Sunday, June 10, 2012

An exciting new adventure...

Chris says...

We're about to undertake an exciting new adventure! I recently accepted an Information Management Specialist (IMS) position with the United States Department of State.

How did this happen?

One short answer could be, "I applied". Another might be, "With patience".

A longer-ish answer is (take a deep breath): August 2011 I applied for the position after having a number of conversations with myself, Kristen, and many, many others. By January 2012, I had been asked to go to Washington D.C. for an interview. By May, I had passed all clearances (what a process). Finally, this past week I received and accepted an official offer to join the State Department.

Why did this happen?

"Because we're nuts!"

It is true, we're nuts - but that's not why we're doing this. The easy answer is: the same it was last time.

The longer answer for me is: we still have a desire to live abroad, and I've learned something about how I want to work.

The Principal Financial Group has been a wonderful place for us. I have had so many great opportunities and have had the privilege of working for and with some of the most talented, hardworking and humble people I have ever met. I cannot say enough about the company and the people - it truly is a great place to work. That being said, this Honduran experience brought about some questioning of the status quo (and that's putting it lightly). One of the things I started asking myself was about what I wanted out of my job/career. After having quite a long internal conversation and many, many discussions with Kristen and others - I figured out that right now, for me, I know that I can be successful working remotely...but working remotely is not something I want to continue to do for any length of time. I've learned that, for me - there is some intangible about being in an office setting that cannot be replicated, no matter how good your video conference or communication capabilities might be. I know now that how I want to work includes some interaction with my team beyond phone calls, emails or video conferences.

Many, many other reasons exist that answer the question, "Why we are doing this?", but the explanation above hopefully provides some insight into the personal reflection process that this initial experience has triggered. It's been a great learning/growing opportunity - and I can't wait to start the next phase!

One closing note - thanks to all the family and friends that have been been supportive throughout this process. It's been a long time coming...hope you can all come see us wherever we start this next chapter!

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