Well, that autobiography I keep threatening to write will have a new chapter...on Monday, I return to work at a military command! Today is my last day of employment with Hewlett Packard Software. It was a long 5.5 years, sometimes good, sometimes not. But, when we look back, aren't all jobs like that? So, rather than look at all the reasons I wanted to leave HP, I thought I'd focus on all the reasons I'm thrilled to be moving to this new adventure.
1. I am returning to science and engineering. Although my employer is OMNITEC Solutions, Inc., a Bethesda-based defense contractor, I will be supporting and working onsite at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). This is their mission: The Navy's designated technical authority and acquisition command for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (C4ISR), business information technology and space systems. Although they include IT, they sure have a lot of other stuff going on! I began my career and even received my degree while working for a predecessor of SPAWAR, and going back to it now fits perfectly.
2. I am using experience I have gained in STC. For all those who suggest they get zip for their membership fees in the Society for Technical Communication, I say pshaw! My new title for OMNITEC is Senior Strategic Planner/Analyst. I would never have had the cojones to apply for this position if I hadn't had a dozen years working with STC contributing to their strategic planning. Yes, I did a little of it in other jobs, but the bulk of my experience was at STC board meetings. So, for all those naysayers, out there, I say STC ROCKS!
3. I got a nice raise. :-)
4. I will, for the most part, have a flexible work schedule that allows me to work 9-hour days and have alternate Fridays off! Naturally, sometimes, duty will call on those days, but considering my normal day at HP was 9 til 6 or 7, with NO regular day off for compensation, I will definitely be ahead of the game. (I had years on the 5/4/9 schedule before I left SPAWAR's predecessor lab--the Naval Ocean Systems Center--how sweet it is to get it back!)
5. It's closer to home. My new work site is 11 miles from home; HP was 23 miles from home. Nice!
6. The hangar I work in has walls! Well, I'm referring to inside walls, not outside ones. And, yes, I will still be working at a cubicle, but the cube is in a room that only holds about 6 cubes. Then, you walk through a real door attached to floor-to-ceiling walls into another room that has several cubes, etc. I guess you might call each room a "pod": the setup is to have everyone facing a wall with backs all toward the middle of the room, and I don't recall any divider between folks. The big bosses still have real offices with conference tables, etc. At HP, we have rows and rows and rows of cubes all in one humongous room--and it doesn't matter who you are, no one has an office. No walls except those around the bathrooms, the outside of the building and some conference rooms. We have HUNDREDS of folks all in one room. I won't miss the HP cube farm at all.
7. I get to write about cool stuff. Part of my duties is to write strategic documents, guidance documents, vision documents, etc. I will be working with program managers and military commanders (captains and admirals) and will ghost write for them. How cool is that?
8. It was time for a big change. Energetically, this was meant to be. It feels right. I visualized a place that was just like this and did a whole lot of "thinking and praying and hoping and wishing" and it manifested. Life is good.
9. Social networking works. Someone who knew someone who knew me sent me a note asking me to help network a job in San Diego. I read it, realized I wanted to apply myself, and although I didn't exactly work my network, the person who offered my name to OMNITEC sure did. I hope whoever that person is knows how grateful I am! Maybe someday, I'll find out just how Nick at OMNITEC reached out to me. Or, maybe it should remain one of those anonymous, wonderful gifts that we pass along to someone else someday.
10. It makes me happy. And, in the long run, what more is there?