Late last year, I applied for a new job with my employer. The competition was high for this position, and out of 20+ candidates I was one of the top two. The circumstances within the selection process that prevented me from being chosen were infuriatingly “political”. Well, regardless, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to go through the process as it taught me something about myself. First of all, it drove home the point that I do, in fact, have unique talents and skills that my employer needs that are going to waste in my current position on the assembly line. Now, a catalyst was required for this revelation to become the water on my previously-explained seeds of inspiration.
I was on track to pick my studies back up at a university in the fall with a major in Graphic Design. The plan was that when my employer shutters the facility I work at (scheduled for next year), I would quit my job rather than transfer. However, less than a month ago, a quick succession of events led to an enormous decision. We will leave home and family, and transfer to the city. If my transfer, which has been put in, is accepted, we will be closer to our Fox Hunting territory and friends. Jeff will quit his job and complete his degree, and only then will I pick my own studies back up.
Now, this change of plans really got me to thinking about some time frames. Originally, I had chosen the fields of Multimedia Publishing and Graphic Design because #1 it was fun and easy, and #2 I had no desire to transfer. When my employer leaves this area, I would be all set to squeeze the rest of my studies into one final year, then begin my new career. I would be leaving behind the possibility of retirement at 50, but I was more than willing to make that sacrifice to avoid transferring. BUT, when our attitude towards transferring changed and we actually decided to seek it out rather than avoid it… well, then, my attitude towards a lot of things changed!
As far as timeframes go, with the old plan, I would be walking away from 12 years of service. With the new plan, upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I will be within 11 – 12 years of RETIREMENT. In this situation, I feel the wiser thing to do will be to #1 stick with my employer, and #2 earn a degree that will allow me to advance within the company, thereby making my remaining working years not only more interesting, but also more valuable.
My first thought was that a degree in Software Engineering would do the trick. The selectors last year were impressed with my A.A.S in this field. However, after picking the brains of several engineers that I work with, I quickly realized opportunities for Software Engineers are few and far between within the walls of this company. What are needed most are Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In the past this information would have been very discouraging and I might have given up hope. But seeds have been planted. And the catalyst of changed attitudes have caused some new revelations about myself to water those seeds of inspiration. An idea began germinating. And, as we all know, ideas can be dangerous!