After I heard about the job on Wednesday, I actually surprised myself with how disappointed I really was. I'd been telling myself all along that I wasn't going to get the job, but I guess I had started to make plans about how nice it would be when I would be able to work so much closer to home, with more regular hours. I think the loss of that dream hurt worse than the loss of the actual position. There'll be more, and I have a really good chance, I think, if I jump through the hoops I'm sure they'll give me to prove my worth.
But not getting the job has made me think about what I really want to do, and I find that I really don't know. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I used to think that being a computer nerd was the end of the road - that that was exactly where I should be, and at the time, it was true. But now I've had a taste of something more with this project, and I'm starting to lean more towards a career that is, perhaps, a bit heavier in the management, and a bit lighter in the coding. And then I question myself if this leaning is merely a flimsy excuse for that constant nagging voice in the back of my head that has, since the day I started this career, told me that I'm never going to be quite as good as I should be because of the training that I lack. It's frustrating, in an almost comical way, that I am over thirty years old and am reduced to dithering about my career. I told Richard that I thought I should just buy a Starbucks franchise and spend my days whipping up lattes in a cute little coffee shop, with a store cat (I can imagine how many health laws this would violate. Let me dream, okay?). The nice thing is that I know that he'd support me in whatever I chose to do.
In the meantime though, while I'm dithering about which direction to take, and sulking childishly about not getting the management job, I decided to do something that is both slightly productive, and good for the ego. Last night I dragged out that resume I'd worked so hard to create for this job I didn't get, and tossed it out onto one job search site, just to see what sort of response I'd get. I'm not doing the all-out job search yet, so I figured that one site would be enough to start - just to get my feet wet and find out if I was even remotely marketable. And because I feel more than a little awkward about having recruiters call me on my business phone, I put in my cell phone number for my contact info.
Finally, an acceptable use for the darn thing. It's both a phone *and* a piece of exercise equipment! See, because the phone's reception isn't so great anyway, and it's even worse in the building in which I work, every time it rings I have to grab the phone and dash madly outside before it stops ringing, answering as I bolt out the door in the hopes that they'll be able to hear me well enough through the static so that they won't hang up. After the first few calls, I finally caught a clue and now my scramble to get outside with the phone also includes grabbing a pen and some paper.
It has been quite the ego boost so far, getting these calls, although I think I've disappointed lots of eager young recruiters who sound so crestfallen when I tell them that my main goal is to get *out* of consulting, not simply take another job of the same ilk. On the plus side though, they usually rally back after a quick pause and tell me they'll see what they can find.
So far there have been a few phone calls to peak my interest, and it's been rather refreshing to realize that I have the luxury of time for this job hunt. Yes, I want out of consulting, but I am in no hurry to just jump into the first thing that comes my way. I intend to take my time and find the perfect job - or something approximating that, at any rate. This project I'm on is in no danger of ending any time soon, nor am I in any danger of being transferred. If it takes me a few months, well so be it. In the meantime, I'll get lots of exercise doing the 'ohmygodthephoneisringing' sprint three or four times a day.