June 10th, 2011, was my last day at work at my last “real” job. I left that job to move cross-country, ending three years of bi-coastal marriage. Had I known I would be less than fully employed three years later, I might not have been so sanguine about relocating.

Those of you who have followed this blog know that I have been looking for work, with varying degrees of  effort, since I have been back in North Carolina. I tried to find a place in my field, and my efforts were met with indifference. Uncertain that I cared to knock myself out to start at the bottom  when I’d left at the top, I looked at new avenues of employment, and my efforts were met with indifference.

I realized that I was most likely part of the problem, and I began to explore the things that were holding me back. I’ve written about some of them, and will continue to do so. There is no such thing as “finished” when it comes to self-awareness and improvement. I got help with my resume, polished my LinkedIn profile, and started joining groups and getting out more.

Last fall, I rededicated myself to finding full-time work. I systematically searched and applied to a range of interesting positions where I felt my skills would transfer. By April of this year, I had made dozens of applications and inquiries, to “stretch” positions, but also to three investigative jobs where I had solid, easily recognized experience.

In mid-May, I was discouraged and despondent, bemoaning the lack of response to anyone I could get to listen. I tried to get a grip. I reminded myself of the adage “Success is what happens right after you don’t give up” and I felt cheesy.

Remarkably, the next day, I got a call. I scheduled an interview. Today, exactly three years after leaving my old job, I am accepting the new one, doing exactly the same thing.

There is another saying: “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.” Sometimes, that is a bad thing. This time it is not. What I will get now is another  opportunity  to be of help to people who need it, to spend my days with like-minded people in service of the same goals, and to know my place in the world again.

Did the resume, the online presence, the introspection and  all the rest help, or was it simply a matter of allowing opportunity to present itself? Either way, I am finally home.