“At least you get a paycheck, right?”

It’s hard to argue with your friends and colleagues about not wanting to return to work when all we are taught since we are five years old is to go to school and get a job. As much as I’d love to say that yes, at least I get a paycheck, then irony is that it came at a deep cost financially. Whereas other Millennials quit and walk away from six figure jobs to find something more fulfilling, I wasn’t into that trend. My plan? Be loyal, be excellent and your employer will reward you. That clearly backfired when I got my layoff notice on January 16th, 2015.

Although 364 days later I am happy to report I am employed by the same company that let me go, returning to corporate life has been extremely bittersweet, especially since my new job revolves around training and development of the engineering workforce. My role is to support callers that have questions about how systems operate or about how to complete a particular design task. Some of these people, as my coworkers jokingly stated, are so clueless that it makes one wonder how they are still employed. That’s a story for another time.

When I first started to work back in 2005, I often received compliments about how non-existent my accent was. (English is my second language.) You could hear it but it wasn’t foreign; it some how belonged in the pile of the 50 States but not to one region in particular. Now, I get complimented on my dominion of the vernacular even though they can hear the trace of a stronger, yet subtle, accent. I kept wondering what that meant but then I realized half of my team is foreign; they are genuinely amazed that I am not only understandable but can improvise like a local without sounding less sophisticated or rather out of place. You gotta toot your own horn once in a while. 😉 But I do feel out of place although not quite like a fish out of water.

Amazing how time flies! Today, a year ago, I was in engineering. Now, I am an engineering mentor and coach. If I was certain that I couldn’t have had a stellar and condecorated carreer, I’d subscribe to the old adage that those who can’t do, teach. This new opportunity gives me a chance to help others who need guidance and support. Hopefully I can provide to them the same excellent service I have provided, and has been provided to me, all those times a new venture started in our innovative line of expertise. CAD design is about to appoint a new Jedi Master. Hehe

If it wasn’t for Zach, my 2 year old pittie mix, and of course my stressed out Mr Enginerd, I wouldn’t have had a reason to accept a position that didn’t value my time as engineering did. This wasn’t a voluntary career move and people need to understand this beford they accuse me of not seeing the bright side. I didn’t ask for any of this but surprisingly, I have done well during this new stage of my life. The potential to become a team leader, higher grade coach or eventually a manager point that this decision will be worth the risk. Five digit pay stubs are better than zero digits, right?

Retiring early has its perks only when you have enough dough to fund it. Savings and unemployment can only get you so far.

Sad, and with a heavy heart, I declare my layoff officially over. Here’s to hoping the best is yet to come and that on February 11th I get my 11th anniversary card. Cheers to the next decade! There’s nowhere to go but up…

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