Category Archives: Jobs

Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad… [Part 2]

And another preface… I had really intended to express how teaching made me feel… but it’s difficult to put into words. Being a teacher was a surreal and incredible experience. I know the more I reflect, the more I could say. 2007-2011 were 4 profoundly important years for me, professionally… and the students who were a part of those 4 years are forever in my heart… I guess that’s all I can say about THAT for now.

My life has changed so much in the past couple of years that sometimes I find myself thinking, “Oh yeah, I used to be a TEACHER.”

I don’t know if I can explain the exact path that brought me to the classroom. I do know that when I found myself on the campus of my alma mater in 2005, I felt safe and at home. So I worked towards the goal of teaching high school English…

More than once during my first year of teaching, I found myself totally caught off guard and in over my head. But as with all things, it got easier and easier. And my saving grace was always, and perhaps surprisingly, my students. They challenged me and kept me on my toes… and more importantly, I knew I was actually doing something good. I was, in my very tiny way, affecting change.

However, as with most jobs, when your personal life suffers, it can be difficult to hide. And I didn’t believe in keeping anything from my students. Not that I was telling them all the details of my life, but I got increasingly irritable and apathetic in the classroom. I looked forward to my time with them, because they were keeping me entertained… but my life had stagnated and I needed to shake things up.

Moving to New York was about starting over. I was unhappy in California and working a very stressful job didn’t help. I didn’t want to become a bitter spinster-type teacher… and I really felt myself starting down that path. I had developed such a special relationship with my school and my students that I couldn’t see myself teaching in a different environment. So when I got to NY, I didn’t look for teaching jobs.

But now that I’m once again in that familiar world of the Job Hunt, I find myself gravitating back to education. Yes, the time off is a huge factor… but also, it’s a world I know well and a world where I knew what I was doing. I do have a passion for teaching… if I didn’t, would I still be in touch with countless students via Facebook? Would I still be willing to edit college admission essays? Would I still be willing to answer last minute grammar questions? Would I still accept phone calls and texts with questions on how to talk to college professors? Would I still be willing to offer words of support to those struggling with the remaining days of school?

So that’s where the Job Hunt is now centered. Am I ready for all the work? Probably not. Am I ready to handle NYC teenagers? Definitely not. But it’s an adventure I’m willing to take on…

Blog song title: “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen


Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad… [Part 1]

First I must preface this by saying that I am super hopped up on cold meds… so if I say anything crazy nuts or, worse, make egregious spelling or grammatical errors… please forgive me.

I mentioned previously that my job may be ending sooner than expected. This is the life of working on a temporary basis. My current position has me basically picking up slack until they can hire someone else (for a position I am not qualified for… obviously I have already thought about throwing my hat in that ring… unfortunately, it’s a no-go). They are already interviewing and I could be out on my ass in a matter of a couple of weeks. Maybe.

So I’m back in that uncomfortably familiar realm of figuring out my next move. It’s really hard to look for a job when you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Temp work makes sense because it’s non-committal and easy and pays pretty well. But it gets old. Temp jobs are the one night stands of employment. Fun at first, but after a few you need something a bit more substantial.

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Amirite?

In thinking about what I want to do… I have come up with some points… I want to travel (so I need the means and the time), I don’t want to stab my eyes out from boredom, I want to make enough to get by and even save something (again, I want to travel), I want time to write, I want time to do fun things… so my mind keeps coming back to the educational world. Decent money, time off for holidays (Spring Break, Summer Vacation, Winter Break – yes, please), usually pretty entertaining (certainly never dull), and if I find the right capacity, time to do all the other stuff.

Look, I didn’t leave the teaching profession because I hated it. Quite the contrary… I really loved it (more on that in Part 2). But everything else in my life was suffering for it. I was in a place I didn’t want to be and in a life I didn’t want to have. My job couldn’t be the ONLY thing keeping me happy. So I made a major change by moving across the country. I found the personal happiness I had been looking for… so perhaps it’s time to seek a little professional happiness.

I really don’t want to be defined by what I do for a living. I still want to get out and see the world… and I think that by either going back to teaching, or just the educational world in general, I just might get some (or ALL) of those things that I want.

