"I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it." - Jack Handey
Apparently the universe observes April Fool's Day, because it seems to be toying with me today.
Just three weeks ago I was celebrating my release from the stifling corporate environment, eager to start a new phase in my life with a move overseas and starting our own business just four short months from now. But to my surprise, earlier this week I got called up by a hiring manager asking me to interview for a position I technically didn't even apply for (mostly for the sake of due diligence with the unemployment office, I applied for a couple short term contract positions and several pie-in-the-sky positions within a specific company that I never thought I would be considered for). I didn't really think much would come of it, and so I said yes to an interview and picked Wednesday April 1st for the interview.... well, because at the time the thought of doing a job interview on April Fool's Day amused me a bit.
Well I had my interview today, and it went well. Surprisingly well. Even though I admitted I hadn't touched a Unix system in several years and flubbed a few of the Unix knowledge questions, and even though I told them straight-out that I have a lot of foreign relatives and have done a LOT of international travel (which can cause headaches/delays when getting approval for certain high-security government contracting jobs), I still got the impression they were wanting to hire me. Personally I don't think my credentials and experience are THAT impressive, and while I'm bright and learn and pick up skills & knowledge quickly, that's typically something that takes a little time to notice and isn't the sort of thing that easily comes across on a resume or one interview. I'm not sure if this is a measure of how good I am and how that is perceived by others, or simply a measure of how well I compare against a mediocre selection of candidates they may have seen before, or a measure of their desperation, or some combination of the above. It's not a dream position by any means but it's better than many out there, and in today's job market I would have thought there would be more competition for such a job. Then again, perhaps it's just a function of a phenomenon often seen in the dating world.... sometimes you're seen as more attractive when you're not actively searching and have a mildly laid-back attitude that shows you're fine with taking or leaving a given opportunity. And if there's one thing I have right now, it's certainly a "I don't give a f***" attitude about getting a job where I work for someone else.
Anyway, it's not a sure thing as of yet, as there's always the possibility that their security office might feel it will take too long to get the necessary approvals given my frequent foreign travels and foreign-born in-laws. But if they offer me a job and at a pay rate similar or higher than my last job, that puts me in a dilemna. Do I put up with one or two more years of a corporate environment I'm already way burned out on for the sake of further building our savings and investment capital by a very significant amount, yet push back or delay our plans to start up business for ourselves? Or do I say no to the job and charge forward with our original timeline, knowing we have enough money to get things started and to live off of for a few years but not much extra 'buffer savings' beyond that? Which is more valuable in our case, the time or the money?
No one said breaking away from the herd is easy, and just sometimes I admit it can be necessary to do as the herd does for a short time for the sake of a greater advantage. Sometimes it's necessary to take one step back in order to take two steps forward. I'm still trying to determine which is the more logical course for us, and at this point I'm about 50/50. The prospect of continuing the corporate drone route for another year galls me, yet we all have a responsibility to mitigate risks, financial or otherwise, at least to ourselves if not to our families (those of us who have families anyhow). Anyway, I guess I'll wait and see what the next week or two brings. And in the meantime, I'll raise my glass of beer in salute to the universe and toast its curious sense of humor...