That Two Year Mark


There’s a bit of irony about September 12th.  On Facebook, you get notices daily of a “On This Date” memories.  Usually they are posts you made or things you shared, but they are on that date in the past.  I love going through them for whatever crazy irony or goofy things I put up over the years.  As it turns out, when I looked at today’s memories, there was a lot both posted and hinted about.

Six years ago today,  on September 12, 2012, I was preparing for my first business trip as an employee of BP-Alaska.  I had only been there for a few weeks, and a supplier issue in Louisiana gave me an opportunity to make a run down there, and stop off to meet much of the rest of the team in Houston.   For the role, it was a pretty big point in my fresh start up there.

Two years later, on September 12, 2014, I walked into BP-Alaska for the last time.  It was my last day as an employee.  This was the beginning of my transformation from BP to Bodycote, my next employer.  While it would be another few weeks before I moved out of Alaska, this date had a fair bit of finality to it.

Two years later, on September 12, 2016 … while I didn’t post much, but there was something very very clear about what I did do.  I had changed my profile to Jim Carey in The Truman Show where he pretended to be an astronaut, and my cover picture to show aliens on Mars protesting a rover telling it to “Go Home Yankee”.  I made one written post saying: “Two football games on tonight? Why sure, I think I will partake … I mean .. someone could be celebrating something tonight.”  I couldn’t go public with it, but it was my super secret code to basically tell friends in the know that I had just been given an offer to join JPL.

Two years to the day, I had specific situations about a job transition.  Honestly, that ‘two years’ was a very real feeling to me.  In part, because it was a specified mandate.  I got a huge relocation package from BP (and by huge, I mean  … HUUUUGGGGEEEE); which came with only one stipulation … if I quit or got fired before my 2 year mark, I would have to pay it back.  While Bodycote didn’t officially have a statement on their relocation package, it was implied … and not something I wanted to try out either.  So, it became a feeling that I should at least give a job about 2 years to make sure it is right for me.  It just turns out, it didn’t take 2 years for either of those two places to tell me that things were not right.

So, since it is September 12, 2018 – and it is 2 year later – what do I have to post this time around?

Well nothing.

At least not yet.

Shared a post on a group about the Packers.  Was in messenger sharing a goofy thing about dogs changing light bulbs.

I mean, there is a good chance that I will open up a bottle of wine, and then anything can happen on Facebook.

The important thing is … don’t be expecting any weird post out there about some massive change of employment again, because *spoiler alert* there is no massive change.  To be fair, my 2-year mark at JPL isn’t until December; and there isn’t anything specific (that I can remember) that forces me to stay with it here.  That being said, I am nearly two years in and have no intention to leave.

Here’s the thing.  I believe that no one wakes up one day, realizes they have a miserable job, decides they are going to quit, then quits before laying back down for bed that night.  For someone in a more professional role like myself, that just doesn’t happen — you look to transition to something new.  For me personally, I never quit a job when I didn’t know where I was going to end up.  I had a job offer acceptance in my hand, and knowledge that all roadblocks are lifted with a start date agreed to.  To get to that point includes months of searching for a job, interviewing, re-interviewing, re-re-interviewing, and finally making a call.  To get that started maybe one of those days I wake up and say “holy crap this sucks”, but it leads then to the job search process … hours and hours spent flipping through online classifieds, websites, and calls from recruiters.  For a number of reasons, the time between I submitted an application at JPL to the time I put my notice in at Bodycote was nearly 9 months.  The whole process is grueling, and takes perseverance.  Which means … If I want to quit, I’ve wanted to quit for a long time.

Nearly two years into my time at JPL … I don’t want to quit.

Sure, you are probably thinking “Duh … it’s JPL, a NASA center, why would you want to leave?”.  Well, I counter with there was a point when “Duh … you get to live in Alaska, why would you want to leave?” was a viable question.

JPL is not perfect.  JPL has it’s issues.  There have been some tough periods, and there have been some really bad days.  I have not had that moment where I woke up and said “I want to start looking for something else”.  I openly say that to my management; even at threat to future compensation.

I mean … this two year mark with desire to check out the grass on the other side of the fence … that’s not a big deal, that’s a HUUUUGGGGEEEE deal.

Now, to just keep the posts on Facebook above the belt tonight.



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