A Kiss of Fate: A Career Update

24 07 2016

24 July 2016 – a day I may or may not forget – is the day when I was interviewed by the paralegal MSgt L. Jack for a retraining opportunity. (Note: MSgt. Jack was a former physical therapist-medic who also came from the medicine squadron and cross trained to paralegal).

So what happened?

I slid my blue binder containing the retraining package I arduously worked on across the table. MSgt Jack flipped it open when it reached her. While she was glossing through it, I sensed that she was feeling uneasy about having me wait for her as she read. It seemed as though she wanted me to be entertained and not let an awkward silence in the room. I assured her that I appreciate the fact that she’s actually reading my package.

In a short but detailed nutshell:

  • I may not be assigned to Travis anymore once the retraining package is approved.
    • MSgt Jack made it clear that they are fully staffed in Travis. Even if she creates a position for me, I may not have the office to be assigned to in the office, especially because of the upcoming merging of both A and B flights.
  • I’m most likely going to be assigned to Beale AFB. They are critically in need of manning
    • Which is great because the legal office in Beale are enthusiastic in reaching out to welcome me.
    • They prefer female (due to sexual assault cases, currently the office is staffed with only two males, and women victims of sexual assault are hesitant to speak with male representatives).
    • The only drawback really is the driving distance and time it would take to get there. The remedy: time management.
  • Retraining school might not be this year (yay!) since August is the only one available this year.
    • Training dates for next fiscal year are not out yet. But once its released, she said she hopes and recommend that I should be flexible about school dates.
    • They are likely to send me to tech school at Maxwell AFB, then seasoning training (on-the-job) with active duty right after the tech school.
    • With regards to doing ALS, she urged me to do in-residence because she is faithful that I would do great and bag the awards in the ALS.
    • She mentioned that paralegals are the cream of the crop: highly organized, meticulous, well-put, highly intelligent, and superbly professional.
  • They are, however, most likely willing to train me on the job as we wait for a retraining school date.
    • There are really good pros on this. For one, it will highly prepare me for tech school, making my chances of graduating on top of the class more likely.
    • It will afford me time to focus on the school by delaying the tech school date.
  • We ended the interview on a good note. MSgt Jack thanked me for being professional, which I found funny. She commented that I am more than qualified for the job. She also mentions that my package is very strong and competitive and she has no doubts that I will do very well in the job.
    • She will be writing a narrative of our interview session, make a copy of my entire package, and she will forward them to the JAG corps HQ.
    • She said it may take 3-6 months, but that I should feel free to ask and follow-up starting next month.

Really, my only hesitation for pursuing this job leap to paralegal from the medicine squadron is that I may be old already and that perhaps I should hurry up and graduate already. In essence, that is cultural norms imposed on my standards. It’s the same hesitation I had when three years ago I was joining the Air Force and I stopped schooling for some time. I’ve got to face the fact that I’m young. I’m flexible. I’m following what God has in store for me. I shouldn’t fret. I should be still and calm and let God make wonders. Anyways…

MSgt Jack further shared her experiences about being a paralegal, and insights about the career. She made sure to mention some cases that they work on — including but not limited to sexual assault, witness protection, environmental issues and policies, aircraft inspections, MICT, article 15s, court marshals, briefings, etc. She mostly shared about the overview of the job.

What I got from it was that paralegal as a career field offers a lot of cushion and opportunities for professional development. She mentioned that paralegal staff across Air Force are mostly, if not all, law students or related to the legal profession. It is definitely a good opportunity to partake in. Overall, I’m enthralled! Apparently I should exclaim, “Beale, here I come!” I should face the fear of driving on the freeway because clearly, I will need to double my miles in driving, and accept the fact that I will need to put on extra mileage on my car than I wished. Get ready for a new strange and different environment which looks like an environment needing to be dug from a pile of work and commitment.

Challenge accepted.

 

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