The last time I left the province to work was in 1988. I was a young journalist switching over to the dark side -working as an Executive Assistant for a Member of Parliament in Ottawa.
I was a little homesick but working on the Hill was intoxicating. I had lots of friends, was busy, single and the work was great.
Fast forward to 2014, I have three active children, a mortgage, a wife and am very much engaged and entrenched in St. John's. Frankly, I have never considered leaving the province. This is home and is supposed to be full of opportunities for young professionals - our golden era.
My wife has been teaching for over ten years but has not been able to nail down a permanent position. Her contract for the Fall runs out next week.
I was bumped in the provincial budget cuts of 2013. The rules of seniority and departmental reorganization has meant that my right to a recall has never created another opportunity for me. I have an internal status for job competitions but not success there either.
I have no issue with being under-employed, but the employers look at my resume and do not want to risk training an over-qualified person into a position. The result has been been a reliance on contract work that ebbs and flows with not a lot of certainty.
As for retraining or assistance. Another dead-end, too educated and employable to qualify for that. Instead, I have used up my savings paying for courses and starting a Masters Degree.
So, like many other people from this province, I am really considering opportunities in Fort McMurray. I am not a trades person, so it is doubtful that I'll be able to do the Fort McMurray shuffle and return home every three weeks.
Like many generations of Newfoundlanders, I am going to work away from my family, disengage from all of my community activism and become another out migration statistic that supports the NL economy from another province.
It is not a done deal yet, but it really sucks that the best opportunities are certainly away. At this point, I want to stave off a move to the New Year but if opportunity knocks, I am going to have to answer the door.
Am I angry, hell yea, but you have to do what you have to do to support your family.
Sometimes life just does not turn out the way you want it to.