I can’t not talk about it. Obviously because when I try to not talk about something I start writing in-depth posts about grass root structures and what not. My brain is trying to calmly deal with all the change that is potentially happening and I am really good at a lot of things, but keeping shit under wraps is not one of them.
Shiz has been crazy up in here. You know how I am all ‘attack from all angles!’ when it comes to this career thing…..yeah well the downside of that is that you might find yourself with like 3 things going on at once and unable to focus on what is happening.
Here’s how things got wild: about two months ago I applied for a position with the gov’t. For anyone who has gone down this road, it is a LONG process…..like LOOONGGG. About a month later I got a first interview, then three weeks after that I had a second interview. Then I had a week of waiting to hear back. The job itself? I was kind of unsure of. The positive side was that they had a building stock of about 300 old buildings. So there was potential for me to do something maybe eventually with preservation. The negative side was that I would be spending a good year or more stuck in front of a computer producing bid documents for pre-manufactured metal maintenance buildings. I was looking at it mostly as a possible stepping stone to get where I eventually want to go….or at least where I thought I wanted to go at the time. Needless to say I did not get offered the job, which is probably for the best.
Meanwhile the whole China opportunity came up again. This time I was like ‘you best be sending me!’. Picture sassy finger movements with that sentence. They want to send two more people for a 3 month stint. My resume went to the firm in China to be reviewed. There are three people willing to go and two spots, so technically my odds are good. The bad news is it is completely up to the other firm. My boss is all on board. But it isn’t up to him. And they don’t have laws in China about discrimination or equal opportunity and what not. So the fact that all dudes went last time and two of the three peeps this time are dudes…..I am not counting on it, but there is still a chance.
I was told two weeks ago that I would be hearing about China on Monday or Tuesday last week. The exact same time I should be hearing back about the gov’t job. Meanwhile I got a response to another job I had applied for. I was like ‘shit! I need to know whether this is a possibility ASAP’. The guy was willing to meet with me right away, like as in 24 hours later. Which rocked.
My meeting with him was SUBLIME! He was awesome, his vision was amazing and I could just see myself working with him. The interview went fantastic and at the end of it I found myself with a tentative job offer and him saying ‘think about it and get back to me’. I came home ready to toss all thoughts of my 401K and dental benefits and thinking ‘fuck yes! THIS is why I became an architect’.
Andy and I had a real conversation though. Obviously family comes first. Obviously we needed to make sure this wasn’t going to mean I was going to be on unemployment in two months. Fortunately Andy recently went back to work for a big company. So although I still winneth the majority of the bread, we had a new venue for getting our benefits. A more stable venue. I decided I had to take the risk. Big risks could mean big rewards. I mean this could be a firm I could someday run.
I e-mailed him that afternoon saying ‘okay I am interested, what comes next?’. He replied that he would get me an official offer letter by Monday morning. SHIIIITTT!!!! Here I was worrying how I would decide between China and this gov’t job and I just got scooped up completely by something else. And you know what? I didn’t even mind.
You are probably like ‘Hello, Natalie CHINA!?!?!?!’, but I was totally willing to give that up for this firm. I spent 24 hours thinking ‘OMG I am going to quit my job next week’. It was the most exciting and nervous I have been in a long time. Then….something weird happened. The guy e-mailed me on Sunday and said things were moving too fast. He wanted to take a step back. Check my references. Meet again, etc.
I was a little stunned and like ‘wait…what?’. I mean I wasn’t the one moving too fast, he offered me a job. So then I panicked. Um is this guy mentally stable? Did I just almost make the hugest mistake ever? I sent him my references on Monday morning, but all of a sudden I was gun shy. I was once again ready to consider all my options and approach this latest one with a mountain of salt. I would for sure not be throwing caution to the wind and taking a great blind leap anymore.
So Monday and Tuesday rolled on by….nothing. Wednesday, Thursday…..????? Thursday night I sent an e-mail to the office manager with the gov’t position asking about the decision. On Friday afternoon I got a voicemail saying I wasn’t selected. Someone with quite a bit more experience than me was. Good for them. If someone who has more than 8 years of experience wanted a job drafting pre-manufactured metal maintainance buildings that tells me one thing. They were out of work. So I am glad they got it. And honestly I wasn’t 100% sure I would take that position anyway. So it is better that this person got it.
I also got a “checking in” e-mail from the spastic guy. He was waiting to get a few contracts signed before moving forward, but he was still very interested. This tells me this guy doesn’t have the work log to keep me employed long-term. He may have it in the future, but it definitely makes me nervous that he doesn’t have it now. I told Oak and E that I sort of want to say ‘let’s talk again in a year and see where you are at’. I mean let’s face it. I am not 19. I don’t live in a studio apartment or in my parent’s basement.
I own a house, I have a family, I can’t just take a job and be like ‘well if it doesn’t work out, oh well’. As confident that I am that this economy will only get better from here. There are no guarantees. So caution is the name of the game.
As for China….you guessed it, no information yet. I am looking at my calendar and seeing that they wanted the new group to start in two and a half weeks. When the topic originally came back up I had six weeks. Plenty of time to expedite a passport and apply for a visa for Jack and Andy….now….time has eliminated this opportunity as well.
I am not sure what the deal is. I can certainly tell you I had no idea last week when I was overwhelmed by the idea of having 3 possible opportunities hit me at once, that I would be sitting here this week with nothing. You would think I would have at least a chance of one of those things working themselves out.
But you know what? It isn’t over until the fat lady sings. And this fat lady is just warming up. Not to be deterred by disappointment, I decided it was time to do some cold calls. I started looking at where I would want to work rather than who was hiring.
So yesterday I sent an e-mail to a firm I would LOVE to work for. It was more of an “I know you’re not hiring, but I’d love to sit down with you and learn more about you” e-mail. Well this morning I received an e-mail from the office manager that they would like me to come in for an interview. Now it could just be a meeting like I asked for, but it could maybe turn into something more! Which is exciting. Still moving forward. I refuse to sit still.