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BlueWolf's Howl

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February 11, 2003

About a year ago...

It's been almost a year since I first started at this little job on the Cape ~ I know this because I got my "review" today. I did rather well on the review, but that's all beside the point...

For the past 7 to 8 years, I've been bouncing from job to job. It's not that I'm unstable or fickle; it's just the industry environment. During the good ol' dot-com era I couldn't stay at a job for much more than a year. I was hungry for knowledge and advancement and in about a year I would educate (and credential) myself out of one level and into the next.

It was inevitable and very profitable. My salary kept climbing by leaps and bounds. My experience, knowledge and level of responsibility grew exponentially. It was a wild ride and a constantly escalating high.

Then the dot-bomb fallout hit. I held onto my job longer than most, but eventually the company went under. My first interview landed me a job - but when the manager put in the paperwork to hire me, the company froze all requisitions for new hires that morning. I won out over the other candidates, but the prize was a job that evaporated before anyone could even say "congrats."

It was a very tough time and in spite of my credentials and experience, I was out of work for about a full year. It was very hard, not only financially, but also emotionally. At first, I sent out resumes with great hope. Then, I ran across an ad for a Cold Fusion Developer - from my old company (which had already folded). That's when I realized that many of the advertised jobs didn't exist. Eventually the number of ads in the paper and on the web dwindled. Recruiters would place empty ads to fill their database 'just in case'... but didn't really have the jobs they advertised.

Fast forward to last Feb... I finally found a job with a contractor on a military site at Cape Cod. In many ways I was "home." It was a job with other MCSEs - something I hadn't had the luxury of before... It was a place where I could once again be in a military environment. I'm a veteran and I previously worked for another contractor on a government/military job site. And it was in a location where I have many happy childhood memories (Cape Cod). I could easily see the potential this place had for being a healing environment. There was a lot of safety in the familiarity of my surroundings.

As the regular readers know - I'm a little frustrated about not yet being Win2K certified. I had hoped that I would have had more time to study. I had hoped that the material would stick in my brain faster. I had hoped that I would have been done with it by last December. But everything happens for a reason.

Today I think I found the reason -- I had to stay long enough to get a review. I already know that whatever 'performance raise' I get out of it will be a mere pittance compared to what I'll make at my next job. Raises, by their nature, will never be able to compete with an advancement. But that's okay. My next job will arrive when it's meant to happen (and not a moment sooner). And for now - I have enough time in to have been 'reviewed.' It was not so much the actual points or bullet statements that justified the rating that mattered. Basically, it said -- you know what you're doing and you do good work. That was very healing. And that's what mattered.

Posted by BlueWolf on February 11, 2003 08:12 PM