I got the word, My interview in California didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I dreaded this moment. I was very excited about this prospect (it being, in effect, my only real prospect) and I tried as hard as I could to keep my hopes grounded. But I failed. And so I found myself worrying that if it didn't come through I'd be crushed.
In retrospect, there were too many questions to which I should have (and did at one time) known answers. They were also skeptical that a software engineer would be willing/able to make the jump to system administration, and I could have spoken more to that, rather than simply assuring them that it really wasn't that different from where my experience lay. (I've always had system administration tasks as part of my responsibilities, nevermind the time sink that is slackers.net. :)
There is no doubt that it would have been a great opportunity for me, and a position in which I would have thrived (conveniently ignoring their doubt for the moment). But everything must happen for a reason (even if we don't particularly like the reason). And so I see that this door closing is not the end I feared it would be. In fact it has helped to open two more.
One of the reasons I was considered for the job in California is that I've been jumping through hoops since July for a position in Chicago. Some of the hoops I've had to jump through are due to the same question that is always asked by everyone who looks at my resume: "Why on Earth does he want this job?"
On paper, it doesn't make a lot of sense. It is an IT position supporting an office of sales and marketing folks. I will be the first to admit that my technical skills are far from a perfect match, but my customer support experience would be very well exercised. And, most importantly, this does present me with an interesting challenge. It is still a great company with a great culture, so I get to contribute some other way.
After I visited with friends over the weekend after my interview, Tim ran into Sean, a mutual friend and a former co-worker of mine from way-back. When Tim mentioned that I'd been out interviewing, a light went on in Sean's head, because the company he works for will soon be looking for people to fill some positions "I'd be perfect for."
Between these two, something may yet come from my trip to California, even if it wasn't the job I'd been hoping for.