Thursday, January 17, 2013

Who knows?

It's been an eventful week. Actually not much has happened, but many significant things have transpired on a purely informational level. Portentous. That's a better word. It's been a portentous week.

I got that letter I mentioned in my last post––the one from the State Department. My personal narratives didn't pass the Foreign Service Qualification Evaluation Panel, which is a long way of saying "it's over," and the last six months of my life have accomplished nothing.

I got the letter Monday morning and went for a long walk––that turned into more of a hike––which is a strange thing to do here in the middle of January.

I don't think it's specifically that I won't get to do what I was hoping to that is so depressing as the almost entire lack of other things that I really want to do. In the end it didn't hurt as much as I had been anticipating that it would. Not that I really anticipated getting my candidacy terminated by the QEP. I was aware that the odds of passing were low and I also tend to be an unhealthily pessimistic person. But for all that, somehow I actually had quite a bit of faith that I would qualify for the next level. I guess in hindsight our attitudes are very irrelevant things, aren't they?

So now it's down to the business of finding things that I don't want to do––to do. To that end, I got up early this morning and went to the New York State Department of Labor Career Services Office and registered as seeking employment.

I've always had a mortal dread of anything with "career services" in the name. Something about the combination of having to make decisions about who you are and what you're good at and present it to other people with the intention of making long term commitments has always terrified me on and across multiple levels of my being. It may sound pathetic, but I didn't sleep for most of last night––and probably changed my mind about it 13 or 14 times up until I finally got in the car.

It was actually a good experience though. Both of the agents I worked with were very nice and not at all pushy like I always remember the "career center" people being in college, the few times that I was dragged through the door of that place for different class participation requirements. I got my resume submitted, and they've already sent me some possible employer matches that while not anything that makes me excited are much closer to my skill-set than anything I found online in the past nine months that I've been looking.

And it's not all doom and gloom. Yesterday––thanks entirely, and very much so––to an extended family member, I was presented with the opportunity to work part time as a research assistant at a local development corporation. It will only be one or two days a week, but that's more than I've had most weeks up to now. And the more interesting thing is that it will hopefully give me the opportunity to network at a more meaningful level with some of the more influential people in the area. And those people are also mostly employers, so who knows where it might go?

Who knows. I certainly don't.

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