Click (MV) logo to reach homepage MullaneyVision:
Specializing in Dream Assembly

Get started at

Clinging To God

by David Mullaney

This web page is offered with two purposes:

  1. To give credit to God for who He is and for His purpose in my life (and to encourage others in a like manner)
  2. To document some of the details around my experience of unemployment (2002-2003); latest information about my my career is available from
Each section below includes several date-related events to help capture the flow of this history. The subsequent text includes a hyperlink to an enouraging and related biblical verse on the left; on the right, you will find a mini-essay on one of the lessons I experienced at some time throughout this whole period.

Feel free to use the "focus here" links to bring that section to the top of your screen, or click on one of the months listed here to jump to that section directly:
| September | October | November | December | January | February | March | April | May | June |

focus here | return to top of this page

September / Obedience

  • (9/4/02) Notice of layoff
  • (9/6/02) Turn in badge to HP
  • (9/6/02) Began assistance with Lee Hecht Harrison outplacement firm
  • (9/6/02) Roxana began seeking opportunities to work in childcare
  • (9/26/02) Application to Colorado State University as Coordinator of Library Technology Services

For a child has been born--for us! the gift of a son--for us! He'll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He'll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

Listen for GOD's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.

    Authorities on Earth
    Mom often remarks that she has never known a "carrot or a stick" that could convince me to do something if I did not understand, agree or accept the idea. The insight is accurate; I am someone who has valued reason over hierarchy for all of my life. Only in recent years have I even imagined that I could thrive in an environment like the military where one is expected to obey an order before discussing it.

    This bit of maturity in my spirit helped me accept the hard news that my kind manager had to convey on September 4, 2002: due to the merger of HP and Compaq, my position was one of the first to be eliminated (along with 15,000 others, with subsequent estimates closer to 17,000). I was laid off from my job. Two managers were present in the room to give me the news; I suppose that many American workers would be tempted to make a scene or resist that reality. I recognized the hard task that my manager had just accomplished, the encouragement that he had provided until that point, and refocused on the immediate tasks that lay before me. HP was providing (among other helps) nine weeks for me to find work before taking me off the payroll.

    Authority in Heaven
    The explanation for my ability to take such a surprise so peacefully is found on my spiritual journey. When I taught high school Spanish in 1991-1992, I was very tense and distraught that the year was not going as I wanted. A man from our church helped me to understand the sovereignty of God. I had turned my life over to God, but I hadn't known how to practice the belief. Once I understood, believed and trusted that God was not only able to create and control nature, I grew to see that He really was interested in providing for my needs and for the development of my life as He planned it. Over the years, He has carried me through hard times, opened doors miraculously and humbled me when appropriate.

focus here | return to top of this page

October / Organization

  • (10/1/02) Turn in company car
  • (10/1/02) Official first day of MullaneyVision
  • (October 2002) Family visit in Colorado with Juan and Doris Hudtwalcker
  • (10/26/02) Began conversation with Tim about StarTek

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

    Man with a Plan
    After notifying people that had an immediate need to know about my impending unemployment, I settled down to drafting a plan and a tool that I could use to organize my search and myself. So many things needed to be done. I hadn't looked for a job since graduate school over seven years earlier. Now I had two children, a wife and a mortgage to consider; I'd have to turn in the computer and minivan that had been huge productivity enhancers. HP was providing recommendations about different pieces of information to gather, agencies to contact and deadlines for me to meet.

    I created a spreadsheet that helped me track immediate tasks to be accomplished, another page for long-term strategic objectives, another page for job leads, another page for calendar... At first I thought this might be as much therapeutic as practical, but I soon discovered that experts in outplacement had developed similar programs for their clients. Even after a person has become an experienced job searcher, there is still a tremendous amount of information to process effectively. The job seeker needs to have a system that works for the individual.

focus here | return to top of this page

November / Industry

  • (11/8/02) Last day on HP payroll
  • (11/11/02) Began short term medical insurance for family
  • (11/??/02) CEO of TSE called me a "Senior Program Manager"
  • (11/??/02) Interview with Colorado Christian University

"But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man's hope. You overpower him once for all, and he is gone; you change his countenance and send him away. If his sons are honored, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it. He feels but the pain of his own body and mourns only for himself."

What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? ... All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.

    Motivation and Effort
    One common myth about unemployment is that the unemployed person has lots of free time. I felt like I never had enough time to accomplish all that I could or should be doing. To make matters worse, motivation is like a pendulum; frequently, you feel the pressure to follow the steps, but often it feels like walking through the mud. Even simple tasks seem to weigh a person down. Mix all that together with the responsibilities for providing for a family and trying to maintain a balanced life-style; you have a recipe for tension. All of that makes a plan and a system all the more vital in surviving the depths of unemployment.

