My last action in 2012 was to improve my life significantly - I applied for a job opening at NIAMS (The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) which would take me into a professional career series in the federal government and has promotion potential to a GS-11 which would help a lot as I am at the top of the ladder for a GS-9 and no longer eligible for any salary increases aside from cost of living (which have been frozen for the last several years). As the top level of an 11 makes about $14,000 more than the top 9 this would help a ton!
But it gets better..... I was alerted to this job by a woman I used to work for in the Office of Scientific Review, she was the coolest boss I ever worked for and we made a great team and accomplished a lot together. She was the person who told me that I needed to check out "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and that it wasn't a dumb teenager show but much better, of course this turned me into a confirmed Joss Whedon junkie and we'd have lively discussions the morning after a new episode aired. At a convention I got her a signed photo from Anthony Stewart Head that she framed & put on her desk and people where forever asking her if that handsome man was her husband and we'd both laugh.
She's also a huge cat lover & we always compared notes on our kitties the way most women would on their children. I went to visit her last week at her office as she wanted to do a "pre-interview" and her first question - "How's Spooky?"
She introduced me to my favorite Thai restaurant in Bethesda too where she'd take me for my birthday :)
Anyhow, she left for bigger & better things and now is in a high position and needing a top level assistant to run their council meetings and other stuff so she asked if I'd be interested - I still have to go through the formalities of applying as it is a government job and there's always a possibility I might loose out to somebody better qualified but I think I have a very good shot and I would dearly love to work with her again - we've kept in close touch for the last 10 years since she left NIGMS and I've always told her to let me know if she ever needed an assistant.
So I spent all last week while everybody was off over Xmas and I was alone minding the ghost town polishing up my resume' and got my application in yesterday. The vacancy closes January 2nd. Open for 5 days over a weekend and New Years and only open to current NIH staff, well maybe that will mean a few less people see the announcement in time to also apply!!!
The one thing my current gig really lacks over my prior one is a feeling of camaraderie as the front office is so stiff and formal and everybody is way too busy for any sort of chit chat let alone going out for lunch. I guess I crave bit more emotional connection and what my job to feel like "family", I don't mind working my ass off or late into the night if its "family".
Other pluses - I would have my own actual office instead of a cubicle in the middle of the room (I am currently right next to the first door on that floor - so by default I become the Institute "Lost and Found" and the person who everybody goes to to complain that the sink is backed up etc etc). No more constant interruption! No answering the phone for 6 people! And the office is even CLOSER to my apartment than NIH (about 2 miles vs. 2.5 miles) in a direction without traffic!
So please wish me luck, this would be a huge improvement in my life and the $$ would mean I wouldn't be constantly worrying about being able to keep up with rent increases etc. I'm hoping for a lucky 13!