Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Career choice

I handed in my resignation on Monday. I've worked at a software company since 2002 as a technical writer. I freelance for the Omaha Weekly-Reader. Now - I am taking a job at a new company. I will have to resign from The Reader because of conflicts of interest.
Before going into the ramifications, I thought I'd spout that stuff that I needed to go through to get this job (in general) in 2005:
  • 14 'official' job interviews that I had to do everything from taking a day off of work at my regular job to finding creative ways to skim two hours of time
  • 34 official applications - those jobs that you actually research the company and write a customized cover letter
  • 74 'generic' applications
  • Six trips to the cleaners
  • Three major formatting changes to the resume
  • One trip to Tucson to research the job environment

... welcome to the job market of 2005-06.

So, I went to lunch with one of the ex-employees at the company I'm currently working for today. She's a secretary at an office furniture warehouse. She patted me on the shoulder and said "see, you're leaving journalism and on your way to an actual career - as a technical writer."

I didn't know what to say. She was right. As much as I look forward to this new job (hell, my editor once had a class with no other than Kurt Vonnegut), that line did sting. I'm looking forward to working with great writers. I can always write on the side. But that line left a bit of emptiness lingering.

Parting thoughts for my current company:

I am anxious to start this new job. I am anxious to leave the company I am with. But, I can't help but dwell on the circumstances that brought me to the company. I was in competition with 15 other writers. I did have eight years of experience working in a hospital, but it was part-time - a way to pay for college. Other than that - no full-time experience. I just graduated from college. And it was 2002, the middle of a major recession. Simply stated - they took a major gamble on me. For that - I'm eternally grateful.

Current Listening Selections

Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs

Mark Sandman - Sandbox


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