Line 109 on the spreadsheet, shaded bright lemon yellow, reads: “accepted position.” Yes, after about 2 1/2 months out of work and a lot of hard core networking I have a new job, albeit very short-term. I will be filling in for someone who has to take an unexpected leave due to a family emergency. The project has a hard stop at the end of December, so this will be a fast-paced sprint to the finish line.

I sowed a lot of seeds in this job hunt, and a few of them recently sprouted up in a huge clump all on top of eachother, literally within hours of getting this interview scheduled. The interview was scheduled in the morning, and by that same afternoon I had yet another in-person interview (completely separate from this one) set for the following morning AND two additional phone screens – each for separate jobs as well – later that afternoon.

After accepting the offer I canceled those other appointments, but explained I would likely be job hunting again in January unless I get extended or reassigned somewhere in this company. Then, the phone rang again – it was another recruiter giving good news that a hiring manager wanted to meet me in person! Oh gosh…I’d completely forgotten he had submitted me as a candidate for that other job a few days prior. So, I told him I was no longer available. It got a little quiet on the phone, but he was genuinely happy. Really and truly – it is feast or famine out there. The email and phone can be quiet for days, crickets chirping, and then all of a sudden everything hits and explodes.

I’m glad. I’m grateful to be getting back to work and to a routine. I suited up many times in a dress, pantyhose and heels, whether it was 95 degrees out or blustery, rainy and 50. I’ve also spent my days here in the home office in shorts, a t-shirt, flip flops and no makeup more times than I’d like to admit and kind of got used to seeing myself au naturel rather than cleaned up.

But, I now have a job through the end of the decade (what’s left of it)! And I have no idea what is “really” going on with the state of things (quick questions about the ‘weather report’ in the interview but there was not much time to drill in further.) I won’t understand the politics initially either, but I’ll know they are there. Honestly, the pay is nothing to write home about, but all the more reason to have something short-term. And technically it’s a hell of a lot more than my current income level of ZERO…plus I’ll stop being a “Professional Check Casher” claiming unemployment. Yes, I’ll definitely continue the “Money Diet” I wrote about earlier.

Working short term contract assignments for the past three years has sharpened my edges and street smarts – I’ve learned and continue to learn how to build rapport and relationships quickly. Shy need not apply!! At times I joke it’s like being an Army brat or an exchange student…always the new kid and under the microscope. I’ve zoomed in and out of very, very different work cultures and continue to draw upon the great things and reject the toxic practices. I’ve learned what to share and not share, as longterm employees don’t always know or understand anything different than where they’ve worked; my stories and recollections often are greeted with blank nods and stares. [That’s OK; just paradigm stuff and all]. And I’ve learned that no matter how great things seem on the surface, there are fires burning and messes everywhere.

I keep my eyes and ears alert and open all my senses up wide to the vibe and environment around me. I’ve learned to trust my instincts. For example, I’d never visited this company where I’d interviewed before even though it’s very well known and established. It’s a large campus tucked away off a 4-lane road full of strip malls. Once I drove past the main entrance, I felt a wave of calm, even though I had the usual pre-interview adrenaline flowing. I thought to myself that somehow, this was where I’d be working. I don’t know how else to explain it but that’s how it’s been every time with each job.

Even if it’s short-term, this is where I’m supposed to be. And I can’t wait to dig in.