Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Journey: In a Pickle...

Immediately after Leland was born, my husband, Mark, and I both sensed change for him.  We assumed it was time to look into Master's school.  He cut back to 3 days a week at work to be able to study for the GMAT (a test required before applying for school).  We began looking into schools and touring campuses and weighing majors and programs.  After a few months, we knew that wasn't the right change.

I still am not sure what to think about the following situation.  I had a fleeting thought during the day that Mark should ask a ward member and CEO for a job at a different company than Mark was currently working for.  When Mark came home and we were talking about the day, he mentioned that he had a thought about asking the same person for a job that day.  When I told him my exact thought, we hastily jumped into a big mess.

I still am not sure if it really was Divinely inspired or not.  I can see that this choice started a chain of events that we are still recovering from.  It brought both good and bad, both of which will shortly be discussed.  It was one way to get us to where we needed to be; however, I don't think it was the only way to do so.

The current company he was working for was coming to a dead end.  The changes in the economy were finally begin to hit the company hard.  They were going to need someone to step away or to lay someone off.  We asked the ward member for a job at his company, but there were no current openings.  We stepped forward and let my husband's current company know he was looking for other work and that he would step away when he secured other employment.  He kept his 3 day/week schedule and used 2 days/week to job hunt.  With him only working a few days a week, it had taken off some financial strain for the company, but they were still anxious to replace him to keep things running smoothly.  We were a bit surprised when they came back and asked us if he wanted to be done in a few weeks or a month.  They were unwilling to hold a position for him as we searched.  We learned some great life lessons about being so vocal in our searching.

In our arrogance, we assumed it would be easy to find work.  We felt like stepping away sooner would free up Mark's time to put towards the search full-time rather than being divided.  Besides, he already had interviews lined up.  One of which was at BYU-Idaho and was a hand-and-glove fit and we wanted it.  We were confident we would get an offer.

We found out a few days before Christmas that he came in second for the position at BYU-Idaho.  We were crushed.  We cried a bit, then decided to tell the kids that Santa came early.  We brought all of the Christmas presents out from their hiding places and opened everything, then blasted Christmas music and danced together.

It was going to be okay.

The only debt we had was our mortgage.  We had planned carefully and been frugal with our money.  We had a fully funded emergency fund.  We had home and food storage for 6-12 months.  Not just food, but toiletries, diapers, laundry soap...we had plenty of wiggle room.

After almost 3 months of living off savings and only making necessary purchases, we were getting nervous.  Still no job offers.  We made the decision to begin looking for short-term jobs in addition to the career positions Mark was already applying for.

We were further crushed when his applications to grocery stores or fast food restaurants were even rejected.  He was told that because of a Bachelor Degree and 6 years post-grad experience he was too over qualified.  When he expressed his willingness to work any way, he was told that it wasn't worth the employers' investment into orientation and training.  "He would have a job offer somewhere else too quickly."

We became further panicked as he was equally rejected from career positions.  He was told repeatedly upon inquiring as to why he wasn't getting an offer that his application was flawless, he interviewed well, and was well-qualified.  "The competition is just tight right now."  It was crushing to feel helpless.  He could change paper work, improve interview skills, or pursue further experience, but he couldn't change competition.

As you can imagine, these were some discouraging days for my husband.

After months of rejection, he was finally offered a job.

Ironically at the company that was mentioned at the beginning of this post.  It was more of an entry-level position.  He had been one of the "big wigs" when he left the previous company.  It was also about 2/3 the salary he had been making.  When we purchased our home (which is another one of those "I'm not sure any more" decisions we made.  Our purchase brought us into this ward.  We needed to be here.  Heavenly Father may have had another option to bring us here.), it was a large portion of our income.  With no other debt and budgeting well, we were fine.  Now with a significant shrink in our income, we continued to draw from savings each month.  We were confident another job was just around the corner.

We gratefully accepted the position and Mark continued to put in applications cross-country.

My journey.  The previous post HERE.
My journey.  The next post HERE

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