Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm Hired! (sort of)

Well, my job hunting days may be coming to an end. It's a funny situation where if the company gets the contract, I'm hired. And it's probably the company will get the contract.

But what if they don't?

On one hand, I'm definitely excited by the possibility of working for the company and hope it works out. The question that festers in my brain is will they hire me if they *don't* get the contract. Or even better, might they bring me on the payroll before the contract announcement.

I understand why companies do these sort of things. If they don't have a position for me, it's unlikely they'd create one just for me.  (Although, that would be pretty awesome.)

I think I have to realize that getting the contract gives them the money to pay me. Otherwise, it's just another drain on their overhead (aka profit). And if they did bring me on beforehand and then *didn't* get the contract. What then?

So I understand the situation and that I'm wanted by a company. The immediate excitement of the contingent offer has waned as the "contingent" part (and the waiting) starts to come to the front of my mind.

I guess I'm not off the hook for job hunting. I can't depend on the possibility of the company winning the job. And I guess that's the most frustrating thing.

I'm ready to be done searching and looking and doing interviews. I want to start building an appropriate wardrobe for the job I'll be working. I want to start looking for a place to live that's not my in-law's basement.  (Which is actually very nice, btw.)

Hopefully my life will come off hold soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Phase Two, Where I Learn What I Want to be When I Grow Up

And the job search is on!

Resumes are flying out and even a couple calls on the very first day of my terminal leave from the Air Force.  That was a little crazy, especially since one was to gauge interest in a job in Stuttgart, Germany!  No response back from the company after the brief phone interview, though.  (It was my first phone call and completely unexpected.  I did a little better the next one that day.)

However, even thinking about that job made me realize that I should really think more about the next step in my life instead of just getting a job to get a job.  After doing a "Where do you want to live?" survey that was pretty comprehensive, it's become apparent that we're interested in moving from Florida to Texas. Specifically the San Antonio, Austin, Houston area.  (Mostly San Antonio.  Have you SEEN some of the houses?  Crazy big for the price!)

So I have my resume on a few sites and put in some applications at various places (some even outside of the typical government contractors).

It's an exciting time because now I can decide what I want to be, where I want to go.  The Air Force tended to decide that for me.  I'm not complaining as I really had a great 22 years and did some fun things and got to meet lots of interesting people.

Now it's my time.  :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stress, Planning and How To Love The Bomb

So, I'm retiring from the Air Force effective 1 Oct of this year.  While that's awesome and quite the achievement, for the next two weeks or so, my life is gonna be STRESSFUL.

There's three major things and one minor thing that's causing all this internal ruckus.

The first is the transferring of my duties at work. In my usual style, I've taken WAY too long to do it. It's coming down to this coming week to finish it all off. The time just slipped by faster than I could realize. I always thought, "I have plenty of time." and I don't. I know things will work out and I just need to press on and do it. But this isn't transferring duties because I'm moving to a new place.  It's because I'm FRICKIN' LEAVING THE AIR FORCE!!! <breathes> Okay...transfer duties.  Make sure they at least get a walk-through how to do it. (Which is actually more than I got but that's a story never needing be told.)

The second is the thing that's been tripping me up with number one. Trying to out-process/retire from my current location is logistically difficult. I'm not assigned to the installation I work on. I'm just a tenet. Depending on what I need, I could have to talk to people at Patrick AFB, MacDill AFB, or our HQ up in DC. I think I've got it all figured out and the proper people are responding. It IS going to be awful close. Why? Well, it took a while for the Air Force to be sure they could let me retire. Now I mentioned 1 Oct as my retirement date.  That's a long way off.  A good two months and some change.  As they say in the Hertz commercials, "Not exactly." One of the benefits of retiring is taking what we call Terminal Leave. In short, I completely out-process of everything and for the most part am actually retired, except I'm on leave until 1 Oct. I am hoping to start that leave on the 28th. Of July. Yes, the day that 11 days from now. It's going to be a challenge to ensure my entire 22 year career is wrapped up properly. Again, I think it can be done. I have the checklists and I know what to do. Five work days this week.  Well, 4 and a half. More about that later. Then I have three or so days next week.  Then...I'm done. I do my final out-processing on the 27th. <deep breath>

Which then leads me to my third stressor: a new job. While it's call retirement, it really isn't. It's just time to move on to a new job. And for that you need a resume. I have discovered that writing a resume has been the hardest thing I've done in a while. Not because I don't have information to fill it but because...well, it's just different than what my performance reports were like.  They were simple. Simple bullet statements. What did you do, how much did you do, and what was the impact? Now convert those to civilian prose with little or no jargon or acronyms. Thank goodness for my wife, who's helping with her previous experiences with hiring and what HR is looking for, etc.  Also, she's not military so even the word "standup" is foreign to her.  So maybe it's three and a half major stressors because the third is really finding a new job. Admittedly, I am behind in some respects because the majority of people have jobs lined up before they even start their Terminal Leave. (OBTW, you can work a regular job on terminal leave and earn two paychecks.) Me? Yeah, I'm finishing up my resume right about the time my Terminal Leave starts.  I'm not stressed about finding a job. With my experience and other qualifications, it should be fairly easy. What is stressing me is the process of finding the job and getting hired.  So, in a couple days, I'll be spamming my resume out to any one with an email address or a hand to put paper in.  :)

Oh, and that minor thing?  Well, this Friday will be my Retirement Ceremony. I'm the personality type to forgo pomp and circumstance. I'd just assume say, "See you guys later" and head out the door after finishing my paperwork.  BUT in one of those instances that it's more for them than it is for you, I'll having a ceremony albeit a bit less formal than some others. At this point, I just have to show up.  :)

There's a phrase, "Fortune favors the prepared." I think that it also favors the lucky. I have had my share of luck in my life and hope to go to the well one more time and have everything work out smoothly.  I still have a full paycheck until 1 Oct, then my retirement pay starts. We won't be destitute but it would be nice to start a job sometime in August or September.

Maybe we'll win the lottery. I'd rather not use up that much luck at one time, though.  I might need some later. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Reality of Being Real

With the requirement of real names for Google+, I've found it has scratched a mental itch that I never knew I had.

For most of my adult life, I've gone by my middle and last name, Alan Jackson. I recently starting using my first name, Curtis, after moving to Miami. BUT...I don't feel like a Curtis and so am going to transition back to using Alan all the time. If you look at my profile, it's simply "Alan Jackson".

In the past I've looked for witty and/or cute nicknames/screennames/etc. but I think that I'm going to enjoy being just me for a while. One persona to show everyone. I don't mean that there were some kinds of lies and deceits in the past. I just never really felt fully me.

What I posted on Facebook wasn't always the same as what I posted on FriendFeed. The first more serious and specific, the second more of my whimsy and randomness.

As I continue to wade into the waters of Google+, I see it as a chance to bring those not so disperate parts back together again.

I can still drop some silliness on some circles while "keeping it real" on others. I think that's why I like Google+ so much. It gives me a place to be everything to all Circle at a time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Blog, New Look

So I know it's all coincidence and all but I start my "blog"' back up and suddenly the UI is updated?

What will happen if I make another post?  :)

(And no, there's no good reason for me doing this.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guess who's back?

Just heard news that Google is going to rename Blogger, most likely to integrate into Google+. Might as well get back to some blogging since Postereous and Tumblr didn't really work out. This seems like it'll be just fine.