As my husband prepared to retire last fall, we had several discussions about this upcoming life transition. He was finishing a career spanning 29 years. I was finishing graduate school – for the second time in my life. I had applied for a couple of jobs over the last year, but neither seemed to be the right “fit”. So, when he decided to call it quits, we needed to consider how things might be as retirees. We agreed that we would wait 3-6 months before making any major decisions. This included things like considering new job offers, jumping into new businesses, moving, and even extensive travel plans. We made a “pact” to wait on any major decisions.
But, there would prove to be something that made keeping this pact difficult, for me that is. Just as he was winding down, I felt myself gearing up. As my graduation approached, he became officially retired. Less than two weeks separated these milestones. I was not actively looking for a job. But, still, if the right one came along……What would I do?
And then, it happened! I was scanning my social media feed and I saw it! A job was posted by a local non-profit organization. The job description read like it was written for me! As I read down the list of job requirements, I kept shaking my head. Yes, I have. Yes, I can. Yes, I have done that. Yes, I can learn to do that. It piqued my interest.
But, the pact! What was I to do? Well, for a couple of weeks, I did nothing. I did not talk about it, to him or anyone else. I re-read the job description. I printed it. I started revising my resume. Still, I said nothing. We had made a pact! I cannot bring this up; we agreed! These are all the thoughts that swirled in my head.
If you know me at all, you know that if I give my word, I’ll do whatever I need to do to keep it. Still. This was a job I was qualified for (or so I thought). This was a job I was interested in pursuing. It was just the timing of it all. Still, I said nothing. I waited.
But, I started thinking about the job opportunities for environmental education I saw while in graduate school. Frequently, jobs call for relocation or are of a temporary nature, or heaven forbid, government dependant, like positions with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
This job was none of those things. This job was local. This job was about conservation of land. This job was permanent. I knew this organization – having actually done more than one project for school, based on their conserved properties. I not only wanted, but NEEDED, to apply for this job!
So, I carefully broached the subject with my husband. What if…..What if I saw a job opportunity that fit my experience AND was what I wanted to do professionally, as an environmental educator? What if…….Could we break the pact?
Finally, I had him read the job description. His reaction? He said, “Why wouldn’t you tell me about this? You need to apply for this job! It was written for you!”
“But, what about the pact?” I said.
“Would you like this job?” he asked.
“I believe I would,” I answered.
He said, “Then, you need to apply for it.”
The rest, as they say, is history. I applied. I interviewed. I answered and asked questions.
I got the job!
I believe in serendipity! The online Merriam Webster dictionary defines serendipity “as the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought.” This is definitely how I feel about being successful in a job search that I didn’t take, but took me! Opportunity happened when I wasn’t looking, making it all the sweeter. And, the sweetest of all is having a husband who knows when to give into his wife, allowing her to break a pact to make her happy!