Retirement Lifestyle: Arriving in Seattle


It was dark, dreary and late when we finally arrived in Seattle in October 2011. I felt so ready to begin this lifestyle as a Seattle resident but first it was time to rest! Fortunately there was a bed to sleep in and food in the refrigerator. In my previous post (read it here) I wrote about my move from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA.

My to-do list in Seattle: move boxes around, put things away, update resume, update LinkedIn and find my way around the neighborhood.  I found a great shoe store and dry cleaner. I reached out to my network and found a vet, a dog groomer, a dentist and a fantastic dive for Sunday brunch.

Now my feet were happy, my dogs had mani/pedi’s and we all had clean teeth.  Time to begin the long anticipated Seattle job search.  The Emerald City appeared to offer not only fantastic views but numerous companies, small and large who would be in need of my Human Resources Expertise.

Like everyone else, I began by applying for jobs online. Isn’t this how everyone starts, despite all the career gurus who tell you not to? And I soon added in networking both online and at professional events. I spread my resume around like dandelion seeds on a breezy day. Poof–you want one? Click, click, there it goes.

Sometimes my resume zoomed right to the top of a massive sinkhole. While other times it made its way through the ominous applicant tracking software conundrum and voila!, it landed right where it needed to be–on the screen of an over-worked and time-crunched recruiter.

As a result, I did my share of online applications, introductory phone screens, calls with hiring managers, in-person interviews with one or a dozen and added in plenty of company research. It amounted to lots and lots of twists and turns, discussions and connecting/re-connecting.

Everyday felt like a new trip to Wonderland. I wonder if they liked me? Did I say the right thing? I wonder if I practiced enough questions? Additionally, there was a distinct feeling that my journey to Jobland was similar to Alice’s adventures once she went deep into the rabbit hole.

Eventually all that talking about my Human Resources Expertise gave me better perspective on what I actually liked about my career and what I wanted to do more of.  It seems as though after you answer: “tell me about your coaching style, most successful work project, and by the way, how do you build teams”, you gain a renewed appreciation of just what it is you really like to do.  You know you’re  on to something when what you like to do just happens to be what you do best. Funny how that works.

In between the meet and greets, the calls and the investigative-reporter worthy company research, there was time for personal reflection. As a result, I began thinking about ways to reinvent not only my career but other parts of my life.

I had always considered life and work separate concerns (think work/life balance–you’re at work during the week and you engage in your “real” life during whatever hours are left over) but had a sense they might be more joined than I recognized.

I had a serious case of “what if’s.” As in What If I reinvented:

  • …my career to complement my life?
  • …my life to complement my career?
  • …reinvented myself?

That’s a lot of whats. It might take being a Re-Imagineer to figure it all out. More from Wonderland and the Emerald City later…

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