They Let Me Rent a U-Haul

17 August 2010

I know, I know, I am like 3 months later writing on here, but I have a good excuse! The past 3 months of my life officially win as the most chaotic, ever. For anyone here that is friends on Facebook with me or follows me on Twitter, you have heard of the drama in SLC, the 75 jobs I applied for, and eventually the move across the state line back to Colorado. Then again, I would probably do nothing different if I had to do it all over again. So here is a bit of back-story to get you caught up on the adventures of this sketchy fish.

Back on June 1st I was just another job seeker, trying to leave my monotonous job at the National Weather Service. Not that I regret any of the opportunities it gave me, but the red tape and politics involved with being innovative and forward thinking in a government agency were driving me through the roof. I had just completed work (with the help of another developer) on one of the most advanced, cool mobile weather alert applications ever. And it was being held up by a 50-year old bureaucrat who did not think mobile device development was a good use of time, because not everyone uses there cell phone. I think that was the last straw.

As you know from my previous posts, I had my initial backup plans. First and foremost was the acceptance letter I had (and still do) from the University of West of England to get my Masters in Environmental Transport Planning (aka. building eco-friendly mass transit). Unfortunately, with the economy in the tank and the job market to pay for things whilst in school being the crappiest in decades, I decided staying employed was a must.

So that led me to my second option, finding a job somewhere outside Salt Lake City, Utah. My thought was that I hated SLC enough, that if I was going to change my career direction, might as well make it out of there at the same time. I decided on either Portland, Oregon or Denver, Colorado as the two cities that I would want to move to. Mostly because they both catered towards what I wanted to do with my life, and I could afford them(-ish).

I had not applied for a job in over 3 years, and applying for job after job, finally made me realize how insane the job market really is. I turned in 76 applications and got a total of 5 interviews, the last of which was actually an in-person interview. And boy, that was a crazy week.

To sum up the insaneness, they called and asked to fly me out the following week on a Tuesday. We made the plans and booked the flights. On Wednesday they realized that I was a federal employee and they could not pay for my travel, but we would Skype interview. On Thursday, I booked a flight for the following Tuesday to go out there anyway. And on Friday, I notified a select few of my co-workers that they would be getting phone calls and that I was going to be ‘sick’ on Tuesday.

Tuesday was probably the most insane thing I have ever done. 6am flight out of Salt Lake City to Denver. Picked up the rental car and killed time trying to reserve my iPhone 4 at the Apple Store waiting for my interview to begin at 11am. The most intense, quiz filled, 4-person interview I have ever had that lasted just under 2 hours and left me feeling very uneasy afterwards. And then a return flight just a few hours later at 3pm back to SLC. At least I could be ‘still recovering’ at work the next day.

That Friday at 6pm while driving home from seeing a close friend, I got the job.

Not only were they going to pay for me to move, but they beat my salary offer. This job was the web developer for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, not only web development (my hobby) but at weather place (my major). I guess proof that good things come to those who (try hard and) wait.

Monday morning I gave my two weeks notice, was moving in two and half weeks, and starting my new job in only three weeks.

The following weekend I flew to Denver with Erin to apartment hunt, and found and amazing 2-bed/3-bath condo in under 48-hours.

To be short, the entire moving process was a blur. Helped along by the surprise of my parents showing up on my doorstep on moving day to help load the boxes and drive them across the amazingly boring stretch of I-80 across Wyoming.

Now, four weeks into my new job, I am finally settling back down again. This entire move has been one of the largest life changing experiences of my life. Never have I undertaken such a drastic change in direction on such short notice. I have new friends, a new place to live, and a whole new breath of fresh air to go off of (which is ironic because there is a smog advisory for SLC right now).

Am I scared, no.
Am I worried about how things are going to work out, a bit.
Am I excited, yes.

Very excited.

 

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