Back-to-Back

I’m taking a short detour from the usual topic of welcoming meaningful change into life to report on the ongoing tangential career exploration known as the State Department. Those of you who have been along for the ride will recall past updates (here, and here).

Shortly after passing the entire gauntlet of tests to be considered for the State Department’s Foreign Service, I applied again. The scoring of candidates is dynamic and those with higher overall scores take precedence. Therefore, a better score would improve my chances of recruitment for a new class. Yesterday, I passed the dreaded “oral exam” for a consecutive time. I’ve successfully gone wire to wire two years in a row. It’s not exactly back-to-back Super Bowls, but it’s similar for us geeks.

Here's to second chances.

My score, however, is still not eye-popping. There are sure to be plenty of applicants ahead of me and it’s likely that both my candidacies will expire before I’m called for a class. Thankfully, my work in energy and climate change continues to be a noble endeavor to which I am applying myself, which was the impetus for quitting my job and starting this blog nine years ago. The ensuing search was not only to be of better (or at least good) use, but also to amplify life’s meaning through increased awareness and intentional decision making. Fortunately, applying that practice has yielded that intended result. Whether it’s my current job or this potential career in public service, I feel more engaged and in authentic alignment among what I can do and what needs “doing.”

Still, some fears persist regardless of the work. Global climate change and U.S. diplomacy have many, many hands on deck. There is always the risk of unconsciously acquiescing into being a cog in the machine. As a Foreign Service Officer, there is the very real risk of supporting a truly malignant foreign policy. Policy work of all stripes risks being sclerotic and as nimble as a dump truck. Further, what happens if the unstoppable force of personal values and core beliefs meets the immovable object of “the machine?”

The challenges is to stay aware, stay true. Always easier said than done, but that’s what this whole experiment was about to begin with.

As always, I thank those of you still interested in the developing career path that began when I jumped ship and left my I.T. job. Your interest and support sustained me through a tumultuous and uncertain time. It continues to do so in these calmer days that seem to be as full of as much potential as ever. I’m grateful for you still taking interest. Thanks for reading. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

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#Career

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© 2020 by Mark Konold