Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Chapters

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I graduated from college and pulled on my big girl britches, determined to find a job working at the Travel Channel.

I had an interview, met lots of people, and then I never heard back...

I sent in more resumes, and never heard back... The Travel Channel just didn't want me.

I'll admit that I was devastated. I graduated Magna Cum Laude, Damnit!

It was my perfect company, and I had been so close I could taste the grease drippings off Adam Richman's plate only to be shut down in the final seconds of the challenge, but I soldiered through... I applied to job after job after job (350 within the first 4 months) with company after company.

Finally I landed an interview with Princess Cruise Lines, and they wanted me!

For $2000 a month LESS than I was worth (seriously next time you go on a cruise tip your waiter more than you should - they really make SPIT). I debated it for a split-second, before I got notice that my grandmother was starting to see the other side. So I turned down the position because, (1) they offered me less than minimum wage and (2) if I accepted their offer, I wouldn't be allowed to come home for the funeral.

Sure enough, a month later I was flying home.

After the funeral, I interviewed with Royal Caribbean, but their unprofessionalism in the hiring process actually pissed me off, and was - in my opinion - highly sketchy. So I dropped out of the final round and figured, I'll get something else.

I'll save you the long sob story to essentially tell you that for the past two years, I have been an "independent contractor," which is job speak for 'I don't want to pay to actually hire you, but I need you. So here I'll pay you about what you're worth but no benefits for you.'

It didn't really bother me all that much... I had what I needed. I could get all the necessities and saved some on the side, but I never really had job security, which in my opinion led to a lot of awkward first date conversations, which led to awkward dating interactions, which led to unstable dating environment, which is probably one of the main reasons I have stayed single for SO LONG. You try dating without job security, and tell me how long ambitious guys stick around. (Seriously the Shun Test).

I'm a member of the boomerang generation, and I was not proud of it. I wanted to assert my independence, pay my bills, buy a car, buy a house, love my own little adorable Shiba Inu puppy, and get on with my fucking life.

Adorable, Right?
But fate had other plans. Instead of moving on with my life, I was instead thrust in the unfortunate lifestyle of never knowing what month in DC would be my last. Would this be the month I couldn't make it? Would this be the month my mom would have to fly up to DC and shove all my stuff in a U-haul? Would this be the month I'd boomerang back to the nest?

But somehow every time I would start packing my boxes, I'd luck out.

I'd get a paid internship or land a job doing x,y and z. And that would keep me in DC for a few months longer... and those months turned into months and months and months. 

But they were always unsure, unstable, and unsatisfying. 

I wasn't getting to do what I had dreamed of my entire life. I wasn't getting a house, or a steady pay-check, or an adorable Shiba Inu puppy. 

I'd call her Nymeria
And after the year I've had so far, I think I actually know why.

In February my final project with my old company was winding down, when I got a phone call from my mother...  

My father had a "cardiac-episode," one day after my then-boss's mother had her own medical emergency.

Had I been working anywhere else, my boss wouldn't have understood, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to drop everything and fly home to support my mother for the next few weeks. 

If Princess Cruise Lines had offered me $1000 more than they had, I probably would have taken it and been on a boat. If Travel would have offered me a job, I probably wouldn't have had enough time accrued to earn those weeks off. If Royal Caribbean hadn't dipped their toe in the sketch waters, I'd have been on a boat. 

Essentially without my Independent Contracting lifestyle, I would have had to sit in DC driving myself crazy and buying out all the local CVS' supplies of Puffs Plus with Lotion (because seriously I don't know how you savages can use regular Kleenexes), while annoying my mother/brother/cousins/uncles/aunts to no end trying to get updates. 

I'm about to be one of those HORRIBLY cliche individuals, because a week or so after I got back, I landed an extended contract gig that made up for the two weeks off, and within a month of getting back I was in the interview process of landing a job at my dream company in DC. 

And here's the cliche... life has a plan. You're meant to be where you are, whether you understand it or not. 

So while I didn't get started right away on my big life plans of my own house, a new car, a steady pay-check, and adopting a beautiful Shiba Inu, I did get the opportunity to support the two people who have supported me so much over the last 24 years.

This one is just because I can...

I know my mom probably didn't need me there every hour hovering in the hospital because she worked in cardiac rehab for quite a few years, but I know she appreciated not having to run errands around town (she rather enjoyed cracking the whip and sitting back as I did them), while her husband and my father recovered from surgery, so that she could be there for him (because he's not a good sick-person - seriously, try giving him a regular Puffs tissue and be ready to hear a 3 hour lecture on the benefits of Puffs Plus). 

And while I'm excited to start this new chapter in my life, I'm not going to forget that the past two years have been a really fucking lame time of constantly writing resumes and sending them out into the world. I know how I got here. I know how much work it took and how much "coming out of my shell" had to happen so that I could network to where I am. And I know that I can be damn proud of myself.

So here's to me and to all the new graduates out there who are just starting their search. I'm not going to lie to you. Job searching sucks balls. Contrary to popular belief a degree does not guarantee you a job nowadays because so many people are getting them in today's society, but you've made it this far, so I know that you can make it the rest of the way. 

Chin up. You'll be fine. 

So now that I've reached this pivotal stage in my life... I'll work on the next one... house, car, and my own Shiba Inu. 

Seriously, starting up a Shiba Saving's Account


3 comments:

  1. "And here's the cliche... life has a plan. You're meant to be where you are, whether you understand it or not. "

    Love this! And so true. Things happen when you're not expecting it....

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    Replies
    1. Idk if it's not so much things happening when you least expect it... i think it's more of things happen how they're supposed to whether you expect it or not...

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  2. Hi I stumbled upon your blog through Twitter and this post really resonated with me because I've been through the same except that I actually did move back with my parents.

    It took me 5 months 400 applications/resumes and 16 interviews to land my job. I had so many interviews, it became embarrassing to tell people and even worse my parents. They'd ask "what happened with the last interview?" hell I have no idea, and if I did know I'd probably have a job much sooner. I'd get to the 2nd and 3rd round of interviews and often not hear anything back or find out I came in 2nd. All I knew that I was going to apply my ass off like a f*ckin machine.

    I finally landed my job and it just happened to be EXACTLY what I wanted to do and paid more than all of the other jobs I interviewed for. I don't know if it was luck, God finally answered my prayers, or if I was just at the right place at the right time. I was just incredibly humbled and my work ethic has carried onto my job. I learned that you just have to bust ass and work hard even if there's no finish line in sight.

    I enjoy reading stories like yours because it shows that the "boomerang generation" is not just a bunch of young college grads at mom and dads that believe we are entitled to a job to fall in our laps.

    Good luck! I'm sure something great will come your way

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