A Long Overdue Job Update

Hi and welcome back to The Inky Saga. I had high hopes for October blogging, but, as usual, life happens. I figured before I attempt to reintroduce the blog it was high time I finally share a major life update. I have been waiting for what feels like a milestone moment in my life and I think that moment came this week.

As some of you may recall, I moved to Austin in August for a part-time job as an office assistant. I have just realized that I never wrote a blog post about this new job or how things were going! A lot has happened in that time, so I don’t know where to begin. A part of me wants to share everything, but I can’t know who might one day read this blog post. Therefore, I’m self-filtering a bit. But that should make this blog post more easy to read anyway.

I was extremely lucky. I love my part-time job. The work is never dull and the people I work for are fantastic. I assist three main people. They are all very different, but that is part of what keeps this job interesting. From the beginning, I have felt appreciated and a part of the team, which are vibes I did not entirely feel at my main job this past summer.  I am also lucky in that they have made many efforts to utilize the more advanced skills that I developed in college that I have not been able to utilize in a formal job setting.

For instance, I have been writing standard operating procedures for specific tasks each of my supervisors individually perform. I have compiled information and performed independent research on administrative code regarding my office’s work in order to illuminate something that we may not have been needing to do. I have also been given design projects to create new materials for our new-hire orientation and training.

I feel that it is rare to find a job where your office makes their best effort to utilize your unique skillset. Maybe it is the silver-lining of working part-time in this economy, but it genuinely blows my mind what an amazing opportunity I stumbled upon. I cannot believe I almost didn’t take it.

For the past eight weeks I have been working about 30 hours a week. I have also been lucky in that I have been allowed to set my own schedule for the most part. When I have not been working during the week, I have primarily been applying and interviewing for other jobs.

I think I mentioned on the blog this summer that I had received a writing tutor position ahead of my move. Once I arrived, however, I knew that position was not going to work. I had just adopted Opal and knew I could not just leave her home alone all day. And the commute was going to be way longer than I had originally anticipated.

My earliest plans after that realization revolved around setting up a virtual assistant business. I still see myself doing this one day, but I also knew that it would be preferable to find a job in the city that would allow me to meet people and experience life in Austin while I was so conveniently close to everything.

In the past, I had exclusively applied for administrative positions on online university staffing boards. I had several interviews for these kind of positions, but nothing ever came of them. Once I arrived and got settled in, I started applying for jobs almost exclusively on Zip Recruiter and, more recently, LinkedIn. I had a few interviews in September for a variety of different positions, full-time and part-time, that seemed like they might be fun.

Because I have not been in a hurry to leave my current part-time job, I have had the luxury and privilege of being able to seek out part-time and full-time employment opportunities. None of this would have been possible without the support of my parents either. Austin is expensive, and there is no way I would’ve been able to start this new adventure so comfortably without their financial assistance. (Side note: I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be “self made” this year. My parents are not rich. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it is that when I become successful I would never conscionably be able to say that I am self-made.)

I was starting to feel discouraged about my prospects two weeks ago after I was turned down for two pretty cool sounding jobs. Neither were likely to have been good moves for my long-term career goals, but I felt like I would have been happy with them. Now I’m grateful I did not receive them because I wouldn’t have had the week I just had.

Last weekend I went to an interview for a full-time job as office administrator for a budding business in northwest Austin. I really hit it off with the owner and after my follow up interview felt that it would have been a really good fit on both sides. He had been lucky someone with my skillset applied for the job he listed and was already planning on how to utilize my technical writing background to grow his business. I most likely would have been set for long-term career growth. It was exactly the type of job I had been hoping to find.

The main problem is this job was located in northwest Austin. Fifteen miles may sound like nothing, but Austin traffic is terrible. Needing to drive that way through central Austin on a daily basis, probably twice a day both ways, would have eventually taken its toll. It wasn’t just me I had to think about. I would have needed to make arrangements so Opal could be let out everyday around noon if I could not make the trek back myself.

I would not have turned down this job for just that reason, however. I could have made it work. But this past weekend I had also received feedback on two other jobs I had recently applied for. One was very similar to this full-time position, but it was part-time and located downtown. Since I currently live about 10 minutes away from downtown, it was more ideal.

On Monday I had a phone interview, which I felt went well. It was a very general interview screening call. I was offered an in-person interview on Thursday, which happened to be the day after I found out I received the full-time position. For some reason, I really felt that I wanted to make sure I had no regrets about not looking into this other part-time job. So I took the interview. One of the initial draws was it looked like something might ultimately allow me to work remotely part of the time, which was ideal for Opal! Also I would be able to keep my current part-time job a bit longer.

