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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

A Washingtonian-to-be!

Well, I have big news: I am newly employed, and I am moving to D.C.!

This has by far been the longest and hardest search for me, no doubt due in great part to the state of the economy. Though I have been consulting in the interim, I have been searching for a full-time position for 11 months. This has meant countless internet searches, a lot of subscriptions to job newsletters, a ton of cover letters, an ever updating reference list, quite a few interviews, even more follow up emails, many suit ironing sessions, and I have to admit a lot of self doubt.

It is hard to go through this type of process, or any long process without a clear end in sight, and not wonder if you are doing something wrong. I second guessed my choice of city, country, type of organization, field of work, the way I portrayed my experience and even my own motivations. Everything that I had decided up until now was under scrutiny, and it was very hard to sort through what to keep and what to throw out.

I got very frustrated at the automated rejection emails that would show up in your email box minutes after you sent off an application that you had spent 2 hours on, a form that usually just required rewriting your resume. I lost a lot of hope when I would find a job description that seemed so tailored to my skills that it could have had my name on it, yet still got a reply saying, “Your experience did not quite match our needs.” I commiserated with many people in the same situation, all having similar stories, and wondered how long it would take when the market was so flooded with talent. But in the end, the moans, disappointments and frustration aside, there was nothing to do but persist.

Just a week back in Baltimore, in my first day back to job hunting after the interruptions of trips and moving, I found a four line description for a job in D.C. It was the first place I applied to that day. I got an email the following day requesting an interview. Not even two weeks after hitting send on Monster, I got a call with the offer.

It amazes me that, in the end, after all the complications, life still comes up with a simple answer: you can bang on doors all you want but if they are the wrong ones, they won’t budge; but tap on the right door, and it will swing open. Apparently, I finally found the right one.