Photo by Al x on Unsplash

I received the call

One thing I learned sometime ago, from who I don’t recall, was always to keep your resume current.  The advice was as soon as you start a job update your resume.  This one piece of advice and my actions to take heed has been a blessing for me.  When getting ready for the next job I quickly add any needed lines to my resume and I’m ready to submit it.

While working at the Network Engineer Company in the Bay area in 1998 a friend of mine who I worked with at a previous company called me. He asked if I’d like to move to the Seattle area because they had an opening he thought I was more than qualified to handle.

“Sure” I said, we were ready for a new adventure.  Submitted my resume and the other required material. It was not long before they called and scheduled me for an interview.

 

The Seattle adventure begins.

The views of the ground were gorgeous from the plane as it was descending into the Airport Seattle on the flight from San Jose in early summer 1998. I wanted to almost instantly move to Seattle by what I saw of the lush green area. I believed I had found our new adventure, and a place to live. I was hooked.

 

The Interview

The interview was long and different from other interviews in the past.  This job was at a software company. Software companies had a reputation for interviewing with additional techniques intending to discover how you might think.  I interviewed with the Hiring Manager, His manager, several technical people, a HR manager.  I did not have to wait long before I learned that I had the job. I started in Aug 1998

 

Selling and buying a Home

Employment included temporary housing for several months, and a pack and move. We spent time in both locations in the beginning. In San Jose preparing our home to be both staged and listed. And the Seattle area looking for a rental as we decided that getting settled in before looking for a new home was the route we would take this time around.

We rented a home in Redmond as the temporary housing was ending.  This enabled us to move in with the few items we had with us prior to our home closing.

Our home soon sold, closed, and we packed up. The move North was now official, we were no longer Californian’s, but Washington’s.

 

The New Network Engineer position

The position they hired me for included supporting the same equipment which I had been installing and supporting on the previous job. I’m sure that was my additional foot in the door.

My resume contained both Management and Non-Management employment over the years.  With 13-14 months my Manager moved into an engineering position.

They promoted me to the Manager Team, and the position grew in responsibility which required me to hire 1 person to replace me and one additional person.

The new team size was then 3 members. I enjoyed employment at the company and the team members, but soon need to expand my experience.

After Managing a Network Support team I moved into a position of Project Manager.  This was a new direction and adventure for me, I have worked with Project Manager in the past but not in the position of being one.

For the first time in my career I was in a position managing something I felt management was not behind. Turns out I was right, and I soon decided it was time for an extended vacation.  I began employment right out of high school, with virtually no extended downtime or unemployment between jobs, so now was the time for me.

 

My Extended Vacation

I opted for time off and let the company for that extended vacation – time off. Back in the Bay Area each job ended on a Friday and the new position started the following Monday.  I was thinking about getting the next opportunity and money because I always on the go.  I really never took time off for me and only time off for vacation, holidays, and personal appointments. Now was the time to enjoy life a bit.

 

I purchased my second Motorcycle

This was the second of what would be my purchase of 4 motorcycles to date.

My first was a Honda Shadow 1200 back in 1989, I had that motorcycle for about a year and sold it. Riding a motorcycle for me made me feel free and something I enjoyed. I felt like I was doing something for myself. Events made me sell it.

This was another time I needed a second burst of doing something for myself. Live was good, no personal or financial issues. Just another time to stop, look around, and breath.

The second bike was another Honda Shadow 650 Retro looking. I drove that motorcycle thousands of miles around Seattle and out into eastern Washington. This adventure would not have happened should I not have taken some extended time off.

This extended time off was a new and delightful experience which I grew to like and enjoy until another call from bay area friend.

 

Desktop Support Position

While on my extended vacation another friend from another software company which we worked together in the Bay Area told me about a job opportunity in Seattle.  I interviewed for that job successfully getting a job offer. I recall the hiring manager said he wanted to hire me but thought the compensation might not be what I wanted.  I told him to make me an offer I can’t refuse. He did and in August 2002 I was again working for another software company in the Information Technology Department, again in the area I felt most comfortable, Desktop Support.

After working with the manager for 9-10 months again they asked me to manage the local team as a Lead, and then another 6 months, the Northern American team of 15.

This job allow me to expand my technology knowledge, travel throughout the US and Canada, and internationally. In addition, I expanded my network of exceptionally great Technology professionals.

 

Our Homes

After living in the rental for almost a year we were ready to purchase what would be the first of two homes in the area.

First home was over 3,000 square feet on 3/4 of an acre room. With plenty of room a pool table and other space.  Moving from the Bay Area we felt like we were getting more valve for our money, and we were.

As prices were on the rise in the Seattle area too, we decided to sell our home after several years and purchased the second home.

The second home was not much more than the selling price of the first. This home was almost 4,000 square feet and had the room for the pool table and included space for a beer tap room next to the pool table with 6 beers on tap.  We added a complete outside kitchen and entertainment area, a she shed, greenhouse and her ride-on mower to mow the cover grass.

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Soon after being in the Seattle area we discovered that we had just moved to a great area, but they usually had 300 days of either Rain or overcast.  Growing up in the Bay Area we were used to the full 4 seasons. And that included regular doses of sunlight.

We purchased special light bulbs to simulate the missing sunlight. This seemed to work but only for short periods of time. It reminded us of the missing sunlight when we’d visit family and friends in the bay area.  I would travel on business to California and that reminder of the sunlight was there every time.

After a while people told us that there was a name for the condition of a lack of sunlight. It’s called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.  We soon learned that many others like us who had come from a full seasons sunlight environments rarely lasted in the area for over 9-10 years.

 

It soon became apparent that is was time to ease into retirement 

August 2009 we moved into the retirement phase of our life, and that included moving to a sunnier area.

We completed that move in February 2010

 

Learning and benefits of the experience

Both software companies jobs entailed travel. The company’s provided travel for these jobs allow me to see Europe, North America, and Canada.

We both have no regrets of living in the great North West.

I learned and had many opportunities with new technologies over the years in the Northwest. We lived in a new area previously unknown to us, made some new friends.

Saw the sights first hand, the Fresh Market, the First Starbucks, the Puget Sound, Breweries, lots of snow. It was beautifully sunny the 2 months out of the year. The Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, Rainier Cherries, so close to the Canadian border.

The availability of the abundance of micro breweries was a huge plus for beer lovers.  I even learned how to home brew with my team as a team building event. We all went a second and third time on our own dime to the beer brewing for home brewing classes.

We both had Lasik surgery in Canada after lengthy research and to this day have enjoyed the new sight. Every subsequent eye exams shows it was a good decision.

And so our journey to the North West would end and we would move on to a new adventure.

Next Adventure was early retirement, see what that looked like her what early retirement looked like for us

 

Originally posted on www.rogerskibowski.com

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