Noel asks, "you there?" Oh, yes. But then, why so quiet?
I'm now starting my third year as a freelancer. When we left Armenia, I thought this might last... maybe six months? But then BearingPoint went bankrupt and, well, it's been one short-term gig after another ever since. Burundi, the Philippines, Uganda, Senegal, Congo, Tanzania, two weeks here, three weeks there.
If I were ten years younger, or fifteen years older, this would be fine. Swell, even. But turning Claudia into a single parent of four small kids for weeks at a time is suboptimal. And the uncertainty (will I be there for Claudia's brother's wedding in August? For her birthday? The boys' first day of school?) is a bit wearing. And I was sort of having a career before, and I guess I'd like to get back to that. And also, health insurance.
Being freelance has its points! It certainly teaches things: self-sufficiency, patience. I get a lot of time with the kids. Everyone should be freelance once.
But I'd kind of like a job now.
So what's going on?
Possible long-term jobs, no particular order:
Kosovo -- job running a piece of a big Business Environment project. Bid will be submitted later this month. I'll be bid as part of the team for a large consulting company. This is a popular project with lots of people bidding on it, so competition will be fierce. On the plus side, I'm kind of a perfect fit for this job -- four different companies contacted me about it. On the minus, I know some of the people bidding against us and they're good. Should hear sometime this summer.
Washington -- did a long job interview by phone for a job with USAID. I think I gave a creditable performance but I'll be mildly surprised if I get it. Basically this is the Deputy USAID Trade Guy position. I'm a general commercial lawyer who has done a lot of trade stuff, and goodness knows I have USAID experience. But at the end of the day I'm not a trade specialist, and I think that came out. If it were USAID alone I think they might say "well we know Doug and he's a quick study and really easy to work with" or like that, but it's a multi-agency thing which will probably tip it towards someone whose qualifications are a neater fit. Should hear by the end of the month.
Egypt -- another job running a big piece of a project. Bid went in a while ago. Should hear sometime this summer.
State Department -- job interview in two weeks. This one is problematic because it's a fairly huge pay cut and also, frankly, a step down career-wise. On the other hand, stability, and also health insurance. Moot unless I get the job offer anyway, so let's check back in two weeks.
Georgia -- yet another "run a big piece of a project" job. Request For Proposal expected next week, with a bid due around the end of June. Not certain I'll be bid on this one, but I should know by the end of this month. If I am bid, I'd expect the award in late summer.
None of the above -- it's entirely possible, likely even, that none of these will come through. In that case it's more freelancing for a while.
Eh well. In the meantime, it's German Father's Day. Jacob and Leach woke me up this morning with cupcakes that they cooked in kindergarten, which made a wonderful crumbly mess in the bed. Then Claudia sent me this video, which you need not feel obliged to watch since it's just five minutes of me with various small children, but which made me go a little misty, yes. And then I had coffee.
We get by. We go on.