The Twinkie Times

The life and times of a Chinese American. Born a Jersey boy, lived the expat life, attended boarding school (Lawrenceville), converted to a frat boy (Sigma Pi), got an MBA (Columbia), returned to China, and back to the East Coast now trying to carve out an identity and life as an Asian American dad (gulp) in the midst of a "tertial life crisis" ©

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Beginnings

So I took a brief hiatus from this blog as we had a lot of things on our plate. First, we had to make a rather hasty return to the United States and bid adieu to Shanghai as well as part ways with my cute little nephew, sister, and brother-in-law.  The return to NY was prompted by the need for Jenn to undergo radiation treatment (flashback to Feb 2011) in this very high-tech Star Trek-looking device:

Luckily, that went off without a hitch and other than some side-effects of the steroids during the radiation therapy and the obligatory hair loss, it was relatively uneventful.  We quickly settled back into our old condo & routine and before we knew it, Jenn was working in the city again and life had returned to some semblance of normalcy.

However, I had returned to a similar position when we had first departed for China (flashback to May 2011) and so it felt in some ways like taking a step backwards.  It was not long before I contemplated trying something different; after all I had been with the same company for 14 years upon graduating from college.

The job search process can be very emotional.  It is essentially like another full-time job that entails hours of research, constant follow-up, and rigid organization.  There were many ups & downs and after tapping my personal network, trying different headhunters, and joining it seemed as if I was destined to remain at my current company.  But just when it seemed like all hope was lost, two amazing things happened within weeks of each other.  Many people say that when you apply to jobs online via a company's web-site that it goes into a "black-hole" so I was absolutely thrilled when I got a callback.  Things moved very quickly and before I knew it, I was flying out to Mountain View for final round meetings.  To-date that was the most intense and difficult 4-hour interview I have ever endured but it was also thought-provoking and I enjoyed meeting everyone there.  Although the circumstances and the location did not work out for us, it was around the same time that another opportunity presented itself via a reference from a former colleague.

Again, things moved very quickly and within weeks, I was in final negotiations for the precise details of the offer.  It has now been almost exactly 2 months and this is how I feel:
(the picture is actually from the Battlefrog Race: a 5K obstacle/mud course designed by Navy SEALS)

I am trying something completely different and it has been non-stop busy since day one but I am learning a lot and enjoying it so far.  I have done more Powerpoint in the past 6 weeks than in my first 10 years at my first company and now my dreams consist of Excel and Flowcharts instead of SQL and Production outages.  I miss my former colleagues with whom I had formed very strong bonds but those are friendships which will continue to cross corporate boundaries.


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