Ch-ch-ch-Changes… Turn And Face The Strange
April 1, 2016
Time may change me…
In 2012, I moved from California to Texas, and swore I’d never look back. I found my own little version of paradise in the Hill Country, and built the home where I planned to live out the remainder of my life… whether that remainder was 10 years or 50.
I had a plan. The gods thought it was hilarious.
Last spring, I left the Hill Country in my rear view mirror. I found a pretty decent place in North Carolina, and have spent the past eight months working my ass off to turn it into a new, final, home. I’m close to my family again, and it’s been really good to spend time with my mom and brothers again.
I swore I wouldn’t ever move again, but I also recognized, based on recent history, that sometimes things aren’t completely in my control. But dammit, I’d fight tooth and nail before I willingly packed out of here.
I find myself de-clawed and snaggle-toothed.
My line of work is sort of strange in today’s job market. When I started in the 1990’s, I was in a pretty singular niche, but since then, the industry has caught up. Now there are college degrees in what I do, and the market has become flooded with fresh-faced youngsters, eager to do the same work for less money. At the same time, employers’ attitudes toward telecommuting have become more conservative. That’s tough on me, since I choose to live in rural places, far from the hubs of industry.
All that is to say, when I find a good gig, I want to keep it. The days of jumping from job to job at will are pretty much in the past. The money isn’t there like it used to be, and as I get a bit older, I find that I have grown a new appreciation for the benefits of full-time employment, like health insurance and paid time off.
Have you figured out where this is going?
I’ve found a great job with a company I like and I’m part of a solid department of professionals. In a fairly short time I have worked my way into a senior position and oversight of education for an entire business line. My manager is happy with my work, but we’re challenged because our department is not getting the integration with the product development and marketing teams that we need to really be successful.
The Development and Marketing teams are based in Plano, TX.
After some extensive (and not altogether pleasant) discussion with my manager, it’s really come down to two options. If I want to keep my current role and career path, I need to be in Plano. Travel back and forth is not an option due to budget constraints. My other option is to step down from the senior role, a decision that will likely have a negative impact on future advancement. We don’t have head count to hire a new person in that role, so unless someone else on our team is willing to make the move, we may have to make a “staffing adjustment”.
To really make this a tough call, Kat pissed off some thin-skinned executives at work a couple of weeks ago. You just can’t say things like that to a VP, no matter how childish they may be acting. Smashing her coffee cup on the conference table was probably icing on the cake. While it’s likely she’ll find something else fairly soon, the job hunt has been moving pretty slowly.
It seems like my choice was being made for me.
I loved the Hill Country, but I really despise the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Plano is a nightmare of freeways and a sprawl of corporate clutter. I can probably find a place out in the fringes, but in order to commute every day I’ll need to be relatively close.
I should be flying out there on Saturday, April 2, to take a look at properties. But I won’t because today is April 1, and you just can’t trust anything you read on the first of April.