Brad Hamilton

Brad Hamilton

purveyor of fine instruction

© 2021


Playing with Puppets

PuppetLabsOne of the things I was involved in as a teenager was being a puppeteer for my church’s children’s program on Sunday mornings. Granted, I wasn’t great (just a hint – you’re supposed to keep the top of your hand still, and only move your thumb when operating a puppet’s mouth), but I had fun and it was a way to help out the adults as they taught the children on Sunday.

I’m 37 now and am playing with puppets once again – albeit a different type.

A little backstory…I spent most of last fall looking for a new job after moving my family to Portland in August, 2011. During the process I had an interview with Puppet Labs for their Manager of Education & Training position. I did well during the interview process and the candidates were reduced to two – me and one other guy. Then something happened that I really wasn’t expecting. As a result of their process, Puppet Labs realized they needed someone at the Director level with more experience setting things up like Certification programs, and not just a manager. So, they chose not to hire either of us. But I was told I was liked and that they would keep my name and info in case anything came up in the future. I was disappointed as Puppet was really a place I wanted to work.

A month or so later I landed a job at OCHIN as an Education Consultant. It was a good job and my Director there was easy to like, over the top enthusiastic, and had built a new team hiring two others at the same time as me to join an existing trainer already with the company. Within six months of me starting my two new team mates had resigned for other opportunities, and unrelated, my Director was told she was not a good fit for the company. So there I was, the last survivor of something that had just started six months prior. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to stay there and had resolved to begin looking for a new job after returning from a trip to Japan I had scheduled at the end of May.

One week prior to me leaving for Japan I received an email from Aimee at Puppet Labs asking if I “remembered” her – of course I did – and if I was still interested in working for Puppet – of course I was. She told me that they had found their Director of Education & Training, had hired a Certification Manager, and that they were looking for an Instructional Designer. I returned from Tokyo on Tuesday, May 29, had an interview with the Director on Friday, June 1, and had a job offer the next week.

Needless to say, I was stoked. This was a huge answer to prayer and an incredible blessing. I’ve been at Puppet Labs for just a few weeks and the folks there are incredible. I am overwhelmed at how smart these people are. It’s a little intimidating, but they are all extremely helpful, from Luke – the CEO – on down.

The timing of events and situations in life can be a thing of frustration or beauty, or both. It’s one of the great dichotomies. Things you expect to be easy turn out to be difficult. Things you expect to be difficult turn out to be easy. In this case I had conditioned myself to believe that the process of finding a new job was going to be difficult. Never – in a million years – did I expect to receive an email from Puppet Labs. And that’s beautiful.