I was all set to start the job hunt out west. My recent travels for work and pleasure (New Orleans, 2 trips to Wyoming, San Fran, Seattle, Vancouver, Winnipeg, a train trip from Vancouver to Winnipeg, Newport Beach, and Las Vegas) coupled with life experiences had made me really think that it was time to leave New York. The death of a good friend's father in Wyoming made me wonder if I was living my dreams, and reading a combination cookbook/travelogue called THE WORLD IS A KITCHEN made me reconsider going into cooking as a profession – an idea I have toyed with FOREVER!

Everything in life seemed to be pointing to the fact that I would be happier out west and closer to my family. An opportunity came up at Apple in Cupertino in the form of a position I was perfect for working with someone I really respect. Clearly the universe didn't agree because the message HR left me got eaten by cyberspace and I never received it. Thus, they assumed I wasn't interested and the job went to someone else. But, I was ready to really start looking — Business Analyst positions seemed to be doable. I was thinking Seattle or the bay area, anywhere but LA really. I even had an email drafted to send out to all my family, friends and contacts to solicit help.

Then things exploded at work: one colleague is on maternity leave, my boss's wife had a baby this week, my boss had been working on restructuring our department and he recently posted a new "Technical Process Manager" position (it is basically my current job on steroids with more decision making and opportunities to shape the future of our department, and a definite step up on the corporate ladder). I interviewed with my boss, even though I thought it was a long shot.

Tangent: For those of you who don't know what I do (and I know there are a lot of people in that group) I work for a not-for-profit that publishes safety codes & standards. My department builds and maintains proprietary, web-based software applications that facilitates the publishing process. We are essentially business analysts that develop electronic tools to replace paper-based practices. My boss likes to say we are efficiency experts … maybe that makes things clearer, maybe it doesn't … it is time to get on with my story though.

Then my close friend and colleague, S, resigned last week. She was the one person who was most likely to get the new position, but now she is moving to be near her family and have a better quality of life. I'm sad. We have been inseparable for almost 3 years … between graduate school, a close friendship, and working together we have put in A LOT of hours brainstorming and whatnot. I am also jealous because I want to be nearer my family, but in the end I am really excited and happy for her!

The aftermath is that they offered me the new position this week. In the period of a few days I managed to jump 3 whole rungs on the corporate ladder. It is a significant salary increase, and an interesting opportunity to help shape the future of my department. I feel like I am in WAY over my head! I'm now exclusively responsible for one of our software applications which means I will get to (sorry if this gets too technical) oversee/do everything from the development phase (design and functional specifications), to liaising with the programmer, to ensuring it is user-friendly, to managing the testing of new features, to training people on the system, to troubleshooting and fulfilling help desk support functions, etc. It's a lot of hats to wear.

So I guess my westward migration is on hold. That is not to say that if the perfect job came my way, I would turn it down, it just means that I am no longer actively looking. I see myself in NYC for another year or two or three and then heading west. The upside is that when I do head west I have better experience to go off of and a management title, even if the title feels meaningless.

I'm still wondering if I made the right decision though … am I doing what I should be doing with my life? A friend pointed out that I should "make hay while the sun shines" and a few others said "take the money and run". They're right a higher salary in NYC is not a bad thing, but am I selling out? Am I really following my dreams? I guess only time will tell, but I am feeling rather insecure at the moment.

Then again, maybe it is just an effect of the cold meds I am currently taking. Stupid fall cold with sore throat has me feeling like I can't leave my bed.

So that's the news in my world, what's happening in yours?

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