The in-person interview went really well. We used almost the full hour they had set aside and talked about a lot of things. They had a list of questions, but there was a lot of back-and-forth discussion, which is always refreshing. The most important thing for me was that I got good vibes from them. I could tell they are very hard-working, already fairly accomplished, and still have big dreams for their company. I figured it would be very easy to feel fulfilled working for them.

After the in-person interview, I knew I would be willing to gamble on my future by accepting this part-time position. They definitely wanted to manage my short-term expectations for hours and duties, but they also sounded very optimistic about what this position could evolve into assuming that I turned out to be the right fit for them. When I left, I felt pretty good about my odds. All I could really hope for is that they would make their decision quickly so I could turn down the full-time position before too much time had past.

I received the job offer that night, which was much sooner than I was expecting. I am still feeling so euphoric. I can’t help but feel like important pieces in the story of my life are starting to fall into place. Sorry if that is cheesy. I’m not even a One Direction fangirl, but I couldn’t help but think of that one song after I wrote that sentence…I’m not even going to change it.

I drafted this post on the Saturday before I started the new job. However, I decided to wait to post it, just to make sure everything I have written ages well after I started this new job! I have a lot of other things I would love to share about, but I always feel I have to be cautious so I don’t jinx anything!

It bothers me that I have not used my blog as much as I intended this year, especially after splashing out more money on it for more creative freedom. I promise I intend to post more now that the job search is essentially complete. I will be able to utilize my personal time to focus on my passions outside of work, which include this blog.

There is a lot I am eager to share. I think part of the reason I’m so euphoric right now is that I no longer will need to feel guilty about how I spend my time outside of work. I hope that I will be able to post something else before I decide I can publish this post, but time will tell. Regardless, something will come very soon after this post. I promise. Cross my heart hope to die.

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Moving Out

Shortly after my last blog post, I found out that I would need to be moving out at the start of August! My parents finally received an offer on their house – a good one – and they accepted it. So they are closing on August 2, 2019. There are now less than two weeks left, so most of my time will be spent packing up the things that will follow them to their new place and the things that I will want to keep close to me.

After some back and forth, I decided to move in with my aunt and uncle for at least a month, and I will have some extra time to decide if I want to move into an apartment in September or December. The main thing holding me back has been the need to sign a lease for x-number of months. I’ve not been sure how long I want to put down roots in this area. I don’t know what else might come up! I’ve done some more job applications, here and elsewhere. If I receive a job offer in Austin, I’d prefer to be able to relocate quickly and with no hold ups.

What I’m currently thinking is that I still plan to apply to graduate school this fall, so I would not mind signing an apartment lease that would end in August 2020. I can also see myself halting the job search for the time being to focus on my current work and graduate school applications for the rest of this year. Then next year, if I have the time, I can start applying for jobs that could potentially uproot me before graduate school would.

Over the next seven days, I will be preoccupied with work, packing, and moving into my aunt’s house. I don’t think I will have extra time to blog, but one of my goals for the summer was to always prepare for fall blog content. If I have time to spare, I will use it to start planning blog posts. I’ve had so many ideas, I just need to find the time to execute them. I’ll essentially be working 40 hours a week now, but I do think I will have the time and energy to pursue the things I’m passionate about.

August Plans

Although summer is nearly at its end, I am finally going to have time to apply myself to the goals I set at the beginning of July. In my spare time outside of work, I will begin to polish old student work to use as writing samples and working on other materials required for graduate school applications.

It seems like I may have spare time at my new tutoring gig to work whatever I would like to on my MacBook Pro, so I will take advantage of that opportunity whenever possible. Right now for instance, it is slow so I am taking time to write this little life update! I will probably work on graduate school applications today and start making a plan for blog content if I don’t have too much to do this morning or in the afternoon. Yesterday no students walked in for the last three hours I was working. Of course, I realize it won’t always be like that!

End Note

I’m currently at work as I finish up this blog post! I have spent the morning looking up PhD Programs in library and information science. I am recording all the application requirements and making sure they have generous financial aid that will allow me to focus on my studies and professional development. I will probably apply to about 4–5 different programs for safety, and the best case scenario will be that I will have options to make the best possible choice for future opportunities. In case you are curious, one of my many blog plans is to share more about this process over August.

Thank you for reading!
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