I’ll just come right out and say it because I can’t keep it in any longer:
TOM GOT A JOB!!!
As you might recall, Tom’s career – while always centering on environmental something – has been just a bit topsy-turvy over the past nine years.
Tom was laid off from his job as an Environmental Engineer at a large local aerospace corporation shortly after 9/11. Just a few months previous to his lay-off, Tom had begun taking a few digital art and animation classes at the local community college. Although he had a masters degree and 20-plus years’ experience in the field of environmental engineering, Tom wanted to explore his always-present but always-dormant artistic talent, and the lay-off, combined with my secure job provided him that opportunity.
(There are only two people I know who have such a distinct dichotomy -- the mind of an engineer and the soul of an artist: one is my father; the other is my husband.)
Tom spent 2002 as a full-time student and by 2003 he had earned an AA in Digital Graphics and Animation, working at least as hard for that degree, in my opinion, as he had worked to earn his Masters in Engineering almost 20 years before. During the semester before he graduated, he was lucky to land an unpaid internship with a local gaming company and upon graduation he was extra lucky to be hired as an Environment Artist at the same company.
So he’d made his way from Environmental Engineer to Environment Artist. Convenient!
After six years as a Digital Artist, Tom was again victim to a company-wide lay-off, this time fueled by the catastrophic economy rather than by catastrophic world events.
After much thought and discussion, Tom decided to try to make his way back to environmental work. Or rather, to work in the field of Environmental Science and Engineering as opposed to Environmental Graphics. The political and social climate had become more attune t0 environmental work and his hope was that jobs in the environmental arena would be easier to come by now than they were nine years ago. And although he enjoyed his stint as an artist, he missed the more professional world.
Besides, with three kids in college full-time (well, four – but Elisabeth’s post-graduate work is up to her to cover), it felt like a more responsible move to try to get back to the field in which he had more experience… a field in which the money is also invariably better.
Long story short, Tom will go back to his previous job in his previous department and his previous company early next month! Except for the learning curve of getting back up to speed after nine years away, it will probably begin to feel as if he’d never left.
I am thrilled for him, relived for our family, and newly hopeful that we can now face both the multiple-kids-in-college years and the saving-for-retirement years with a bit more hope and confidence.
In a word, PHEW!!
(Yes, we did some celebrating when it was all finalized: