I have been working for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Section of Fisheries for a total of nineteen years now. My career wasn't continuous; I was hired in November 1991, but there were a couple breaks when we moved out of state to follow The Hermit's career path. But I have been back working as a Fisheries Specialist since 2003.
I had pretty much resigned myself to working as a specialist at Hinckley for the rest of my career. I am pretty much stuck to this place, which limits my upward mobility. Not that I minded, because this is a pretty good place to be, and the job is pretty darn good considering the alternatives.
Ah, as a writer I annoy myself by using the word "pretty" four times in one paragraph!
Recently, however, I had a chance for moving up while staying in the same place. Our assistant area fisheries manager was offered a job as an area manager in Finland, MN, in a beautiful area of northeastern Minnesota. After much thoughtful consideration he accepted it, an as far as I know, has no regrets.
They posted the job vacancy right away. I applied. So did two of my coworkers, and a couple others from within the department. Interviews were scheduled. My first interview in what, twelve years or so?
The interview process was probably the most rigorous I'd ever gone through. It consisted of making an oral/Power Point presentation with 30 minutes prep time, six interview questions, and afterwards, a writing assignment. Whew. But all went well, I though, or at least as well as I could do. I had no worries about the writing part, since I'd been editing my coworkers' writing for years. But by the time I got to the writing part I was kind of in a crazy stress mode. The assignment involved a hypothetical invasive species situation. So I invented a new invasive species, the Icelandic Squid. I hope the interview committee got a laugh out of it!
Then the waiting, from Tuesday until Friday. The awkwardness of being with coworkers who were competing for the job. Then finally on Friday, my boss, going home early with a bad cold, saying: "I'm not supposed to say this, but you got the top score on the interview. You will be getting a call."
I got the call. I am now the Assistant Area Fisheries Manager! Wow! I guess I deserve this after nearly twenty years, but I never would have thought, when I started my career, that I would out-interview several people who were well qualified candidates. I love working for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, along with many great people, and I look forward to this new opportunity!
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