping the IT infrastructure for a few different offices running, and eventually responsible for mentoring and coaching new administrators in some fo those offices. It'd be a great challenge. And there's some travel involved.

I've been applying to this job since July. I'm now one of 3 candidates, out of an initial cast of thousands. Every step of the way, I've had the same moment. "Well, this sounds good, but I'm not going to make the next cut." Going in today, I was certain that I would come out beaten. When I left, I felt good. I said to myself, "I may not make the final cut, but at least I know that it's because they chose a better candidate, not because I couldn't do the job." It was a great feeling. I figure I'll know by February, if their past track record has been any indication.

Beer Google Synchronicity


I got the word, My interview in California didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I dreaded this moment. I was very excited about this prospect (it being, in effect, my only real prospect) and I tried as hard as I could to keep my hopes grounded. But I failed. And so I found myself worrying that if it didn't come through I'd be crushed.

In retrospect, there were too many questions to which I should have (and did at one time) known answers. They were also skeptical that a software engineer would be willing/able to make the jump to system administration, and I could have spoken more to that, rather than simply assuring them that it really wasn't that different from where my experience lay. (I've always had system administration tasks as part of my responsibilities, nevermind the time sink that is :)

There is no doubt that it would have been a great opportunity for me, and a position in which I would have thrived (conveniently ignoring their doubt for the moment). But everything must happen for a reason (even if we don't particularly like the reason). And so I see that this door closing is not the end I feared it would be. In fact it has helped to open two more.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Jobness category from December 2003.

Jobness: November 2003 is the previous archive.

Jobness: January 2004 is the next archive.

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