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August 26, 2002: For now

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Last week a former coworker of mine forwarded me some information for a job. It sounded interesting - the guy was looking for several trainers. I tossed the information toward Richard, and he thought it seemed interesting enough to volunteer. That was Tuesday.

Thursday afternoon Richard got an interview with the guy scheduled for today. Thursday night I spoke with my former coworker. She'd gotten one of the positions, and mentioned that the guy was still looking for three more. I weighed the odds, considered when it was supposed to start and also the fact that there were still three open positions, and so Thursday night I tossed my resume into the ring too.

I called this afternoon to see if he'd received my resume and suddenly had an interview, scheduled half an hour before Richard's. The interviewer was tired and a little disorganized since he'd flown in from out of state this morning. He gave a synopsis of the position: a lot of travel, but it would all be in the state. The hours were good; working from home unless we were on the road. The fact that two married people were after the same thing didn't faze him at all. In fact, as Richard and I both noted, he seemed desperate at this point to simply find people.

Less than two hours after we got home, he called to confirm. The jobs are ours. We start in a few weeks. I go in at the end of the week to pick up all our paperwork, and then we'll see where it all goes.

When I got the job at The Company to be Nicknamed Never, I was ecstatic. I was finally leaving consulting and it was something I really wanted to do. What I feel now, however, is simply relief. It's been only one month since I was unemployed - exactly a month, give or take a day. There is admittedly a small part of me that wonders if perhaps I should wait it out and hope that eventually I'll find something that's a bit more in the field I really wanted to pursue.

But with the job market the way it is, there is no guarantee. I've thrown my resume at dozens of recruiters, only to have them all respond that normally they've got lots of work for me because I'm rather qualified, but not now. The positions I've heard back from - and this assumes that I ever hear back at all no matter what attempts I use to contact the employers - are inundated with resumes and close within days of posting, or turn out to be so mind-numbing that both I and the recruiter know I'd be bored out of my skull in far too short a time. Yes, I could hold out, but how long would it take, and how many more times during the course of that would I end up like I was on Friday, curled up on the bed in tears because it seemed so hopeless.

This job is something that both Richard and I can do, and do well. It will be hectic at times, and I have no doubt that occasionally all the travel will start to wear on us as we go on. But it won't be boring. I can at least see that right now. And there are reasons why this job is a good idea for us, right now. One very big reason, in fact.

It is a contract position. We'll both do this for 18 months, and then it will be over. And this time, this time we'll not be taken by surprise when it ends. This time we'll know it's coming. This time we can prepare.

And this time we can be ready to go, have our bags packed and our tickets purchased and our bikes ready to ship. This time we can actually make plans that are more than just tentative for our honeymoon trip, no matter that it would be two years overdue. And it is this, above all else, that makes this new and temporary shift in career all worth it.

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