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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Fear

I feel like a bad mother right now. The Ramen Diaries have been so severely neglected these past couple of months, that I don't even know where to begin.

I suppose the best place to begin, is by telling you that all four of us RD girls now have jobs in some form or another. The second best place to begin, is to tell you that "some form or another" means not what we majored in during college. Surprised? Us too.

So, I've been gainfully employed and living somewhat independently for about three months, and I was starting to feel very self-satisfied, but alas, what I like to refer to as The Fear has been setting in.

What is The Fear you ask? It's the ominous feeling you get when you wake up in the middle of the night and wonder whether you will be doing this same job in seven years when you're 29. It's the slight panic you feel when your mother calls to ask if you're interested in a celebrity event planning internship, that you know you can't take because now you have bills and a lease, and houseplants. It's the wistful feeling that nags you a little when you see college students making plans to go abroad for a year. That's The Fear. (The Fear also rears it's head in a different way everytime I hear that someone I know is getting married or having a baby, but that's another subject altogether, and it might be called 'Biologcal Clock').

So I'm currently at a crossroads. I waffle back and forth between combatting The Fear, and ignoring it. Fighting The Fear involves making To-Do lists that involve moving to the Dominican Republic, going to culinary school, painting a masterpiece, and starting, yet another, blog that will eventually be turned into a multi-million dollar book deal. There are half a dozen or so of these lists scattereed around my home, car and office. I have to believe that this is better than ignoring The Fear, which consists of going home after work and watching the Kardashians marathon on E! until I pass out.

No one said that graduating and having a job was going to be easy, but no one said anything about this either.

For now, I'm an administrative coordinator, moonlighting as the next best thing...


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Confessions of a New Hire

Well readers, it's finally happened. I have a job, and I'm relieved. Mostly.

I was fortunate enough to get a job at the university where I attended undergrad, with people I know, doing something I like, and making a decent living.

The thing about getting the thing you want most, is that once you have it, you start to wonder what you have left to strive for. Truthfully, it's not what I went to school for, and not at all what I envisioned myself doing once I graduated college. But just to be clear, I consider myself extremely lucky to work for a such a prestigious university, especially given the economic issue at hand.

Still, the night before my first day of work, I lie awake wondering, after months of agonizing, and practically begging for a job, any job, doing far worse things, if I'd taken the path of least resistance. By taking this job, was I giving up my dreams of owning a PR firm, or curating a gallery, or starting a magazine, or running a bed and breakfast? (bear in mind, I only went to school for one of those things.) Was I selling myself short to make money and work in a comfortable, familiar and friendly environment? Was I stalling my future by turning back to college? I struggled with these questions until the wee hours of the morning, and somewhere in between falling asleep and waking up for work, it dawned on me.

This job is all just part of the journey. It's something I enjoy, I have experience in, and I'm good at. So why not? I'm not giving anything up. I'm just on my way there, and I think along the way, I'm going to learn a lot. I'm not settling for what's practical, I'm preparing for what's ahead, and figuring out how to be the best where I am right now. As for my fear and self doubts about moving backwards instead of forward, working at a college is a far different experience from attending one...and after a week, I'm finding I like it. The responsibility, the feeling of being needed and respected.

I'm not in anyway implying that I know what I'm doing in life. But like so many recent grads in my position, I'm learning that the life you make for yourself, might be just as great as the one you've imagined, if you'll only have the courage to live it and find out. It's new and it's frightening, and I have no business casual outfits, but I'm going to try.

Lastly, this is by no means the end of my Ramen Days. I'm still a girl who buys work slacks at Ross, accessories at Forever 21, and eats mac 'n cheese straight from the pot. I haven't hit met all yet, but I'm sure there are more stressed out/single/poor-girl, post-grad crises and triumphs waiting just around the bend.

And, yeah, you'll hear all about them.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Recap from the Blog-Slacker

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Since May 2, 2009, I have been officially contributing to the unemployment rate. Today, my first day of work, I remove myself from that statistic. But before I excite you with my success story, allow me to entertain you with the numerous failures that led to it. 

I will lead with the fact that things generally work out for me. I'm not bragging, I'm just being honest. I got into the college I wanted to, excelled, made friends, went abroad, and graduated in four too-short years; then, the economy crashed. I guess I was due. 

With the shrinking job market, I frantically started to look for jobs. To my good fortune, a few of them contacted me to schedule an interview.  I went to my very first interview on the Monday after my graduation. I should have realized what I was getting myself into when the company contacted me within 24 hours of receiving my application. My interview went as follows:

Job Interview #1, listed on Monster as "Event Marketing Brand Manager"

Donning my newest white pant suit from Nordstrom, I walk into the smallest office I have ever seen. There are already six people my age in the waiting area filling out forms, most of them wearing jeans. As the receptionist hands me a clipboard with a form to fill out, I sneak a peak at her computer. I see an Excel Sheet with a schedule; interviews are scheduled at every 10-minute interval from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Awesome. 

When it's my turn, a man named Jimmy leads me to his office. He shakes my hand, looks at my resume, and begins to tell me about a type of car wax that also washes. Light bulb. This is what I would be selling from a booth at State Fair type events. After about three minutes of rapid fire questions concerning my ambitions to have an office like Jimmy's and to manage people who sell car wax (the company's one product), he invites me to a second interview the following day in which I would be attending an event with other "managers." He asks if I had any questions. I say, "That was quick." He says, "That's how I do interviews." I say, "It was nice to meet you," and walk out. I called the company from a Starbucks on my way home to cancel the next interview. Back to square one.

