For my last vacation, I took a trip up to visit my northern family. Last June, Dad had mentioned that I might try moving up there in part to help out with the family business. We talked about the prospect some more while I was up there visiting. The business can’t afford to hire me on full time, but I could do some project kinds of things to earn a little extra money.
To make that work, I needed a job with medical insurance. Purchasing insurance independently would be … costly.
I’d been trying for the last several years to get a job up there. Applying out of state is complicated. Some places will do phone or skype interviews, but others want to see your bright, shiny face IRL. Dropping everything to road trip 800 miles for an interview for a job you might not land … is prohibitively costly.
So, while I was up there, we — the northern family and I — realized I could be looking for optician jobs while I was there. Not the trainer gig I was hoping for, but it could work if I could find the right place.
I used my iPad to hunt down optical businesses in the Greater Des Moines area, and then parental assistance helped me weed out “too far from here to commute” and “you wouldn’t want to be there without a well-trained Doberman and a CHL.”
First, I tried looking at options for a lateral (actually backwards because I’d be stepping down from vision manager to optician) move within the company I currently work for. Only 2 local stores were hiring. One was too far away, and the other was only looking for part time. Ugh.
Next, outside the company. I called one place and got to speak with the general manager of a local chain of 22 stores. He was going to be at the one closest to my folks’ house, and arranged to meet with me that afternoon. Another was also hiring and suggested I drop by and fill out an application. Well, 2 appointments for the afternoon was about all I was going to be able to squeak in, so I stopped there.
We headed to the second one first, and I filled out the application. Talking to the manager, the job sounded a little too part-time. He thought he’d be able to squeak it up to full-time if his regional manager agreed, but that sounded like a big “if.”
I went to the first one next and got there a few minutes too early. That gave me a chance to check out their frames and compare prices. The name brands were about the same as where I work now, actually. They didn’t have the “low end” frames, and they had a lot of higher end ones that my current job doesn’t have. Interesting.
The interview seemed to go favorably. The general manager sounded like a reasonable, well-spoken gentleman. He asked me some of the usual sorts of questions about my experience and education as well as my reasons to move so far north. We talked a bit about pay scale and work conditions and so on. Then I had my chance to ask questions and fill out an application. He said he’d get back to me by Friday and asked me to send him a resume when I got home. (so I did)
Thursday, I received an email asking me to call on Friday to discuss a job offer. (WHOOT!)
In 5 days start to finish, I had a new job in the part of the world I wanted to go to. There are still some logistical things to work out, but it’ll work out.
After a decade of trying to find something, the speed of that turnaround is amazing. Almost like there’s a divine hand guiding things.