Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Super Secret Special News

It’s official. I can finally discuss the super secret special news that has been in the works. Since I have a very smart and astute group of readers, I doubt this news will come as much of a surprise to you all. But, at least now I can pay off the hints I’ve been dropping here and there.

For the last month, I have been in the interview process for what turned out to be an extremely selective company. Today, I received and accepted what I can only describe as an incredible offer. I was selected over 25 other applicants that have been invited to go through the process since May. That should tell you a little about how seriously this company has taken the hiring process.

The process started for me a month ago when I received a call out of the blue from a recruiter I’ve talked to a couple of times over the years. He had seen my resume posted on an industry job posting website which had been posted several years ago when I was trying to get a job back in Dallas to be back with The Queen during the darkest days of the mystery illness. We chatted for a bit, and he asked how things were going. I brought him up to speed on my world, and he mentioned that he was working on something but that I sounded pretty comfortable where I was. I almost shot the job down out of hand when the recruiter mentioned a certain type of claims that are anathema to me being involved with the job. Fortunately, further discussion revealed that those certain claims were a relatively small part of the job.

Anyway, the more we talked, the more interesting the opportunity became. I agreed to have the recruiter submit my resume to the company. They got back with me almost immediately to schedule an interview for the following week. From there, things have been moving remarkably fast for this type of position.

There some odd yet interesting highlights to the process. One was the spelling test. This company has institutionalized a spelling test as part of the hiring process. Basically, it’s one sheet of paper with about a 100 words on it. You have to circle the misspelled words. Apparently, if you do not do well on that small task, you don’t get to the next phase. I was told that it is amazing how many “well qualified” people do not pass the test. I was also told that I scored a 98 which has me puzzling over which two words I missed.

The other was the psychological evaluation which I mentioned previously. After the initial interview, I had to complete a battery of online assessments before meeting with psychologist in person. The battery of tests was intense. It seriously felt like I was taking the GRE and LSAT all at once. The in person interview with the psychologist was easy by comparison.

Yesterday was the final interview; and, at the end of the interview, the VP of claims and the CEO of the company said they were definitely interested in my and would get back to me with an offer ASAP. The offer arrived via email this morning; and, after a series of phone calls, we were able to come to some very agreeable terms.

So, what will I be doing? My official title will be claim consultant which is the same title I currently work under; however, the two positions are worlds apart. At my current company, a claim consultant is a frontline claims adjuster who handles claims and nothing else. At the new company, a claim consultant is part claims adjuster, part home office oversight for third party administrators and part account manager. The new company is also much smaller than my current company which means flatter management (my boss will be the VP of claims who reports to the CEO), less bureaucracy, more responsibility, etc. After the past six years with a large (30,000+ employees), old company with a huge, distant, entrenched bureaucracy, being able to literally walk down the hall and talk with the CEO to get a decision is huge for me.

Did I mention I will get my own private office with a nice view?

There is a fairly heavy, nationwide travel requirement with the new position, and one of their conditions for offering the job was that they expected me to leave law school behind. That condition alone led to several late night discussions with The Queen. We ultimately decided that I would agree to leave law school if the job were offered for several reasons. First, law school and becoming a lawyer were never “The Dream”. At most, it was a means of moving forward to make The Dream possible. Second, the money involved with this job is good enough that we will be able to get out of debt much sooner than we would have otherwise (as opposed to going further into debt with student loans). If I hate the job or the people (both unlikely after the process I’ve been through), I can stomach it long enough to save some cash back to make going back to school less of a burden. Third, I really didn’t comprehend how difficult working full time and going to law school was going to be. It really was too much. I had too many late nights. Work was suffering, school work and study weren’t as good as they could have been, and I really wasn’t able to give everything to The Queen that she deserved. If I could go to school full time and do nothing else, that would be one thing. As it is, I could probably do it, but at what cost?

With the family rapidly expanding, the money was a major factor in the decision as well. The company said they wanted the very best people and compensates them accordingly. I will tell you that the money is well above average for the industry. To give you an idea, my salary was already above average for the company I’m with (and the industry for what I do) because I was allowed to keep my supervisor’s salary when I stepped down to move back home and take care of The Queen. The new company is offering a very nice pay increase (in the double digits by percentage) with a significant signing bonus which makes for a pretty big incentive to make a change.

I wish I could say that I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I really don’t. I’m too excited about the new position, the people I’ll be working with and what it means for The Queen and our growing little family to be anything but happy.


  1. I'm so thrilled for all of you! What a great opportunity and at the perfect time, too!

  2. GunDiva, you have no idea. In my world, this is the once in a lifetime opportunity.

  3. Congratulations! Sounds like a God-thing in progress to me!

  4. Excellent excellent EXCELLENT!!

  5. That is fabulous news!! You need to settle in to being Daddy and enjoy that. I was worried how having school and work was going to let you truly enjoy it. So glad such a wonderful solution came along. Woot woot! y'all deserve this!

  6. Congratulations Shepherd - it is amazing how the right things show up at the right time, and I'm glad you were able to recognize and take advantage of it. The fact that this is good not just for you but for the family is even better!

    Given the travel coming with it - I fully expect advanced notice if you're ever hitting Virginia, so that we can cook/buy you dinner sir...

  7. with you bailing on law school it's a good thing that I found a GOOD lawyer already....LOL

    congrats on the new position, with the new salary increase That new 1911 is looking real possible....:o)

  8. A new baby and a new job all at the same time?!?! Congrats, Dude!!

    And the spelling test thing? It made my English teacher heart sing.

  9. congrats Shepherd - to all of you! this is such awesome news and i am very happy for you all!

    oh and the thing about law's always there should you decide to return!

    can't wait to hear more about the new job and the antics of the Queen, M&M, you and Spanky!

    your friend,

  10. HossBoss, most definitely. The recruiter said it was the smoothest hiring process he had been involved in in 30 years of executive recruiting. That doesn't "just" happen.

    North, thanks.

    Lila, that was the substance of The Queen's and my discussions as well. We wanted to be sure that I would be there for her and the children.

    Captain, I may not be a smart man, but I know when God is dumping something good in my lap. I will definitely be in touch if business or pleasure takes me your way.

    Mr. Daddy, sorry to disappoint you, but I do still have plenty of attorney connections in case the one you selected doesn't work out. I've already discussed the 1911 with The Queen. Look for Daddy Hawk's Hammer to come home in the next couple of weeks or so. I have get a safe as well.

    Candance, I thought that make you smile.

    kymber, that was our thought as well.

  11. Congrats! I hope all goes well.

  12. How awesome for you guys! Isn't it amazing how God moves through our lives when we least expect it! A new baby AND an amazing new job! I'm so happy for you all.
    Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. SciFiChick, thanks. It has been amazing.

  14. Congratulations! It looks like you are heading in a good and right direction. If the Queen is happy with it, then that is what counts the most. -- Wade B.


I am not easily offended. Please feel free to express your opinions: good, bad or indifferent. Basically, the "Golden Rule" applies. You get what you give. Treat others like trash here, and your comments will be trashed accordingly. Rudeness and vulgarity will not be tolerated.