Thursday, January 14, 2010

Second Chance

This happened yesterday, and I'm still elated. In fact, it got me through today, which -- as Thursdays often are at the plant -- was sort of excruciating (it's the boss's Friday, and he feels pressured to wind things up and make check marks on a long list of accomplishments for the week, which often translates to a hectic, angsty day).

In the fall I interviewed with a company in southern California for a water-industry position that would land me in Palm Springs doing exactly what I want to do. I didn't get the job and, unlike most of the interviews I've been to lately, was notified via a relatively generic rejection letter, so I had no idea how close I'd really gotten; I began to fear that I'd said something wrong in the interview or that my experience wasn't quite adequate for the positions I've been applying for.

While I love the water industry, working at a plant is repetitive and isolating. The jobs I've been going after are with organizations who employ circuit riders, specialists and technicians who assist rural communities with water issues, whether environmental, treatment, distribution, consumer, regulatory, financial, etc. My short five years at the plant have been pretty action-packed, and I really do feel qualified to help operators in small systems get funding, repair equipment, solve problems, and receive training (a big part of these jobs is lining up and conducting conferences and classes; fun, right?) I'm diplomatic, a great communicator, a sharp researcher, I'm tough and fun but can be professional and polite. Also, I've got some administrative and financial experience under my belt, and I know how to deal with small-town politicians (hint: if you can avoid it at all, do so).

So yesterday one of the members of the panel that interviewed me down south called to let me know that they're looking to fill the same position up north, home base Sacramento, frequently deployed in the surrounding area from the coast to the Sierra Nevadas. No one could be more appreciative to have been remembered, much less informed that they had made an impression and were considered qualified. He had recently run into a manager from another group I interviewed with last August, and while they were talking about openings in this organization my name came up when he mentioned a girl from Wyoming he had been impressed with. The other manager remembered me, a close second in his own round of interviews, and realized at once who he was talking about. So my name's out there; it's only a matter of time.

I'm glad they found the perfect person for the job down south; now all I have to do is let them know I will work my tail off to be the perfect person for the job up north. Brent and I already convinced ourselves once that Sacramento would be perfectly feasible, and it only took a split second for it to happen again. Affordable (no, really!), an hour or so from all that is delightful (Yosemite! Tahoe! Reno! Monterey! San Francisco! Napa/Sonoma!), and just a 12-hour drive from home (a little longer to get to Kansas City, but we like to fly). When I was sure the connection was closed, I screamed out loud.

I've submitted my application packet and look forward to another interview among the palms, especially since the panel member that contacted me is a most pleasant and sensible person, and I want a chance to tell him in person how absolutely grateful I am.

I'll keep you posted.

1 Comments:

Anonymous KB said...

Oh well, if Duvall doesn't come through, one could take the California Zephyr to Sacramento.

January 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

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