So it is official. I start my new gig with the Foreign Service on Valentine's Day 2011. Woo hoo! I am not sure if I am supposed to bring flowers to work on the first day. I received my official offer and salary determination while I was away for Thanksgiving, and I sent it in via fax and snail mail yesterday. No looking back now.
Hard to really describe the feeling. Somewhat anti-climactic, as it has felt official for a while now. I passed the FSOA at the end of August with a pretty solid score and I have had a boring, very non-international life for the last ten years, so I always expected these last steps to go quickly. They did. The security clearance only took about ten weeks, and then my offer came in only a few days after the suitability review was completed. But from then until now, it seems like there have been a number of official-but-not-quite-final offers culminating in the actual offer letter that came the other day. Now it is on to all of the hundreds of pages of forms required to become part of the federal government. Glad they announced a 2 year pay freeze the day I accepted. Thanks, Mr. President.
On a funny side note, I almost missed the first offer. Cary and I were in Costa Rica for 5 days and the email offer landed in my inbox at the same time that I was getting on a plane to leave the country. We were gone from Wednesday until really late Sunday, and I had no internet access while I was gone. The offer required me to reply by COB Monday, so had I stayed another evening in CR I would currently be sweating the federal FY2011 budget and praying for an offer to a March class that is still to be scheduled. Isn't funny how life works?
Anyway, I expect the audience of this blog to be my family and close friends, but there might be some random FSOs or FSOs-to-be out there who will stumble upon this site. For them, I will write a few posts about my timeline and a recap about the FSOA over the next few weeks. All in all, it has been a pretty long slog, but I expect the next 20+ years will be worth it. No matter, it is official now. Watch out world, here I come!