12/20/2006: "a startlingly good outcome"
Depending on how closely you follow my life (which could be closer if I bothered to blog a bit more, perhaps), you may recall that I had an interview today for an Energy Auditor position. A local, permanent, full-time, vacation-giving, benefits-bestowing, career-transitioning, idealogically supportive position. While the outcome wasn't the best possible (that would be leaving with an offer in-hand, in my book) it was extremely positive. I am stoked.
The company is still quite small, but they have no lack of work to do. From what I can remember, it sounds like there are no less than about 5 roles (not positions) that could be filled, any of which are up for grabs for the right candidate. Thankfully, I seem to be one such candidate.
I'm not only happy about this but pretty amazed as well, as I have zero practical experience doing what it is they do. Turns out I'm far from alone - the industry is just getting started, and anyone with experience doing that work is in VERY high demand. So companies like this one are forced to find candidates with the right background and/or inclination, if not experience.
This also means that there will be a huge amount of stuff to learn for whomever gets the position. My interviewer said it typically takes at least a year before a new hire is trained enough to be fully productive, and probably closer to two years before they're pretty much self-sustaining. Wow. Lots and lots to learn.
Speaking of learning... well, maybe I better back up a bit. The interview was going just swimmingly until my interviewer mentioned the references I providved. One of them is the VP of Sales of the company I contract through. I've used him before as a reference, and did this time as well. Apparently, his reaction to getting a phone call about me seeking this position was along the lines of, "He's looking for work? But he's working for ME. AND he signed a CONTRACT. AND he's going back to school in September!" Roy, I could kick you in the nuts sometimes.
Luckily, I got out of that pickle. Yes, I'm working THROUGH him. Yes, I signed a contract, one that says I need to give ONE week's notice to terminate it. Yes, I am *considering* going back to school, but it's a large financial burden, and will not do it if I can find suitable full-time employment like this position. Thankfully, crisis averted, and we agreed that assuming I was offered a position I'd finish up whatever work I have currently - which isn't all that much, my current project should be able to be tied up by January.
Of course, the big thing out of all that is that I wouldn't be going back to school. Due to the huge amount of training required to get someone up to speed, they are looking for people to make a long-term commitment. I'm fine with that - so long as I'm learning something new and making professional progress, that's what matters. MBET would do that in place of a proper job, but a proper job is preferable. Benefits, pay, and vacation, versus student loans? Duh. And you know what? I'm find with not doing school. Maybe in the future, but we'll see what this position teaches me first.
At this point, I'm "going to the next level" with them. That means doing an online assessment to see if my personality/temperment/profile is a fit for their work environment. It sounds like they think it is (otherwise, why would they bother?), which I'd agree with. So once I do that (online) and have it assessed (I'll guess early January here), if everything matches up we'll get to the next level - which just might be an offer.
Oh, and the subject of salary came up. They were worried that being someone nearly 10 years out of school they wouldn't be able to afford what I would be looking for. Hah - little did they know how low my expectations were. I told them what I want, and what I'm currently making, to which he said, "Salary won't be an issue." Good. Besides, I'd rather go in lower and make it up with raises than not get in. Plus, a stable salary with vacation and benefits is VERY attractive at this point. Very. Very VERY attractive.
Am I excited? Yes... and no. It is definitely rewarding coming out of an interview like that, but I know better than to get pumped up at a good interview. I'll start running through the streets naked if I get an offer, but for now I'll simply be happy to have come up with a resume that is capable of effecting a career transition for me. Now I'd like to hear back from those green building specialist positions.
A quick note to end things off: our church sends out baskets every holiday season to people that have been "nominated" to receive them. They are called Bethlehem Baskets, and are meant to show that someone out there cares about you when you've had a rough year. We got one two years ago when I got laid off. We got one last year when Jannette's mom died. We got one this year again. It has now ceased to be an "Oh, someone cares about us!" momento so much as it's a "Gee, did we have yet another shitty year?" reminder. My goal for 2007? To NOT get one. Here's hoping.