Things that have been happening, 2

[Continued from here]. So this is the thing that has really been occupying most of my time since the end of March. I’ve got a new job, and it’s not in a university.

This has been the plan since 2016 — to look for a full time position outside of higher education: but first it was hampered by the job market, and then by dad’s needs, and finally by COVID. I had a horrible panic attack in January, increasing anxiety, and then along about February, I had a sort of personal crisis and decided I need to get back out of the house. It took me about three weeks, but I finally said, “Apply for one job, any job, and everything will get easier after that.”

So I rewrote my resume, applied for this job, five days later I had a phone interview, and three days after that I had a job offer — without ever taking part in a F2F. I didn’t even have time to survey the market, but this seemed like a propitious moment. It helped a lot that when my (now) boss called to offer me the position and I asked him if he didn’t want to meet me first, he said, “I am a former drill sergeant and I can tell you’re a good person.”

(If you knew me in real life, you would know how flabbergasting a statement that is. I am not drill material. However, now that I’ve had a month to work with him, I just really love the guy. I have generally had much better “management” when I haven’t been in faculty positions, but this guy is especially good at his job.)

it’s a two year project position (with likely renewal or movement into a related position) in workforce development with the state, and it involves, well, developing the workforce. It’s considered a difficult job for several reasons, but the main one is that unemployment in this region is 2.6 percent. The estimate we’ve been given is that about a third of the people of working age (generally: 18 to 65) who are not participating in the workforce but not collecting unemployment payments would like to be employed, but haven’t found their way back into the workforce for whatever reason. My job is to find those people, identify the reasons for non-participation, and figure out what we need to do to get them working. Thus, I am out and about (the area I’m responsible for is about 90 minutes one way from my residence) 2-3 days a week, and working remotely from home the rest of the time.

So far I’m having a pretty good experience. Everything has its ups and downs, but I do get to use a lot of my skillsets in this position. I occasionally think wryly that this moment is why my mom practically forced me to sell Girl Scout cookies when I was a kid. So far (crossing my fingers) I haven’t had any incidence of the Sunday Scaries or Revenge Bedtime Procrastination. It’s early days, still, but I mostly haven’t had any problem switching the work computer off at 5. (It helps that my personal computer is not my work computer anymore, although the keyboard confusion is still annoying.) I work in a team of four and so far they all seem to be great, independent-minded, and self-motivated. I feel like we are getting things done.

All this has necessitated a lot of reorganization of my life and time during the day. Happily, I am also finding that my general energy level is rising and I’m getting more done (want something done, ask a busy person). Oh: and I have a living wage and benefits again. Nothing to sneeze at, even if it is allergy season.

~ by Servetus on June 14, 2022.

30 Responses to “Things that have been happening, 2”

  1. I’m so pleased to hear things are going well for you! The new job sounds very interesting but it must be challenging too. It’s great that you are enjoying it and that you have a boss you can respect 🙂

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  2. Congratulations on your new job and I am glad that it is a positive experience – and no morning drill?

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  3. Congratulations! 🙂

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  4. Congratulations Servetus. After the two years you’ve had, and the knocks you’ve had, changing direction must have taken a lot of guts. They are lucky to have you.

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    • Thanks. I think I got to the point where persisting on the same path would have been more painful … but who knows. I strongly felt that I had to do something.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad you found a position that suits you. All the best in your new job!

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    • Thanks. It’s surprising just how much some of my talents (that went unnoticed in other contexts) are valued here.

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  6. Exciting news, congratulations and all the best for the new position!

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  7. Congratulations on a new job. That actually sounds really interesting, and it bodes well that the manager seems to be a good guy.

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    • I meet a lot of different people, which means a lot of variety, and I love strategizing to solve a problem. He’s a great manager of people. His Outlook skills are less polished.

