Getting let go from a company for the simple reason that I made more money than they were willing to pay was a new philosophy for me. Work ethic, skill set, critical thinking skills mattered not. It was never my intent to work in construction forever. As a matter of fact, all I was interested in was not losing my house while I took a couple of years off to see which way IT was headed. But thanks to a few Wall Street types, a few banker types, and a world-wide monetary melt down, for the past 7 years, I considered myself lucky to be working at all. And I thank my friends for that. And their friends. And the friends of their friends, too.
I’ve met a lot of interesting people and a few are sad to see me leave the construction realm, but these old bones are happy to be sitting at a desk again. Crawling under houses and sweating in attics are now relegated to just my house. I will miss visiting with friends who became clients and clients who became friends, but it’s time to move on. Besides, that’s what happy hours are for.
One day in early May, while I was up on a ladder putting up a ceiling rafter, I got a call from an in-house recruiter asking me if I was still looking for a job as a project coordinator. “Yes,” I cried out, with a 17 foot ceiling joist for my garage remodel precariously balanced on my shoulder. 3 hours later, I had my first phone interview, and my second twisted knee when I tried to catch myself falling off my ladder.
I chatted with the woman for over an hour who would turn out to be my operations manager . From there, an in person interview was scheduled. I’m not ashamed to admit I was giddy with relief…until I thought about what I was going to wear to my first job interview in 19 years.
In my closets, all I had were Jeans (my current job wardrobe) and pajamas, all that was left from my work-from-home days. All my dress clothes were gone, donated or destroyed. Off to the department store to find a simple outfit to wear in 2 days time.
Shopping was discouraging. I went home empty-handed, and scrounged around until I found something that resembled a corporate casual look. I had my in person interview, and was quite confident from the interview that the job was mine. 3 days later, the offer came. “Yippee!” and “Yahoo!” were my first thoughts. “Oh shit, I can’t wear the same outfit every day” was my second thought.
So, after 7 years, one sliced finger, two tweaked knees, stiff, creaky wrists, an achy back, and almost $1000 spent on new clothes, shoes, and other accessories, I’m back in Corporate America, working as a project manager at an IT solutions company. I don’t need to think geek, or speak geek; I just need to manage projects for the geeks. Health, dental, vision, 401k, vacation time, holiday pay, sick days; so far, it’s working out. It is a change of pace, and one I hope to stay involved with until I retire!