Closing time…

I think it’s safe to say that I’m serious about being ready to move on to the next job, but in the same breath, I’m probably more concerned about geography than I am by pay at this point. That’s been a bit of an interesting point of self discovery I made over the last year or two. If the desire for more money was the driving factor that brought me to Memphis, it’s the desire for the right geography that has sent me out on the search for the next great thing and, surprisingly for me at least, pay has taken a back seat this time around. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t consider something out beyond MD-VA-DC, but it would call for a pretty exceptional set of circumstances.

The job announcement for the first of two jobs I’m applying for in Cumberland closes in a few hours. In the parlance of the federal job seeker, that basically means that at some point in the next few weeks someone in an HR department is going to put together a “best qualified” list and send it along to whoever is doing the hiring. Then the person doing the hiring will take a week or two to rack and stack the list and make a decision about who gets an interview and who doesn’t. And then someone will take another week to schedule interviews. After the interviews, hopefully, there will be a decision made about which of the applicants to select and then the name of the selectee will be sent back to HR to make a formal offer. At any point up until the offer is made by HR, the entire process can be cancelled for almost any reason. That’s a roundabout way of saying that closing time is really just the beginning and as an applicant, it’s the only time in the process when you know there’s a hard and fast date when something is going to happen. After closing time, it’s all about waiting, and wondering, and playing what if, especially if your resume is deemed “good enough” to make the first cut and be sent to the person doing the hiring.

Waiting for things to happen, as we all know, isn’t my strong point. But it’s what I’m going to do. While I doing my level best to keep my head down. And avoid any unnecessary contact between me those who seem bent on driving me round the bend at every possibly opportunity… But I digress. Or more precisely, I wait – and you wait with me. Part of me wonders if I should be blogging this at all. Will you still respect me in the morning if I can’t figure out a way to make this happen? In a blog that focuses largely on what has annoyed me on any given day, this whole discussion feels a little extra personal, I guess. The only promise I’ve ever made here is to always write about whatever happens to be in my head… and as you can see, this is occupying alot of time on the old brainpan these days.

As much as I want to be hopeful that this will come together, I’m trying to mentally prepare and protect myself from how much I’ll hate it if this gets jacked up at the last minute… or if it doesn’t even make it to the last minute. As much as I’m trying not to let myself go down the road of “what if” it’s proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated. Even after ten years on the road and half a dozen cities, I guess it’s easy to see yourself home when the opportunity is tantalizingly close.

And the plot thickens…

If pondering a voluntary reduction in grade in order to make an escape plan work might be described as an academic exercise, finding a position that would allow you to laterally transfer to the desired geographic location without loss of grade or pay could be described as mana from heaven. Of course the gulf between finding and actually being hired for said job is something akin to believing there’s a Loch Ness Monster and actually catching it with a fly rod. Sure, it’s theoretically possible, but pretty damned unlikely.

I know I’m beyond qualified, but I also know that doesn’t necessarily mean much in the selection process. And as much as I like to think I should be able to walk into this as a gimmie, I feel like I’m in the fight of my life… for a job I didn’t even know I wanted until I saw it announced. The kicker now is to try not getting too invested in the process; to treat it like any other resume I’ve got floating around out there. It’s easy to walk away from most notices that “you were not referred because you were not among the most qualified applicants.” Like it or not, I’m invested in this one and missing out on it would be a heartbreaker.

So now we wait…