Interviews #2-3: Heartbreak

After a few weeks of applications (now weeding through the dozens of companies like Jimmy's)
I receive a phone call from my Mothership, Conde Nast Publications. I had applied months earlier to an entry level position and was finally being contacted for an interview. Jackpot. To make a long story short, after making it through two rounds of interviews and telling my references to be ready to be contacted, the job went to someone with experience. I may have cried. But not to be dismayed, I scheduled an interview the very next day from a company who had contacted me while I waited to hear from Conde Nast: Playboy.

Interview # 4: Porn?

OK, so it wasn't exactly Playboy, it was a company that did ad sales for them... although they did give me a Playboy to read as I sat in the waiting room. Enlightening. It turned out to be another no-go as the women whom I was supposed to meet with remained on a conference call the entire time I was there and I had to meet with Irene, a woman who had never conducted an interview before. I struggled to go through my resume while she explained to me the office hours (9-5, Monday thru Friday... does this call for explanation?) instead of asking me questions. I left knowing I would never be contacted.

Today: Employed

You may be wondering how four failed interviews eventually led me to employment. I'll tell you. I was contacted by a company in my hometown Blackfoot, Idaho, looking for a West Coast marketing manager to work with brokers for its new product- a job that is far beyond entry level and probably far beyond my qualifications. The company would allow me to live in Southern California (my home for the past four years), and do marketing for a product in that region. How did I land this job, you ask? My dad hired me. It's his company, and a company I never thought I would be working for, but here I am, doing a job that will hopefully be rewarding and challenging while I am able to live amongst my wonderful college friends in a place that is perpetually sunny. I am blessed. 

My following posts will document the trials, challenges, and hopefully little victories as I begin my journey through my very first big kid job. I continue to question what my true ambitions are, and hope that this opportunity will allow me to find them-whether it be in this industry or in something completely different. 

And now, back to work. 


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Unemployment Hits the Big Time.

Soooo, Hollywood...I've just graduated...and my life has taken quite the turn. Want to rub it in?


If you've recently graduated, have had to move back in with your parents, are having a tough time landing a decent job and find yourself with too much time on your hands, this movie seems to have been made for you. "Post Grad" is about a girl moving home and experiencing the "Real World" for the first time in four years. It's being put out by Fox Searchlight, which tends to release the indie-flick types of movies I love, but stars Alexis Bledel (AKA "That Gilmore Girls Chick") who I usually find a little boring. Okay. A lot boring.

A movie about a girl moving back with her weirdo family as she tries to get a man, a job, and an idea about where her life is going might turn out to be a cheese-fest...OR might turn out to be just be the thing I need right now. We'll see on August 21 - right as summer starts to draw to a close and it truly starts to sink in that nope, I REALLY won't be going back to school this year.

Stay tuned for a lengthy review, kids!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Cheerio! (and probably Cheerios too)

So, unemployment has been treating me well. After a wonderful week at the lake with LC and EA, I've come back to the real world of working out, watching television, throwing dinner parties, and applying to jobs that sound oh-so-good only to be completely ignored (think, admissions counselor at your alma mater and a entry level advertising job at the biggest and the best ad firm on the west coast.) Even so, I am irrepressible.

In the midst of all this, I got a visit that shook up my daily routine. Enter, my favorite uncle, his wife, and their two children. They are coming to stay with my family for a month while they prepare to move for my uncle's job. The kids are absolutely beautiful, tri-lingual (English, Italian, and German) and they are a 100% certified handful. If I could bottle the energy they exude, I would not only have a job, but also be running a small country. So for the past week or so, my days have been consumed with splashing around a baby pool, chasing children around the house, changing diapers, trips to the ER for ear infections, making snacks, packing strollers, trips to yogurtland (but that's more for me) and lots and lots of telling stories. Now, by no means am I a nanny, but I am an older sister, so this isn't too new of an experience for me.

Still, imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find my uncle saying to my mother, "Well if you would pay for the airfare with your miles, we could feasibly pay, oh $100-$200 a day, and she could live with us and help out with the kids, and after a while, she could see if something else strikes her fancy, or I could help her find a job."

Now, before you say "Ugh, a nanny job, really?" keep in mind, we are related so the kids like me well enough, they are moving to a pretty sizeable house where I would live for free....and it's in ENGLAND. (All of my friends know that in addition to my love of travel, tea, and scarves, I have a very acute weakness for boys with British accents. Bonus.)

$100 to watch kids I like in a foreign country, while finding a job? Um, yes please.
So it's not for sure, just like any other job opportunity I've had in the past year, but it's definitely a tempting option, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Perhaps the unemployment blues are at an end??? We'll see.


Faking How the Other Half Lives

Good Morning, minimum-wage slaves to an economy that won't allow you a "real" job! Look, there is no reason why we can't experience some of the finer things, too. I've just unearthed something magical. The lovelies over at http://www.fancyfastfood.com/ have developed a method to allow even the most impoverished individual to feel like they are livin' the good life. Think Creme Brulee made out of Dunkin' Donuts or Fancy Corn Chowder made out of a KFC Family meal. Pure and utter brilliance.

(Beware: No one's promising health-conciousness here. A Big Mac by any other name is still...well, you know.)

Stay Fancy!
(Courtesy of fancyfastfood.com)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I take it back.

Oh, hey there, Mr. Rejection Letter.

That is all.

I'm going to go work on my new cardboard-box home under the pier.
I suspect it's going to come in handy soon.