Through the entire economic downturn of the past few years, Rhiannon and I have been fortunate enough to make it though relatively unscathed. It turns out that there is a relatively steady demand for public school teachers. The salary and uncertain future notwithstanding, it's been a steady career choice up to this point. My particular job in engineering has been somewhat tied to the fortunes of the oil companies. Yes, the oil companies that I tend to demonize for the high prices of automotive gasoline and and general use of fossil fuels overall. But, when gas was $4.00/gallon a few years ago, we couldn't find enough people to work at our company. Overtime was abundant and job security was virtually guaranteed. Then the bottom fell out of price per barrel, and while cheap gas was one result, it turns out that big oil doesn't spend money on new development that they can't pay for a lack of increased profits.
I'm currently on a seconding[1. second - to temporarily loan an employee to another branch or business; Yeah, I had never heard this definition before either.] assignment with another company. A couple months ago, when my manager discussed the possibility of a field assignment, I wasn't really excited. Field assignments in my company have generally meant six months in another state which wasn't something I really wanted to do with Brooklynn around. Half a year of her life at this stage is a big long chunk of time. But, if it meant keeping a job...
Turns out the field assignment was with a company that has an office right across the street from where I normally work. I've gone from working one office in a Fortune 500 company with hundreds of people to an office of 45. Things are more relaxed. People have more of a sense that what they do might really make a difference. The computers are a lot nicer and IT is something that tries to help you get your job done efficiently rather than something that gets in the way.
I've been with the same company since I graduated from college and I've been very happy with what I've worked on and I like my department coworkers. I've never considered that I would might be just as happy or better off somewhere else. Until now.
I'm not planning on immediately sending out resumes, but the possibility is there. At least I know that if things ever do turn south, I've seen how someplace else operates.
Now I just have to figure out how to take the two big 24" monitors back with me. There are things I'm definitely going to miss when this is over.