Well, my last promotion was in July of 2008 and since then I've received annual locality pay adjustments. I finally pulled my production up past 120% and of course nearing almost two years without a grade promotion, I decided to ask my supervisor for the next grade promotion.
I got really nervous. My numbers spoke for themselves, but I still had that fear of rejection or something inside me. What if he said no? What if he thought I wasn't ready? Anyways, all that's history now. This morning I asked him and he agreed it was time for me to move on.
So, I'm finally back to where I was before I left the government and moved to China. Kinda like the stock market, kinda like a do-over, a course correction. Pay scales are actually pretty relative even though most of the federal government uses them. I actually started my current position at the same level as when I started at my first job. But this time around, I stayed.
In any case, I'm well behind if I stayed at my first position back in 2001. It took me nine years to "return" back to the same grade as when I left the government back then. It took me two years to attain this level back then. It took me nearly four years at the current job.
But believe me, I'm not complaining. This is like a dream job. Flexible, challenging, in constant contact with attorneys and inventors, seeing the latest innovations and a broad range of technologies... time with wife and the kids, time for study, time for church, family, and friends. Not to mention great pay. In contrast, my previous position required constant traveling, night time work, field testing, as well as seeing the latest prototypes and military technologies. But in terms of a holistic comparison, my current position certainly is heads above the rest with the possibility now of working from home (once I pass an exam).
As this stream of consciousness post come to a close, just wanted to encourage you to not be afraid to start over, go for the promotion, realize that work/career/job is more than about money, the journey and experience is just as important.