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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!