Saturday, January 31, 2009

Summer job seach

I started a new phase in my career this week. After working for a large government agency for over 20 years, I retired at the end of August. I spent most of those years running large institutional kitchens for the State of California.

Since September, I've continued to work part-time for the agency that I've worked for the past three years. I have appreciated the opportunity to continue laboring away at my old desk and working with a talented crew of fiscal analysts in Sacramento. The job has kept the bill collectors away and kept me busy.

But my heart is in food service, not the tedious process of analyzing government spending plans. As I have said in my profile since 2005, it's been my goal to chef for a children's summer camp for many years.

I sent two applications to perspective employers this week. Although I won't reveal the identity of the camps, they're located in the Western U.S.

My initial though was to restrict my search to camps in Northern California. I was concerned about the distance from my Gold Country home to a site over a thousand miles away. I figured that there were enough camps close to home to make the process competitive for me.

I changed my perspective after I received an inquiry from an out-of-state camp administrator. He encouraged me to broaden my search. This camp, a Wisconsin camp that's been around for over six decades, has hired staff "from all over the U.S."

Here's his response to my email:
This past summer our kitchen manager was from (the Southwest). I understand the distance from California is considerable, but in addition to our competitive summer compensation, we do provide transportation. If this is something that you might be interested in exploring, I could set up a conversation with our camp director.
Ultimately, the camp re-hired last year's kitchen manager. But his correspondence encouraged me to expand my search to the west. One of the two applications went to a Rocky Mountain state.

I'll offer my thoughts on the process as it moves forward. As I said above, I'm not going to reveal the camps submit applications to, nor those that I secure interviews. I will discuss the process when it's appropriate, as long as I can conceal the camp's identity.

More to come ...

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