I figured this would be as good a time as any to dust off the blog and post a more detailed account of my job hunt.
I have been out of work since July due to the wonders of budget adjustments. I was luckier than most people in that my former employer was keeping me on for a few weeks on overhead, followed by a few more weeks of Leave Without Pay status. With 120 hours of leave saved up, I was pretty set to ride the storm out.
Unfortunately, the storm was a bit stronger than I anticipated. Budget cuts were happening everywhere; one contract I know of had over 100 employees find out that they had lost their jobs that day so my former employer was flooded with new applicants. To make things worse, Recruiters were supposed to contact me back in July the instant I left the old job. No one was ever notified and I lost out on some potential contracts on account of that.
But this doesn't mean I was sitting around hoping for things to happen. I updated my resume and threw it back to Clearance Jobs. It's a wonderful little site for those of us who have clearances and want to keep them. I did see a spike in phone calls and emails and even snagged a few interviews. One of the better ones was from Lockheed, who I had worked for back in 2004-2009. The Recruiter from there told me that someone in the food chain heard my name and made it clear that I was to be brought back to them. Seems that I left that place on a good note. Back in June, I started to get contacted by a company that wanted me to relocate to San Antonio. I even went so far as to earn a certification to sweeten the deal.
Come mid-August, things were looking relatively good for me. I had a few contingent offers, several Recruiters keeping in touch with me, and a host of possibilities. Then things began to taper off. My only contact with employers suddenly became emailing my resume over to career sites. I had one interview where the manager was enthusiastic about bringing me on but the position she wanted to place me in had been filled five minutes before she talked to me. By late September, I was pretty much resigned to things as they were and fighting off the usual cocktail of depression and self pity. The only thread of hope I had was for a Sys Admin position at Fort Meade on a new Contract.
Then of course we had the Great Government Shutdown of DOOOM! Needless to say, those of us who wanted to continue to work for the government were now relegated to secondary concerns. Not that I'm overly upset, mind you; the companies are funded by these contracts. No money coming in, no one to talk to about hiring. It got to the point that the Recruiters weren't in the office. About the only good spot was my mother pointing out that if I had been hired for the Texas job, I would be dealing with a mortgage, rent and no money. It's good to have perspective.
The shutdown ended and a few days later, I got the call that the Sys Admin position I was hoping for had been filled. But by the time November hit, I had already had an interview with Unisys. The position was in Virginia and the team I chatted with liked what they heard. They made me a contingent offer at a higher rate than I was expecting. I jumped on it pretty quickly.
But then a new contract was making the rounds amongst the companies. This was a pretty expansive one and the government needed a lot of positions filled right now. Unisys tried to get me onto that contract as well as the other one so I was back to hurrying up and waiting. I stayed optimistic though. When Amanda and I went down to North Carolina for the family gathering, I brought along an image file of my signature in case an offer was made while I was down there.
Didn't happen. My Unisys rep was apologetic but his hands were tied.
The Monday after I got back, I received a call from CACI. I'd interviewed with this company before (That was the company where the position had been filled just before the interview) and I was applying there on a regular basis just to keep my unemployment insurance going. The rep had been looking over my resume for a job I applied for at Fort Stewart Georgia and she wanted to schedule an appointment with me for an interview. I agreed to a morning time slot and she had me in the next day.
The interview was in Springfield and I met with the rep from GA as well as the one from that office. They were looking to fill positions in both places. After assuring them that no, I had no problem in relocating, we got to business. About 20 minutes later, I was on my way home and emailing the Recruiter for that slot. I told her that the job sounded like something I was looking for and despite the possibility of relocating or working shifts, I thought I was a good match.
She agreed. A few hours later, she followed up with a salary offer and asking for more information from me. I mentally shrugged and sent her what she wanted. I figured at the very least, it would be another contingent offer.
Nope. It was a solid offer, complete with start date. Next thing you know, I'm starting to make the mental adjustment required to being a productive citizen again. Admittedly, it's not perfect; there are a few things I'm not fond of (Mostly the commute). We might end up moving to VA so I can be closer. But for now, I'm just happy to be working again. It was a good way to end the year.