Muscles in my back and neck that have been clenched tight for months, or maybe even years, are slowly unknotting. I can feel weight coming off my shoulders and my breathing easing. The chest pains are disappearing. Even coffee tastes better, if such a thing is possible.
I have a new job.
The sand has been trickling down on my sentance in purgatory and, much as I need to leave my current job, the fact that I had nothing to go to and a family to help support was stressing me to the breaking point. I try not to buy into any of society's "real man" crap, but being unemployed is something I haven't experienced since I graduated and I haven't been taking the possibility well. I was feeling useless, and scared, and terribly weak.
Yesterday I interviewed with an architectural firm that my current company often deals with for external consulting. They know me fairly well there, and in fact were one of the first places that I had called when I got the news of my layoff. They had no openings at that time, but since then one of their people has left and now they have a hole to fill. Thankfully, they called me and offered me a position, which I accepted today.
I'm thrilled. I'll be moving from a large corporation to a much smaller office with more of a family feel. I already know my bosses and I like them. Moreover, I'll finally be doing the work that I trained to do. The next few months will answer, once and for all, the question of whether or not I should stay in architecture. If the answer is "no" then I'll be able to leave at the end of my three-month probation with the knowledge that I have given one of my dreams a best shot, instead of always wondering if I would have/could have/should have. If the answer is "yes" then I will have finally found work that matters to me.
It's going to be a very, very good Christmas this year!
In closing, to those of you who read this and are looking for work yourselves, I'd like to add that all the "How to Find Work" books are right:
1) I sent out dozens of resumes and I had two interviews. Those interviews both resulted from cold calls to people I knew or had been referred to, not from any of the posted jobs on the net and in the newspaper that I applied to. My success in looking for work came through networking, not traditional want ads. I'm one of the worst networkers in the world, so if I can do it then you can too.
2) I negotiated after I received their first offer and it was worth it. I had to psyche myself up to make that call and come back with a counteroffer, instead of just lunging over the table and signing before they realized their mistake and took the original offer away. It was worth it. Always negotiate. Once the company has made you an offer it's your best chance, maybe your only chance, to make a real difference in your compensation. If you don't believe that you're worth more, pretend you believe it anyway!
Current Music: Christmas Carols!