 

Blog song title: “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen
Photo Credit: someecards.com

 


It’s coming up, it’s coming up…

OK, no, this isn’t going to be the most content rich blog… but I just wanted to drum up a bit more interest… get you all in sharing (and caring?) mode… because I’m hoping to launch a bit of a project very soon and I’m going to need all the help I can get. More on that story as it develops…

I think I’ve got some more transitions on the horizon… I don’t think I will be at my job through June like I previously thought… just a gut feeling (and no, nothing to do with my performance… I knew this job may end before then… perhaps more on that at a later time). Hopefully things won’t be as scary as they were back in January and I won’t feel so lost and confused. Yes, I have some ideas about where to go from here… and no, they don’t involve leaving the country (at least not permanently).

Basically, big (and hopefully exciting) changes are ahead. I’m hoping to write more (yes, MORE) and I just want to thank you all for reading and sharing and liking and commenting. I do so love doing this… and I only hope you enjoy reading half as much as I enjoy writing.

 

Blog song title: “Dare” by Gorillaz


Behind every desire is another one waiting to be liberated when the first one is sated…

I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty self-aware person. And while I know I bring the crazy sometimes, I usually have a pretty good grasp on why. Just because I’m self-aware doesn’t mean I can always control my emotions…

Anyway, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written – from Facebook posts, to Tweets, to this blog – you know I’m a big fan of the ellipses. See above, ahem. I can’t really pinpoint when this phenomenon started (very likely with my first major foray into social media, the Myspace), but I know that it’s been a punctuational mainstay ever since. I typically feel that the use of the ellipses more closely mirrors the way I talk (and if you’ve heard me talk, you know this blog is pretty damn close to the way I speak)… but I’ve recently had an epiphany: the ellipses reflect my lack of commitment…

Yeah, I know, it’s a big leap. BUT… think about it. If I end a sentence with an ellipses, I’m not committing to an end; I’m letting my statement just fade out. It gives me an opportunity to say what I want without that sense of finality. OK, crazy person, how- or more importantly why – did you make that connection? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that my life is in a state of flux… yet again.

My current temporary position ends on January 31 so I’m looking for a source of income starting right as that ends. I have been on one interview with another in the works. The first interviewer was concerned that I wouldn’t have the staying power that she’s looking for. She wants someone to commit for at least a year. The second job wants someone that will likely stick around for three. And suddenly I feel like the cliche male from a romantic comedy… someone starts mentioning long term to me and I FREAK OUT. Suddenly I’m feeling stifled.

My longest job was teaching… for four years. The longest I ever lived in any one place was when I was in high school… I lived in that house from 6th-12th grades. Before that, and since then, I have not stayed anywhere for too long (two and a half years is my current record). My longest functional relationship? Three years. My longest dysfunctional relationship? Four-ish years. The only thing, aside from my family, that I’ve been able to commit to for the long term is Walter Matthau, my dog… we’re going on six years in May. And as much as I love that friggin’ dog, I sometimes think about what I could do if I didn’t have him (oh, the apartments that would be available to me).

I abhor the idea of getting a job that will last a few years. I can’t fathom staying in my apartment for more than a few more months. And as far as guys go… well, it’s a lot easier when they don’t stick around for too long either. I take a strange comfort in temporary. Sticking to one thing for years and years and years (or worse, forever)… seriously gives me the willies.

I’ve never had roots anywhere. I’m always fascinated by people who have childhood friends or whose parents still live in the house where they grew up… or whose parents are still married. And I’m not saying this to elicit some kind of sympathy from you, Dear Reader. I’ve had all my life to accept this… and accept it, I do.

