Last Day of Unemployment
Sunday 17 February 2013 — Category: Thoughts
Three years and two months ... 38 months ... 1,155 days — no matter how you slice it, the result is the same: my long, long season of unemployment has suddenly ended! In a period of just 14 days I saw a job ad, responded to it, had two interviews, got hired, and start the first day of my new job tomorrow! It all happened so fast that my head is still spinning, and it’s hard to believe that it’s really true! I guess that when the time is right, God doesn’t dilly-dally!
After three years of unemployment with three years of thin pickings on the Monster.com job search Web site, the idea suddenly struck me at the end of December that I should be looking at the job listings on Craigslist. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this! Because God apparently wants me at this new job, I suppose He kept me in the dark all during this time so I wouldn’t end up in the wrong job. In just one month I found, and applied for, more jobs on Craigslist than I did the entire three years looking on Monster.com!
On 4 February I came across a job ad which seemed quite different than normal. The tone was more relaxed and conversational. Unlike most ads, it acknowledged that for most job applicants it’s nearly impossible to meet ALL of the job requirements. The ad stated something to the effect that there was no bureaucracy in their company, and that they were just a small group of geeks who made great products together. At the end, it announced that they were a 100% Beavers organization, so any Ducks fans should be prepared to lie on their résumé accordingly, and not dare wear green (one of the Ducks colors) to the interview! Wow! How many job ads have you seen where they ask you to lie on your résumé, even though it was just for fun?! So, breaking all the rules for writing cover letters, I sent one along with my résumé addressed to the “Head Hiring Geek” — and wrote that working with other geeks in a non-bureaucratic environment sounded like a programmer’s paradise!
Three days later I was asked to come in for an interview, which I went to the next day, on February 8. Because I had put the matter into God’s hands, and was ready to either get the job or not, I was able to answer questions and talk for nearly two hours in total peace, without any nervousness or stress. I was the first of three applicants, so I was told that they would make a decision by the end of the following week. During the following days I prayed fervently that God’s will would be done, and that if He didn’t want me to work there, that He would slam shut this door of opportunity. Even though I was ready for either outcome, it was an anxious time of waiting to see which way things would go.
Then on the morning Wednesday of 13 February I got a call to come in for a second interview that afternoon. Apparently I was running neck and neck with another applicant, and they wanted to interview us both again in order to try to break the tie! This time the meeting was shorter, but still, I was there for over an hour. Even though I had never programmed in C in a work environment, which was the primary qualification they were looking for, I guess they were interested enough in all my other experience and skills to give me serious consideration for their programming position.
The next day — Valentine’s Day of all things! — I received another call saying that the tie was broken and they had chosen me! The door had not been slammed shut, but God had kept it wide open for me, despite the odds. Seeing that this happened on February 14, was this some sort of love gift to me from God? Who knows? All I do know is that my 38 months of unemployment are coming to a rapid close, and that I am no longer numbered among the swollen ranks of the unemployed!
So tomorrow, February 18, I start my first day at Silver Leaf Electronics — an established manufacturer of monitoring and control hardware and software for recreational vehicles. The offices are not far from my house ... only three miles by road, and a scant 1.3 miles as the crow flies — I sure wish I could! I’m fortunate to be given an hour lunch break — and to live so close to work — so we can continue our fifteen-year Swiss tradition in America of having our main family meal together at noon instead of in the evening.
I’m going to be very busy, learning new things and meeting new challenges. When I was studying computer programming in college, I was very interested in math and science applications. But during my decades in the work world, most of my programming has been for business applications (a lot of databases) as well as a significant focus on Web site creation. After doing this for so long, I was getting kind of burnt out on this relatively low level of programming. So I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to make a break from that realm, and be involved with applications that delve a lot more into math and science. The first two images above are screenshots of a couple of the products Silver Leaf manufactures.
Three years of “vacation” was nice, but I was starting to feel pretty bored. Of course, I've been quite busy during that time, learning lots of new things, and creating a number of my own Web sites, including this extensive photo gallery and blog, with 230 articles, 113 photo albums, and over 3,000 of my best photos from all over Oregon and elsewhere. But now a chapter of my life is closing, and a new one is beginning. I’m glad to finally have closure on all that happened with the ElijahList. It will be really nice to have a salary again — and a much better one than I had with the ElijahList. Last but not least, with my two teenage children both entering the workforce for the first time by the end of this Spring, it’s good that I too will be going out to work each day instead of continuing at home.
Well, it’s a major change in my life, and it will definitely have an effect on this Web site. As I wrote in December, I've been feeling a bit fed up with photography lately. Maybe that was a preparation for leaving my full-time photography hobby behind, and settling back into a full-time computer job. Nevertheless, I still have a strong interest in photography, and I have a lot of great equipment to put to good use. But obviously I won’t be able to go on nearly the same number of photo outings, nor will I have time to write so many blog articles. Of course, I’m still going to take pictures, as I am able, and still write articles, as I am able, but at a MUCH lower level of output.
I STILL have not finished processing the photos from my September 2012 trip to Lake Chelan, and after that I have all the pictures from my New Year’s trip to California to deal with, and finally the photos from last month’s outing to Smith Rock. So even though I won’t be going on my next photo outing any time soon, it will still take me quite a few weekends, plus occasional weeknights, to finally get all caught up.
The last two years of my photographic journey have been tremendously exciting, as I had the time and money to devote myself whole-heartedly to photography. But nothing in this life last forever, and now this special season has come to an end. I hope that, through this Web site, you have enjoyed coming along for the ride. Even though I have left the rapids, my photographic journey is not over yet — I've merely come to a slower stretch of the river. It will be interesting to find out what’s around the next bend!