Switching tracks, waiting at the station
My search for gainful employment has been based on a parallel-track approach. In addition to the shingle option, I have sought revenue through traditional means:
- Working for someone else.
For the journey down this segment of track, I have been much more selective. The two questions that I must satisfy before I even apply for employment:
- What would I enjoy doing?
- Would the company treat me well?
Last month, I found one such job: Field examiner. Yes, I would go back to where I started but using a different term: collateral auditor. A former colleague pointed this out to me recently at lunch. "After all," he said, "this is what you are REALLY doing! "
The job also was one of the most enjoyable I have had in my vocational pursuit. I was exposed to more companies and business sectors than in all of my other jobs combined. And based on the recent fortunes of financial institutions, field exams (sorry, collateral audits) would have more meaning. The job also was one that would not have me on the road 75-90% of the time, just 40-50%. This is something I could handle.
I tweaked my resume so it was presented in functional format instead of chronological. This helped me land a phone interview, and apparently confused the gatekeeper who asked me what I had been doing since 2004. Nevertheless, I had a second interview - this time in person - with the hiring manager. The conversation lasted about two hours and was one which was to see whether we were compatible. I realized this was the case when after 15 minutes he said, "I know that you are qualified to do this job," and after 30 minutes he said, "I see you still have a passion for this type of work."
Our conversation covered many areas. The biggest change since my last field exam :The audit reports have more meaning.
At the end of the conversation I asked when we would be getting started. His response was that I was the first to be interviewed and that he was not in a hurry to make a decision. "Well, you could end the search now," I said. He laughed and replied, " I never rush these decisions. I will make my decision in 30 to 75 days. But please keep in touch."
- 30 to 75 days!? What takes so long?!
The 30-day mark has passed, the 45-day mark is in sight. Based on my previous field exam job, certain things move slowly ... hiring is one. This employment opportunity is going down the same slow track. I have waited this long, what's another 30 days? I think it is time for another keep-in-touch phone call.
Alan is a sole practitioner based in Central Ohio. He made a career change at 40 after working as a journalist for more than 15 years. Alan started his practice in May 2010 and currently focuses on not-for-profit organizations, individuals and small businesses. He has helped a number of nonprofits obtain their tax-exempt status and assisted others with their audit, compliance and tax needs. Alan has overcome many obstacles, and has spent the past 11 years primarily as an auditor. He also has worked on audits of financial institutions, closely-held businesses and began his second career as an ABL field examiner.