Waiting for me this morning was a big envelope containing a couple of employment contracts, an employment handbook, a pension guide and a diversity questionnaire. I have been offered a new job. A while back I mused about moving on before deciding I definitely needed to look for another job, and this is the result. A period of research followed by sending off a CV led to a couple of interviews, and now here's the offer.
This job might have been created specially for me, such is its match on paper. The employer is a large and long established business which my sources tell me is very trans-friendly in its employment policies, the industry and product is one of great interest to me and the job itself is a very close fit to my slightly unusual and specialised skill set. It's even situated within walking distance of my front door, meaning my hated daily commute will change to a pleasant stroll.
I've always worked for small companies, never one this size. I'm thus used to changing jobs every year or so as the economy waxes and wanes. I've never had the experience of working for a stable business that has been in existence for over a century and is likely to still be going strong in another century. I'm thus in the novel position for me of looking at a job and realising that assuming I play my cards right I have every chance of working there for as long as I want to. This is of course what I wanted, my wife needs the reassurance of stability and this particular employer is one that can provide that.
I'll probably be starting work some time in September. Assuming that all my referees deliver the goods, that is. At some point thereafter I'll make an appointment to see someone from HR and bearing my diagnosis letter from the doctor, inform them of my GD. I've received some very good advice on the wording I should use when I do this to afford me any legal protection should I need it. That part isn't likely to present a problem.
I will then have one further challenge. My aim is to be openly transgendered. Not out there, not one who keeps going on about it, just someone who carries this not as a secret. It's a lot less stressful that way.
As part of achieving that aim I will eventually need to be out to my colleagues at my new job. They probably won't have many issues with it, this is not an industry of backward-looking people. They do need to hear it from me though because there is a not inconsiderable likelihood that I could be seen in the company of my local trans friends or have it brought to the surface in some other way - it's not a given that they wouldn't find this blog for example - and if I tell them before that happens I avoid any embarrassment.
So how do I do it? I can't just walk in on my first day and drop it in the small-talk. It would be amusing to dream up some preposterous conversational gambits, "What are you doing this weekend?" "Going to Pride" "Oh, I didn't know you were gay!" "I'm not, but it's funny you should say that...", but it just ain't going to work. I expect an opportunity will in due course present itself.
My most difficult an immediate task will be to hand in my notice with my current employer. I find myself in the unusual position of caring about this one, normally my employers have been not of a good standard but this one's different, someone whose success I care about. I think I'll tell him the truth without the whole truth, that the sleep issue (in reality the GD) I've been seeing the specialist about isn't going to get any better and I'm better off not being a burden on him. I don't need to tell him about the GD and I certainly don't need to tell him that moving back into my field will be far more interesting than the work I'm doing for him. I'll be glad when I've got that task out of the way.
All this sounds like a lot, but I think moving forward in this way has to be done. I was in a bit of a career dead-end and my GD was not being helped by workplace boredom so moving to a more interesting job had started to look like a necessity. I can't help feeling a little guilty at the ease with which I've found a better job when others are really struggling in this economic climate, but I have to remember this: back in the dotcom crash I had a hand-to-mouth existence for several years, now it's my turn for a bit of career luck. Let's hope it works out that way.