But I think this means I’m always going to be looking… for anything… for everything… and you know, I really don’t think I’ll ever find what I’m looking for… nor do I really want to… I just want to have fun doing it… DOT DOT DOT

Blog song title: “Weightless” by Nada Surf


Thirty-two’s still a goddamn number…

I’m 32. I’m not ashamed to admit that now. Maybe it was because I recently worked with teenagers, but turning 30 felt really OLD. However, I think that uprooting my life a couple of months ago has helped me come to grips with my age.. and not just coming to grips, but accepting it… and possibly even celebrating it. Ok, maybe not yet…

I’ve always had a hang up about age. I think it’s because I’m the youngest of four. Though they didn’t realize it, my older siblings provided me with age benchmarks… as I reached certain ages, I would compare myself to where they were at that particular age. And I always felt behind somehow. My brother is 11 years older than me…. when he was 18, he seemed ANCIENT to me… like he was a grown-up or something.  When I reached 18, I still felt like a child.

So that’s how I spent my 20s… comparing myself to others… and questioning myself. Is this what 23 should be? (Because it sucks). Is this how I should look at 26? How much should I be dating? Do I dress like an adult? Am I an adult?? I looked around a peers who were married and having kids. And even though I didn’t necessarily want those things, I wondered why I didn’t have them (yes, I’m aware of the crazy there). I lived on my own, took care of myself, paid my bills… but I couldn’t help but feel that I was behind somehow.

As I prepared to move to a new city and start over with a new career (that has yet to be determined), the comparisons began again. Generally, other people my age are well-established in careers and have moved up the proverbial ladder… and though I have been employed since the age of 21, I’m still looking at jobs that require a few years of industry specific experience. It’s like I’m back at the starting line when I should be a few hurdles ahead.

However… I’m feeling less and less like I’ve gotten a late start on things. I’ve been able to visit NYC twice since my OC exit and I’ve had this overwhelming and relieving feeling that I’m on the right path. I think the magic of NYC is opportunity… potential… possibility. I have the chance to make my life the way I always imagined it… who cares how old I am? (Incidentally, on my last visit to the city, a waiter thought I looked no older than 24… so suck it, 32).

SO I’m jobless, homeless (at least in NYC), single… and 32. And that’s ok. I’ll probably still compare myself to others… but I’ll make a conscious effort not to. What’s the point? I’m doing all of this for me… not my peers, or anyone else for that matter. This is my reinvention.

At least I don’t look 32… whatever that means.

 

Blog title song: “Oedipus” by Regina Spektor


Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your make-up

Foreword (yes, this blog gets a Foreword): I know I owe more of an explanation as to my current state of things, but like my new life in NYC …that’s just going to have to wait.

I’m sure it has been said before, but job/apartment hunting is a lot like dating… and I could even take that a step further to say online dating.

I am currently on a massive job/apartment hunt and it is no less than exhausting / frustrating / infuriating / disheartening / annoying. Each day I wake up between 7:45-8am and spend the majority of the day combing the internet for job opportunities. If I find a really interesting opportunity, I will spend half the day agonizingly tweaking my resume and cover letter to hopefully suit the needs of the discerning prospective employer. (Are you with me here?)

Recently, my sister helped me shop for a great interview outfit. I thought about how to accessorize said outfit… which purse would I bring… how I would wear my hair… how I could make a great first impression. (Still with me?)

In between job queries are Craigslist searches for apartments. I have a routine – I look for rooms in apartments that accept dogs; I plug in my budget price; I search for places in my favorite neighborhoods. When these searches come up short, I start altering my standards slightly… I guess I could live in Harlem; sure the building is nasty, but the neighborhood is cute. (I didn’t lose you, did I?)

And then there are the inquiries I send out to prospective roommates. I recently found the perfect apartment in the perfect location. The girl who lived there seemed like someone I would get along with. The place was cute. AND she liked dogs. So of course, I quickly sent her an e-mail. And then I waited. And waited. I never heard anything back. Did I come off as too strong in my e-mail? Was I not what she was looking for? Should I not have sent a picture? (OK, if you don’t get it now, I can’t help you.)

Job applications are the same. I wait for the phone to ring… and it never does.

Perhaps I am over-sensitive as a thirty-(ahem) year old single gal (yes, gal). Or maybe I just have too many life issues up in the air… either way, limbo sucks and job/apartment hunting is a lot like dating.

 

Blog title song: “Wives and Lovers” by Jack Jones


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