Into The Rabbit Hole

May 25, 2004

This morning I had the most intense and rigorous interview of my twenty year career. The gentleman on the other end of the phone was very up front about needing to vet me, and how he was going to achieve that. The thirty minutes left me excited and drained at the same time.

This afternoon I was called back and offered the job. This will be a challenge for me, forcing me to expand my knowledge and abilities tremendously. Everything about this situation is coming together nicely, and we are almost certain that it is the right thing for us to do next.

Almost certain.

It requires moving about 300 miles further west. We'll be that much farther from all of Michele's friends and family. In particular the additional distance from her mom will be hard. Today we are two long days drive away, with the added milage it'll be next to impossible to drive. Flying will work, but the idea of being farther away is not one that makes either of us happy.

I did pass on an interview already scheduled for Thursday of this week; in light of this offer the second position paled to insignificance. I think I handled the telephone call to cancel the interview well. I didn't burn the bridge.

The final potential offer I have may or may not come to pass. My name and resume have been submitted and I am justing waiting to hear if I am awarded the contract. Financially the two positions are about equal. The contact would be local, and that would save us the move, and avoid the whole distance issue for a time anyway. The local contact is less stable, and not nearly as challenging technically for me.

So I am left with comparing an apple in the hand with an orange that I may not even get. One is a great career move, a career move that isn't likely to come my way again. The other allows me to focus more on friends and family, it would be saying to the world that my career is nice, but is not the prime factor for my happiness.

I have a couple of days before the written offer lands in my mail box. If I hear about the local contact before the end of the week, Michele and I will have to make a difficult decision. One based on emotional needs and practical realities. In this moment I can even see passing on both opportunities and manufacturing one elsewhere that might meet more needs altogether. Having an offer in hand is very confidence inspiring.

So, like Alice, we are into the rabbit hole, not knowing where it leads or what wondrous adventures we'll have before reaching the bottom.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.