A few weeks ago(the week before the dreaded "Master's Week"), I received an odd email. This requires a little bit of back story, so I will do that before explaining the email and subsequent activites.
The back story:
When I was leaving the Army, I was contacted by a woman who works for the Georgia Department of Labor, Veterans Assistance. I was this woman's first client, and she really went the distance to help me find suitable employment in order to care for my family. It was obviously a stressful time (leaving the Army was medically forced due to a stupid surgeon, not by choice) and this woman really helped, and probably more than she even realizes. So with all of that said, I have still stayed in contact with her and have tried to pass on job information to her so that she may help other service members being medically discharged.
The woman I reference sent me an email asking if I was happy at my current job and if she could pass along my information to someone. Although I have been extrememly happy with my current job, I felt that out of respect for her, I would at least listen to what this other company was offering. This is where the "who you know" comes into play, in addition to being willing to take a chance.
I am starting a new job in a week. This new job is programming based, as opposed to network security. I am very, very excited about this new job as I have been wanting to be able to focus more on programming than just the occasional tool I build or the programs I write for school projects. Furthermore, since I AM working on my Master's in Software Engineering (from the University of Michigan!!!), I think that having more real-world experience is important and gives credence to my pending degree. The real dilema here is that I really do love my current job. If they could come close to what the new company has offered, I would stay. However, I don't think that that will happen.
In any event, it is a win-win for me. While I will miss my current job and the fun I have there, I am certain the new job will be just as fun, even though I KNOW it will be a huge challenge with a LOT of pressure to perform quickly.
My two biggest passions when comes to work are network security and programming. Now I will be changing focus to the programming and I know that the challenges this presents will be fun, if not a little stressful. :-)