    As I began to investigate unemployment benefits, I found that I would need to make a certain number of "contacts" each week. People's numbers varied from 1-5 per week minimum, and the definition of "contacts" varied much more than that. My understanding was pretty conservative: submittal of an application or resume (usually electronic and almost always with a cover letter tuned for the position) to a company that I had not counted as a contact previously. I submitted at least two per week from November 2002 - May 2003. In the later months, I took the liberty of re-contacting contacts that had already been counted, as long as it was for a different job posting.

    I tried to research companies and industries in order to make my resume fit. In fact, I built a resume warehouse that was over five pages long; from it, I would eliminate sections and rearrange lines to create a specific resume for the job. Sometimes, I could find very similar job postings from company's with similar values; then I could re-use a recent resume. The deadline for the Department of Labor (for unemployment benefits) was Saturday night; so I would often spend a lot of time networking during the week and find myself hunting leads (or following up on ones Roxana had found) on Saturday night. I also was starting up a consulting business and looking for short-term work, because many people were looking for months or years without success. It didn't help that most companies do not even bother with a formal "no thanks!" letter anymore; even finely-tuned resumes fall into a black hole.

focus here | return to top of this page

December / Assurance

  • (12/7/02) launched!
  • (December 2002) Beginnings of UNIR accountability pair with John Spencer
  • (December 2002) Reunited with Robert Weant; subsequent application to EchoStar for System Engineer position
  • (12/30/02) First unemployment insurance check received and deposited

Related Links

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! ... Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

    Peace and Confidence
    As autumn progressed and my last salary check arrived, I was blessed by a peace and a confidence that I recognized as coming from God. Early in the search, I considered several different career paths: trainer, systems engineer, project manager. Roxana and I also thought about which areas of the country might even be acceptable; that was a very important time of evaluation, because HP would cut off any of its assistance if I were to apply for an HP job (before November 8) and refuse it because I decided I didn't want to move there. I was getting a sense that project management really made most sense, and even more certainly, we would continue to live in our house in Fort Collins. I saw so many people thrash around regarding direction and focus that their struggle in the riptide of unemployment was even more miserable. I was truly grateful for His mercy in giving me clarity and confidence.

    The best was yet to come. I had applied to Colorado Christian University for the position of Adjunct Faculty professor. CCU has its main campus near Denver and several satellite campuses, including one about 2 miles from my house. The resume caught someone's interest, and I was invited in for an interview. The Fort Collins campus director and the HR director from the main campus were there to greet me. We were having a very pleasant conversation, and it got better. The HR director seemed very moved emotionally. She said (and I paraphrase), "I've been conducting these sort of interviews for nine years, and I've never felt anything like this. The Lord is telling me that He has great things in mind for you with CCU." Well, who could argue with that?!? Whatever God's purpose would be for me and CCU, I understood from that moment that He would honor my commitment to keep my family in Fort Collins. Hallelujah.

focus here | return to top of this page

January / Accountability

  • (January - May 2003) Anonymous sponsor covered daughter's piano lessons
  • (January 2003) Received notice that other semi-finalist got CSU position that I'd applied for in September
  • (1/16/03) Started teaching first class at Colorado Christian University
  • (January - April 2003) Signage project at First Baptist Church
  • (1/27/03) Scholarship granted from Larimer County Workforce for PMI membership and preparation for PMP exam

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

By the time David had finished reporting to Saul, Jonathan was deeply impressed with David--an immediate bond was forged between them. He became totally committed to David. From that point on he would be David's number-one advocate and friend.

Judas and Silas, good preachers both of them, strengthened their new friends with many words of courage and hope. 33Then it was time to go home. They were sent off by their new friends with laughter and embraces all around to report back to those who had sent them.

    Iron Sharpens Iron
    As my three months of active service at Lee Hecht Harrison outplacement career services was nearing its end, I arrived at an appointment to discuss my situation. What was helpful? What could be improved? Most importantly, what was I going to do next? The LHH approach to organizing, networking, practicing and refining had been of great benefit. Soon all that would be left was the opportunity for a weekly gathering around lunch. This was a significant and detrimental change on the horizon. Another alumni of HP was in the meeting facing the same situation.

    John Spencer and I seemed to have many commonalities, and we had only begun to know each other at LHH. He had a long history of project management; he appreciated the organized and thorough approach of LHH. He was concerned about how to continue the job search most effectively. In that meeting, we decided to communicate and meet with each other outside of LHH. In December, we had our first meeting to begin keeping each other accountable. We've usually met 3-4 times per month since then; sometimes the meetings would be by phone, but usually they would be at my house. This turned out to be a huge blessing to us. We shared a commitment to be ready to follow the path that Christ had in store for each of us, and we committed to each other to continue meeting until both of us had landed on our feet. As with most of our other colleagues, we found our spouses were not our most natural accountability partners for this time. The pressures are so strong that husband and wife have enough work to keep balancing the adjustments to plans and budgets as well as united and prepared for the long haul; trying to explore dreams can be very scary in trying times with someone so close as a spouse

    Tangible results of this include:

focus here | return to top of this page

February / Studies

  • (First week, February 2003) Collaboration in organization of Heritage Christian School's Author's Conference
  • (Mid-February 2003) Mass emailing, offering contract services to HP contacts
  • (2/??/03) Butterfly Kisses Father-Daughter dance at Lincoln Center
  • (Last week, February 2003) PMI training for Project Management Professional certification exam
  • (February-March 2003) Second course taught at CCU

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children."

Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.

    Learning and Teaching, Teaching and Learning

    The first of three areas related to education has to do with my children's school. I had the flexibility almost every month to end the school week in David Joshua's class, where I read books of my choosing to share with the kids. I learned from Hannah's class about being bathed in prayer. Several times the class gathered round me and prayed for God to open doors for me to get a good job, and the children would ask me for updates when they saw me. I was able to give a bit back to them by helping to organize a big author's conference at the eleventh hour (and through the night in the end!). The first week in February, I worked with Hannah's teacher to organize about 350 children into 6 periods of activity with several choices each period; I hope someone steps up to the plate much earlier this year to help manage that project!

    I attended a 3-day training seminar in preparation for the Project Management Institute's (PMI) certification exam for a Project Management Professional (PMP). This was in the Denver Tech Center in late February; fortunately, I was able to carpool most of the time with other participants from nearby Longmont. Subsequently, we met for a series of Saturday mornings to continue preparing for the exam. I also had a CD with "audio flashcards"; David Joshua still enjoys reciting the title: "Hot Topics, preparation for passing the PMP exam..." That took a lot more study and independent discipline than had been previously required of me!

    The third area of education was as an associate professor at Colorado Christian University. From January through August, I taught 2 sections each of three courses new to me. First I had to teach myself and then the students. Fortunately, these business courses lent themselves to a lot of class discussion. In the future, I will try to emphasize that aspect of the class time even more. CCU was also beginning to use eCompanion, a virtual classroom to augment the traditional classroom experience. I found that to be an area that I could explore and incorporate as a vital part of the classes. The three classes were:

    1. Management Problem-Solving & Decision Making
    2. Leadership & Management
    3. Personal & Social Ethics

    Certainly, the Lord had a curriculum for each of us during one full academic year of unemployment. What a relief it would be to graduate!

focus here | return to top of this page

March / Gratitude

  • (March 2003) PMP Study group, Saturdays in Longmont
  • (March and June 2003) Mystery credits applied to Heritage tuition account
  • (March 2003 et al) Gestures of support from friends (money for groceries, etc.) -- both direct and anonymous gifts
  • (Mid-March 2003) Family visit with Cesar Torres

    In Recognition of Blessings

    In the Fall of 2002, there were days when I wasn't sure how our finances were going to match up to obligations such as mortgage and health insurance. We became very conscious of every penny spent, and we grew deeply in our appreciation for how much a helping hand means to someone in need. I had invitations to breakfast from men at church. An anonymous donor made it possible for Hannah to keep taking piano lessons; Roxana and I remind Hannah of the great plans the Lord must have for her to serve musically to have inspired such generosity. Other friends from church (some anonymously) sent checks or grocery store credits. Another family applied tuition credits toward our Heritage Christian School account, making significant reductions in our payments. These and so many other blessings were a great encouragement to us. We appreciate the love expressed this way and are more challenged to look for opportunities to bless others along the way.

