Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry
kingpin248

So, what about me?

Since the start of the year, the question of what's next for me has hung heavy in the air. Shortly after the New Year, I took an interview for an engineering position with a consumer products company whose products are primarily used by women, that has a manufacturing facility here on Long Island. I had a lovely little bout of insomnia the night before, and ended up going to the interview on two hours of sleep. I went to the wrong building initially, and when I found the right one, I was five minutes late. The interview itself didn't go well. I stumbled and stammered on multiple questions, including one that might have been the first important - what do you see yourself doing five or ten years down the line? The truthful answer, at least insofar as my limited knowledge of this company was concerned, was "I don't really know." But of course you can't say that, can you? In addition to meeting with a couple of the engineers, I talked with a nice lady from human resources who mentioned another position available at that facility. Even with that possibility, I reached my car thinking I'd be shocked if I were contacted by this company to move the hiring process forward. And sure enough, I wasn't.

But the morning of January 6 wasn't totally for naught, because it triggered me to reevaluate where I'm looking for work. Not just geographically, but in terms of the field of employment. Throughout the latter stages of 2011, I've been disposed to discount the possibility of returning to nuclear power, the specialty in which I was trained in the Navy - and rocked it out, if I do say so myself. I felt that to go running back there would represent a waste of the work I put in at Hofstra over the last two and a half years. But the performance I submitted on that interview was enough to remind me that, especially with this economy, I'm not in a position to foreclose any job opportunity.

Once my thinking reached that point, I really had to drill down and get to the bottom of why I got out of the Navy. I mean, the real root causes. Was it the Navy at large, was it specific to the nuclear power program, or was it both? To help answer this question, I cracked open some files I haven't looked at in a long time - the "not one more second" series. That was a set of four blog posts (intended to be five, but I didn't crank out the last one) that I wrote in October 2008 with the intention of placing here, but never did. Looking back over those writings helped me to realize that a sizable majority of my justifications for leaving the Seagoing Military Force did not directly pertain to splitting atoms. So I registered at NukeWorker.com, uploaded my resume, and started searching for relevant postings. I also looked directly at the job postings of particular companies. Three weeks ago, I applied for an operations position at a plant in upstate New York. If I had my druthers, I'd want to end up at one of those three plants - not all that far from home, and close to Ithaca to boot. Nothing back from them. A week and a half ago, I saw a company advertising openings in Illinois. I put myself in for that, as well as for an engineering position at a plant in New Jersey operated by the same company. I even submitted my credentials for a plant operator position in Texas. And not just any part of Texas...that plant is less than an hour from the DFW Metroplex, and I'm not sure it would be safe for a fan of the reigning world champion New York Giants to be down that way. Silence in return. I was forced to wonder if these applications were being sent straight into the memory hole. Until...

...about twenty minutes after I put in the application for the Texas position. The phone rang, and my iPhone identified the origin of the call as Illinois. Yeah, I might want to take this one. I had a very pleasant twenty-minute conversation with a recruiter from the company offering the position in Illinois. And the very next day, I got an e-mail inviting me to come out there to take preliminary tests next week. These are just initial screenings before I can even get to an interview; if when I pass them, said interview isn't projected to take place until March. The company is apparently very confident I'll pass them, because they amended the schedule for my visit to include an interview at the plant where this job will be located. The job itself doesn't even start until May; however, in my case, that's a positive, as I would need to execute an interstate move if I get this position. All else being equal, I'd prefer this one to the Texas job, and maybe even to the one in New Jersey; the plant is just on the outskirts of the region known as Chicagoland.

All the travel is booked, and now I can turn to the challenges of studying for Monday's tests, and to re-familiarize myself with the various TSA procedures (I haven't flown in almost six and a half years). I have been giving some thought as to where I might want to live if I get the job, but that's really something better left for future consideration, especially after having the chance to actually see the area and talk to the people out there. Regardless, I'm excited to have this opportunity, even if it means I'll have to miss trivia next week. Of course, if this job does end up coming through, I may have to find an entirely new trivia game - not to mention a lot of other new things...
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