Here’s an interesting post to the GlowBugs e-mail list from Jason, KF6PQT. The subject is, “I think this Ham Radio nonsense might have finally paid off!”
In my 13 years since graduating college, (mind you, I have a Liberal Arts degree in Philosophy, um, yeah, one of those… It cost a lot more than it was worth!) my career has been IT stuff—tech support, Systems Administration. All computer related, as that and the Internet was the sexy new “high tech” back then. I later specialized within the Entertainment Industry, mainly with Disney. Which, as you may have heard, isn’t really the happiest place on earth to work.
I’ve been on their “revolving door” program, full time employee laid off after 3 years, then returning for various stints as a non-benefitted, expendable contractor
I’ve been out of work since last August, part of that was due to slacking off, some more due to the crummy economy, and the remainder: I simply came to hate my career after a while, and especially the industry I was in. I recently realized that a big reason why I was still unemployed was that I simply didn’t want to do this sort of work anymore, and therefore I was simply not pursuing it at all. Likely a lot of the reason I was let go (aside from making way more $ then they wanted to pay me) was that I knew exactly how much of a POS my project was, and there was absolutely no way I could ever be a cheerleader for it, under any circumstances, even though the only reason it worked at all was my 2-1/2 years of hard work.
What else to do? Why can’t I get work doing what I do for a hobby? No one wants to give me a job building CW transmitters out of discarded TV sets. ;) Finding a gig as a babysitter for a broadcast transmitter would be awesome, but those jobs are extremely scarce. Even if they still needed CW capable radio offices on ships, I don’t think my girlfriend nor family would be too fond of it. (Even if I was issued my own AK-47 with handy clip-on grenade launcher.) I’ve even pondered applying for a Lineman position with my municipality’s electric Co. 12kV? Heights? Not a problem. Sun damage or skin cancer from working outside all day? Might be a problem.
So I got up late this morning, and over my morning coffee looked through Craigslist, saw a job for an electronic testing technician. Sent ‘em an email with my resume, saying why I’d be a good fit even though I have absolutely no career experience doing this—I’ve got the highest-level Amateur Radio license, like to tinker with electronics and troubleshoot, etc.
I got an email back pretty quick asking when’s the soonest today they could meet me! I spent almost two hours chatting with them, and seeing what the testing techs do.
Got a phone call earlier this evening offering me the job! Of course I accepted, got them to bump the pay rate up a tad too, and got them to let me take the vacations in May and June I’ve been planning since last year, also. I won’t make as much as I used to at my last IT job, but its not bad for pretty much a total career change with no formal experience. And it sure beats the unemployment check and hustling scrap metal!
This company makes 100% accurate reproductions of airplane cockpit instruments for flight trainer/simulator systems. Most of it all are LCD displays, but there were a couple of little CRTs being worked on as well! ;)
That, and getting my CA state income tax refund, (miracle in and of itself!) has made for a pretty good day!
73, Jason kf6pqt