    Another blessing for us in March was to have Roxana's brother Cesar visit us for a week. He travelled 24 hours each way to reach us from Lima, Peru. The extra long routes were due to United Airlines' rules for Mileage Plus tickets. We were grateful that United continued to recognize Mileage Plus credits even while they were facing bankruptcy. Having Cesar with us for Hannah's birthday celebration and Spring Break was a joy. He is someone who always seeks to bring a smile to every face in the room.

focus here | return to top of this page

April / Groups

  • (4/19/03) Applied for second EchoStar position of Program Manager

    Mutual Aid Societies

    Already I have made reference to many groups that have been of signficant impact during this time. Here are a few specifics that I should emphasize:

  • Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) was hired by HP to provide outplacement services for people being laid off or facing early retirement. LHH provided organization, job listings, training for the job search; perhaps more significantly, LHH was also a special environment for HP alumni to help each other in the transition to many new experiences. We had lunches together, holiday celebrations and a variety of means to share information.
  • The High Tech Network is another HP alumni organization. More recently, it has broadened to include other people as well. They meet on a monthly basis to share a morning together and explore some topic of mutual interest. It was very encouraging for me to establish (or re-establish) contacts with people that shared my desire to keep moving forward.
  • Test Systems Engineering (TSE) is yet another group formed largely of former Agilent and HP engineers and managers. It is a coalition of talented individuals that aim to provide contract services quickly and effectively. The CEO (Fred Nittman) made it clear to me that my seven years with HP had not only prepared me to be a Program Manager, but a Senior Program Manager, so I had that title on my TSE card. That in itself was a huge boost in my self-confidence.
  • The Larimer County Workforce has a dedicated staff that serves both the traditional unemployment office services as well as focusing on the needs of professionals. They offered many classes that paralleled those of LHH. More importantly for me, Terra Eyl and friends found scholarship money for me to join PMI, take the prep class and then sit for the PMP exam. They were consistently helpful and resourceful. I also took a Myers-Briggs exam there (and turned out to be borderline ENTJ and ESTJ).
  • The Larimer County Workforce also sponsors a monthly forum for small business owners. I think I only ended up attending one of those, but I was encouraged to know that I could attend. It was another creative way to network and explore different avenues.
  • Another group that I only visited once but kept in mind was the Timberline Employment Support Group (TESG). A local church runs this program to encourage its members and neighbors. They got me to thinking more about how we can help each other.
  • An outgrowth of the High Tech Network was an effort to provide interview practices, evaluations and feedback for its participants. I spent one whole morning being interviewed and evaluated. The feedback was very encouraging, and both interviewers recommended that I be more assertive! That was a surprise.
  • The interview group, groups like TESG and perhaps some others met to organize a specific group that would be open to anyone seeking employment. The participants would be held accountable for participation, and it would have just enough structure to be effective (without being expensive). My initial contribution was to help in the brain-storming and later to make a very strategic recommendation that the leaders contact John Spencer; as it turns out, John will host meetings in September, and in one of these meetings on "Presenting Yourself", I have been invited to address the Northern Colorado Network (NoCoNet).
  • People really do need each other; I flourish in the midst of other people. These were simple lessons that I learned during this experience.

focus here | return to top of this page

May / Prayer

  • Multiple interviews at EchoStar
  • Announcing the good news
  • Purchasing a new Honda Civic for 100 miles daily commute (no traffic)
  • Passing the PMP Exam

    True Power

    Jesus prayed -- a lot. As I mentioned before, I was very blessed to be showered in the prayer of both of my children's classes all year, as well as many friends and relatives near and far. I needed encouragement and hints and leads and accountability and love. Most of all, I needed to tune in to the program God had in mind for me. Prayer is a key part of tuning in to God. He already knew my needs, but he wants me to express them to Him. He also wants me to grow in my Christian walk. He wants me to keep in others in my thoughts and prayers. Beginning and ending each day in prayer, as well as intermittent prayers throughout the day, kept me nourished and ready to go where God would have me go.

    Graduation from this experience became apparent when I proved to be a good fit for the needs of EchoStar. They needed a Program Manager to manage several software projects in Cheyenne, Wyoming (50 minutes and 50 miles north of our house). I would soon begin putting into practice much of what I had learned in terms of grace and communication and organization. This was clearly the answer to my prayer I had been seeking.

focus here | return to top of this page

June / Growth

  • (6/2/03) First day on the new job!

    Becoming the Man God Sees Me To Be

    When I was told of my impending layoff in September 2002, I already knew that God was in control; that was my stronghold. I did not know the details of how long or along what paths He would take me. The experiences that cause us the most growth seem particularly exhausting. I've often said that my one year as an exchange student aged me by ten years. Perhaps in my maturity, this recent experience of unemployment was not quite that shocking to me. Nonetheless, I am pleased to be able to recognize and share with you these very personal experiences and observations. I look forward to continuing to grow; each chapter in life includes new steps.

I hope that you have been able to find portions of this account helpful. Given the limits of time, I am sure that some clarifications or additional references could make this site even more useful. Feel free to let me know if this has blessed you, and I would encourage you to share this website with anyone that faces similar challenges.

David Mullaney