It's certainly been a while since I last wrote, and my how things have changed! Here's a short re-cap of all that's been going on! The first few days/weeks/months (remember I officially graduated in Dec.) after graduating are really not something one can be fully prepared for. There's often a lot of free time, or there's a job to rush into, or a mad search for a job, or perhaps all of these things!
I returned to Champlain in May to walk with my class and catch up with some old friends before they headed off to various corners of the globe. It's always a ceremonious occasion, especially when everyone is going house to house drinking and you join at the last house sober due to a job interview only to find it to me Italian themed! It's as though I never left -- I could barely understand anyone and they were all dressed really funky, and everyone wanted to talk to me and tell me about what they were eating and their families. XD
*back to school*
Got to say goodbye to some good friends for a while though I hope to see them again in other countries that they call home! :)
My pre-graduation 1AM selfie to celebrate the fact that a whole new generation is now in debt up to their eyeballs! XD
The big day! Got to have a spot with a couple on my gals!
Found this in a stack of old assignments written by a professor who single handedly ripped me to shreds but gave me the best compliments in my career.
Before catching the flight home I really contemplated staying a touring other countries but had a strange pull to go back, and I know now it was a good choice as I had to face the reality of job loss, and receive my first real test in life. In between moving into my new apartment from my temporary one, buckling down for a more extensive job search, working volunteering, donating, consigning and just ridding myself of much 'stuff' I took time to go to the beach, go for bike rides, make fancy dinners and even go to the movies to enjoy time with myself. After all, I'm kinda stuck with myself for as long as I'm here! I also got my 180 hour TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Masters level certification, CPR, AED and First Aid Certification and I'm currently looking into a few courses in leadership I would like to pursue.
But things didn't start so smoothly, or fulfilling. After loosing my job opportunity I was having some doubts about where I should be setting my sights. Oddly enough, I read a horoscope from a friend that spoke of grandiose changes in my life within the next couple days following June 1st. It recalled specifically job related hardships, mistrust, and an absence of 'belonging.' It also suggested trying to reconnect with an old flame and although that didn't pan out as expected (it's worth checking to see if they're single before asking them to go on a date) I was able to have some solid 'me time' as I mentioned earlier. (It also spoke of 2016 being an amazing year and seeing as how 23 is my favorite number - and I'll be 23 then I can only agree that is should be pretty 'rockin'.)
Anyway, back the jobs and planes. SO, after many, many, MANY job applications, cover letters, and much waiting (about 3-5 weeks) I started to hear back from some prospective jobs- starting June 1st. They weren't super inline with what I wanted to do, but who was I to be too good for a job when I didn't have one. While meeting with a Peace Corps rep. I heard back from a call center that wanted to hire immediately, and the local coop that wanted to interview the next day. As I had no desire to pursue the call center in reality I turned down the position, but did share a great conversation with the hiring manager about being honest in interviews about intentions, expectations etc.
The following day I was interviewed and remained honest about where I hoped to end up with a job, and despite having little knowledge about grocery stores beyond loving food I was given the opportunity to start right away. On the same day I was asked to interview for two more design jobs, and received two more interviews within the next couple days. These did not come without many weeks of waiting, and calls home for reassurance that I would one day find a job. While narrowing the design related job I started my job at the coop and really have loved almost every minute. I don't love freezers, or boxes of 84 single roll toilet paper that weigh near 60 lbs being lifting down from over head, but I've gotten back some muscle mass, and actually have a reason to feel tired at the end of the day, for which I am thankful.
As for the design jobs, I really wish I could have had the flexibility to accept any of the official offers I did receive, but one had hours a bit too low and inconsistent for me to live securely, one ended up having an outcome goal that I didn't agree with and didn't have too much room for growth, another was AMAZING but an hour and a half drive one way meaning a 6:30AM departure from my place to make it by 8AM. So where did I end up? Randomly I decided to submit an application for a position that I wasn't too certain about as it was quite vague but I thought I'd give it a chance. I got an email asking for me to come in for a casual interview - warning 'feel free to dress casually or in whatever attire you feel comfortable as the hiring staff will be dressed in jeans/ shorts.' So, I played it safe with a 'khaki, flats, floral shirt cardigan' combo. I also REMEMBERED to bring my portfolio and capstone book which I'd forgotten once before.
I had a good feeling that this would be the place for me. When asked if I had any questions, I asked if I could show my work (I brought five books I'd made consisting of my portfolio, capstone book aka my heart and soul in 99 pages, and my book on Bosnian war stories juxtaposed with Where the Wild Things Are. At this point the hiring manager leaned over his desk, eyes widening, face dialed into the books. The questions became very straight and direct - "Did you write ALL of this copy? The color schemes? Interviews? Why did you choose this font scheme, this logo outcome? What was your intent?"
All followed with a broad smile and extended hand asking if I'd like to join the Dealer.com team. I couldn't even muster the pure excitement I felt as I was utterly exhausted from working night shifts, reading job postings, writing letters, correspondences, and had finally found what could be a real, honest to goodness JOB. I had a follow up interview where I was formally offered the job as the Design Specialist. And whether it was to make me feel good or honest, I was told the position had been open for months and they hadn't found someone right for it until they met me. Strange enough, the night before the cascade or responses I read a great expression: "Vous allez trouver votre place." (You will find your place.) It's a nice idea. That somewhere in the world, there's a gap shaped just like me. I just have to find it and fit right in. *And though most of my new co-workers I've met are stunningly gorgeous and in passionate long-term relationships with cats and matching upholstery - I still feel like I've found a good place for me even it's just me and some ladies who agree to join a torturous 7AM spinning class with me. ;)
Speaking about my strengths, and why I'm 'amazing' is something that isn't very easy to do, but being able to own the things your rock at will really place you high above the crowd. I worked so hard to get all those interviews, and worked night shifts to pay for all the things in between, and it was worth it. Time and time again.
I'm now midweek in my training at my new job with 51 other new hires from various departments and company locations around the country. It's very intensive 8AM- 5PM learning the company inside and out but I feel so blessed to have the opportunity. Once this week winds down I'll be catching a bus to a bus to visit a not-so-old friend and then I'll be off to the airport to catch three planes to MEXICO to celebrate the wedding of a friend I met in Dubrovnik!
I'll certainly write a post about the trip so stay tuned for that!
If you have any interest to learn about my new place of work- know that they were recently bought by Cox Enterprises. That should give you some idea of what Dealer is all about!
So long for now! I'll post again soon when I'm en route to Mexico!