So about a year or so ago, I put my resume in for a position as a compliance officer for The Western School. Didn't get it. They filled it internally. No big deal.
I forgot about it, started to look for a doctorate that interested me, and decided to stay where I was at least until I earned my degree. Four years, probably five. Then, and only then, I'd decide what to do with my career.
Then at the end of September, just before I left for Louisville, KY, for one of the best econ conferences I ever attended, I got a phone call from friend Diane, who is the school's HR Goddess.
Send Tom your resume, she said. (Tom, incidentally, is my former boss from days gone by. We only parted employer-employee company due to the school itself going bankrupt.)
As soon as I get back, I'm leaving tomorrow for a conference, I told her. It needs some updating and I'm going to be on a plane in about 24 hours.
And so, the long and short of it: last week brought a "chat," not an interview in any traditional sense, and a job offer to teach English.
Having done my homework on the company (I admit it), accepting was an easy decision.
This past Monday, I gave my supervisor my resignation. I'll work until November 21, then begin my new job November 26.
Ever have one of those moments where you never see it coming?
Diane will tell you that I was -- for once -- shocked, speechless, and stunned. She laughed heartily at my inability to wrap my brain around the previous hours of that day.
A job? A new job? Leave my friends at work? Leave supervisors who have been nothing but fair, especially when it came to my dealing with my father's terminal cancer? Leave students that I know, whose lives I'm involved in?
The decision to leave my current job has nothing to do with any of them. What an incredible, fortunate thing to be able to say. It had nothing to do with them.
But the benefits offered, the room to grow professionally.... turning it down for the sake of social comfort? I haven't met a soul yet who said "stay for the sake of the people you like to hang out with." Friends, after all, are exactly that: friends. Geography is relative.
I've been a bit melancholy this week, now that the words have been said. Everything is final, now. The word is slowly spreading, though I haven't told my students yet. I will, of course. They deserve to hear it from me and not the grapevine.
You know, pardon the ego here, but this is the greatest feeling in the world. I apparently did something right seven years ago (seven!) when I originally worked for Tom. Seven years ago I made an impression, began my professional career in earnest. And now look at me: going back to work for the same man who gave me the chance to find my way in the classroom without fear of someone smacking me for approaching the lesson from a right-brained perspective.
As I would say to my students, with a self-deprecating grin, guess all that professional behavior paid off. Huh?