I began my career transition from a cubicle sitter (IT professional) to outdoors – animal lover in January 2006. It began easily – classes at Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) in Canandaigua, NY. I began with General Biology, Principles of Soils , Water & Forests, Introduction to Wildlife and Fish, Environmental Chemistry Testing and Analysis, Introduction to Wildlife Diseases and finally a long weekend course in Wild-land Fire Suppression.
My favorite class was the intro to wildlife and fish – there I learned that fish are not rectangular or are they necessarily covered in bread crumbs or beer batter. It was a struggle, but I did learn the differences between brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout.
While at FLCC, I did very little job hunting. I perused the employment walls – looking at what was available. The next step in my transition was a continuation of school. I went to SUNY Brockport becoming a graduate student in Environmental Science and Biology. Here I managed to acquire a work-study position for one year and a technical writing position for a set number of articles. My summers were filled with my research for my thesis (that is a completely different story) and was funded by a grant through the NY Natural Heritage Program and NY Department of Environmental Conservation. Graduation happened in May of 2010 and my first “real” position began in April with the USDA – Plum Pox Virus Surveys in Western NY. I have had two very wonderful summers with this group – alas it is only a seasonal job.
However, between summers – I believe I have sent out several hundred resumes. Most go to never-never land – a world where there is no response from the job publisher/employer. A few resumes receive the automatic e-mail response – Thank you for your résumé, we will review it and contact you if you fit our needs. A very few resumes are rewarded with an e-mail or a phone call asking to set up a phone interview. These are the heart breaking resumes. The adrenalin starts to push forward, the mind starts to day-dream about the possibilities of the new place, a salary, health insurance. Then the phone interview starts. The conversation is great – a connection is made. The call ends with “Thanks for your time – we’ll get back to you after we finish our other interviews” – in other words – don’t hold your breath.
My last call was yesterday. It is for a position in Iowa. I would love to be closer to family! (See the day dreams have started.) It was to last 45 minutes, the interviewers had 9 questions. It felt like my oral comprehensive exam for my master’s degree. I think the call lasted 20 minutes, I’m not sure. I was a bit brain stunned by the end with a lot of second guessing – what did I actually say. Here is where a prayer is needed. Please let me have sounded like a sane and reasonable person that would be the best fit for this position!!!