When I was in high school, I went through the hoops of applying for different colleges in the hopes of continuing my academic career. I was accepted by my first choice, but remember applying for several others.
Here I am, fifteen years later (had to double check the math, that’s a tad depressing) applying to colleges AGAIN in the hopes of continuing my professional career.
Weirdly, my first choice now is the same as it was then. I spent a great few years there when I was learning, made lifelong friends, met my wife, and thoroughly enjoyed myself there. I’d love nothing more than to go back and spend the remainder of my career there, it would be like coming home. But that doesn’t seem like it’s happening, since I applied there and never head back.
No huge deal, because my second choice is rapidly climbing the ladder and closing the gap.
I interviewed there yesterday and walked away from the interview feeling really good about it.
Firstly, the area is absolutely beautiful. Nestled in the top corner of New York, tucked in the cook between the Canadian and Vermont borders, it is minutes from the Adirondacks, a place where I derive a great sense of peace simply by driving through. The campus itself is beautiful too.
The other selling point for me is that it is over 200 miles from the town I live in now. After leaving my most recent job my little town is awash with rumors surrounding my departure. Even though I left of my own accord, that doesn’t seem to matter, we know how the rumor mill works. If I can vanish from here, awesome.
Not only that, but as much as I absolutely adore my little town, it’s time to leave. The boys are getting older, and as soon as the little one is in school, my wife is looking to go back to work. Around here, there aren’t many opportunities to do that beyond waiting tables or working in the school. If she desires any sort of career or gainful employment, here ain’t the place for it.
So I’m obviously looking to leave, but the school I interviewed at yesterday is really one of my front runners for my ‘forever home.’
The interview itself was both very tough, as I needed to explain the circumstances of my departure from the last job, and relaxed. The gentlemen who interviewed me didn’t beat around the bush with anything. They were straight forward and professional, while at the same time being human. In spite of the obvious challenges of doing my first interview since leaving a job, this wasn’t a high-stress meeting.
I’ve been in interviews that were straight-up grill sessions. Panels of people from numerous departments of a particular agency which makes things confusing because questions come from a hundred directions at once, and remembering names is impossible. I’ve also done interviews where the vibe was “We have no intention of hiring you unless you can convince us otherwise right now.”
This school though, wasn’t like that. I did a brief session with HR, the assistant chief, and an investigator. After a while the HR rep left and I sat with the officers.
When I left there, I got a handshake from the assistant chief who told me “You did well.”
I drove home feeling more confident than I did on the way up. There are still hurdles to clear, background investigations, followups with the old job I’m sure- which worries me the most since I have no idea what sort of thing the old job will say. They could very easily say “Yeah, that guy was an asshole” – then I’m sunk.
All I know is, that while I’m not expecting an acceptance letter from these people, if it DOES happen, don’t stand near me, because I’ll be gone so fast, that as Lou Costello (google him kids) used to say, “The suction will carry you with me.” It all lines up. The area is a hell of a place to raise a family, the college community seems to be very friendly, the department itself is extremely likable from what I’ve seen, the opportunity for my wife to work later on in life is spectacular, and the surrounding area appeals to the outdoorsman in me very, very much.
I still very much covet my old alma mater, but I think landing this second school wouldn’t be so much of a loss as to even consider it ‘second place.’ In fact, I’m starting to call it “Choice 1A”
I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m excited and nervous. I could be sunk by any number of things, but I could also still win. And by ‘I’ I mean ‘we.’
I am a few pieces of paper, a couple of phone calls, and a decision away from landing in the job I can finally see myself retiring from.