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  8. Congrats! It sounds like an engaging, challenging but rewarding job! And it gets you out of the house, totally understand that challenge. The boss sounds interesting, i went wow at drill sergeant, but it seems he’s a great person. The combo of having a team, but also each being independent etc sounds great, i’m a fan of these less hierarchical team structures. Such change is massive, but it has a good impact, nice to hear about your energy levels going up. It’s making me think.. i had to look up Sunday scaries and Revenge bedtime procrastination. Hm… and double hm. But how does one get out of those, especially the second? I never thought this was a ‘thing’…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too am very familiar with especially revenge bedtime procrastination and for me,in the end, that had everything to do with not liking my job. Staying up meant compensating – I couldn’t enjoy what I was doing during the day so needed to find some joy in doing stuff at night until sometimes early dawn! Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole with an actor or something but that bedtime procrastination is just temportary, with me not being able to stop myself from a brief obsession. At some point I realized my bedtime procrastination went deeper than just a temporary obsession. It came to a point that I needed to analyse why I kept on sabotaging myself and from that came identifying what I wanted and then working towards making necessary changes (i.e.for me that was finding another job)… I still like staying up late but I’m not fighting off sleep anymore. If I get sleepy I now give in and go to bed, knowing that the next day at work may have some challenges but will be fine because I now enjoy my work so much more.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That really bugged me, too: my awareness that I was self-sabotaging regularly. Or like Sunday afternoons where I couldn’t make myself grade student work, but neither could I make myself clean or do something useful. So I’d do something obviously pleasurable the whole time but / and get up on Monday morning absolutely disgusted with myself.

        Boy do I appreciate the freedom from the constant guilt over not grading fast enough.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Fascinatingly, he doesn’t ever yell. Although I suspect sometimes he might want to. I love the independence as I hate being micro managed (even if it’s for my own good). There has been some attribution from people who can’t handle a job with this much necessity to make up our own plans for a day.

      re: scares and bedtime procrastination — you know, I really did love being a professor (and I prepared for it for eight years). But maybe the problem was that I loved it too much, so that work was harder when it wasn’t going how I wanted it to.

      I think Esther’s notes on bedtime procrastination are important, but / and: I had months and months between dad’s move into assisted living and six weeks ago where I actually always got enough sleep. Like ten months. And it was maybe the first time in my life, or certainly in the last twenty+ years, that I always got enough sleep. It wasn’t just a time issue, but a state of mind issue: I really rested. I was able to turn the cell phone off at night, assuming that I wasn’t going to get an emergency call. It is absolutely addictive. I just find now that I don’t want to give it up — it’s not a matter of sabotage alone (although it is that — see Esther’s remarks) but that I resent being jolted out of sleep and not being alert for the first hour of work. I want “well rested” to be a normal state of affairs. I do think that work that is not eating away at me plays a role in that: I don’t feel like I have to tank pleasure at night: I feel like there will still be pleasure to be had the next evening, and the next.

      I don’t know if that’s useful: it’s in any case a description of my current state of affairs.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This sounds good, Servetus! And I get what you say about having more energy when you’re busy. I’m experiencing the same in my new job. Each job will have its ups and downs but it sounds like this one brings new and good challenges with a good boss and nice co-workers. Sounds like a good start at doing something new. Fingers crossed it all stays well!

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  10. Congratulations on the new job, Servetus! Sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile job.

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    • I’m definitely going to learn a lot. I spent the whole day today trying to contact representatives of a minority group that is known for being relatively closed off, and even from this I learned a lot, although it wasn’t especially successful.

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  11. Congratulations ! It sounds like a very positive change.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on your new job. I always wondered what all Workforce Development did. Some day my youngest may have to have them help him once he is done with college to find a job with his autism. I am a night person so going to bed is always hard for me. like now should think about it since i am working summer school though next week.

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    • Workforce Development does a lot — although not all of is done well imo. Unsolicited advice: about a year before he’s ready to graduate, he should consult with the career services office on his campus. They are usually pretty on top of their job. If it turns out that autism is going to significantly influence his job search, there are definitely people at DWD who can help, and if I’m still doing it then, I will try to listen around about who are the best at their job.

      You have summer school? That is a bummer. I am going to bed now (late) too.

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  13. super! this sounds good! I am very happy for you!

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