A Not Entirely Unexpected Turn of Events

I love my new job; it’s great that I get to go in each day, spend nine or ten hours straight coding in Cold Fusion to build dynamic pages which are actually useful, and working as part of a team to get a large project finished. My co-workers are fun, my boss is a good guy, and I love the work I’m doing. I know that I’m very fortunate to have gotten this job, especially since it’s really the first job I ever went out and actively pursued as opposed to simply "drifting" into it just because I needed a job, any job (which is how I’d gotten all of my previous jobs, including the job at Labor Relations at the University).

So today I gave my two-week notice.

Does that make sense to you? Why would I quit such a great job after only two weeks? The answer can only be that someone else made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

At about the same time that I applied for this new job with the University, I had also applied for a job with a company called [the new place of employment], Inc., which provides on-line services and web applications for physicians and medical groups. For [the new place of employment], I went through three interviews here in Davis, and four interviews in Portland, Oregon (fortunately, all four interviews were all on the same day, so I only had to fly up there once), not to mention a ton of telephone calls and lots of e-mail correspondence. In spite of all of this, I had thought that my chances with [the new place of employment] were very slim; it’s a pre-IPO startup organization (though it’s been around for a number of years), and I know that they were looking for very talented web developers. I know that I’m pretty talented at what I do, but, I suppose, I hadn’t thought I was talented enough to actually be competitive in the field. This offer from [the new place of employment] is pretty much the opportunity I’ve been looking for: I’ll be doing the kind of work I love, getting lots of training, interacting with end-users to help build the web applications that they need, and more. The benefits package I’ll be getting is comparable to the University’s, and the whole thing comes with an 83% increase in salary.

Naturally, of course, I can’t do anything without a significant amount of angst (I think that this is a holdover from my childhood; I had a much better childhood than just about anyone else I can think of — save, possibly, for Jennifer, whose family is so nearly identical to mine that our childhoods were just about identical — so I must have developed a habit of surrounding everything good with angst, just to feel better able to relate to my peers). So, my decision to accept the offer from [the new place of employment] was an angst-ridden one; it’s the first time I’ve gotten a "serious" job outside of academia in my life, and I know that the corporate world I’m moving to is a very different one from the academic world I’m leaving behind. So, naturally, I have to worry about things like: what if I can’t get the medical benefits I need? What if I can’t handle the workload? And, most importantly, what if I simply screw it up?

Fortunately, I have a good supply of friends and relatives who are quite happy to thwack me over the head when I need it. My best friend, who is also the father of my godson and who thus loves making references to Don Corleone and The Usual Suspects, said that this was simply "An offer you can’t refuse" (said in his most threatening Marlon Brando-esque voice), and that to screw up this kind of job would take me actively planning out doing so for at least three months. My dad simply said, "Sounds like a no-brainer to me." And my soon-to-be-former co-worker said something along the lines of, "You’d have to be a moron to turn this one down." Jennifer, wise and wonderful person that she is, told me that as long as I was happy, she would support any decision I made with regard to [the new place of employment] and the University — though she did confess that she was leaning slightly towards [the new place of employment], simply because it seemed more like what I want to do with my life.

No, I don’t let other people make my decisions for me. I do trust my friends’ judgements, though, and I know that they know me well enough to know what would make me happy; so, I’m happy to take their input and consider it while I make my decision. In this case, even though this huge career switch will mean some big changes in my life, I’ve decided to do it. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along every day, and, even though I know there would be others if I decided not to follow through on this one, I know it’s time for me to break the University barrier and move on.

When I gave notice, the manager at IT:CR was understandably disappointed. I’d only been there two weeks, and they’d been counting heavily on me to complete the application that they’d hired me for. I told him that I’m committed to seeing the application through testing and that I’d document everything out very carefully and thoroughly so that the next developer will know what I was doing, but he was still disappointed. In all honesty, I don’t blame him at all. I wished him the best and apologized profusely.

How am I feeling right now? Excited, thrilled, overjoyed, and happy. This is the opportunity I’ve been hoping for, and I can’t wait to get started.

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