THE GOOD NEWS:
I got a new job! I couldn´t be happier.
Let me back up. In college I double-majored in International Marketing and German, and double-minored in Math and French. I love foreign languages and international business in general. I always had vague dreams of translating, or maybe working for the UN.
Before my junior year in college I started as an intern at the Alabama International Trade Center as a Global Project Manager. I loved it and they hired me on part-time. I stayed there until it was time to graduate. They could only offer me part-time work but I knew I was looking for something similar to be my real job. I realized I loved international market research, and I was happy I found something so specific to be passionate about.
Well I graduated college in 2008 “at the height of the recession” and I had professors telling me “if it were any other time, you´d have employers fighting over you.” Well, thanks for that. Looking for a job was tough. I got pretty far in interviewing for two positions during my last semester, and immidiately post-graduation. One was as part of the global marketing team for Proctor and Gamble. I really wanted that job. I would have moved to Cincinnati, Ohio for them. The other was as personal assistant to the CFO of ThyssenKrupp (who needed a lot of German translating–pretty cool), and for that one I would have lived in Mobile, Alabama. I went through a gazillion rounds of interviews for both, passed all the tests. ThyssenKrupp even made me an offer. And then both called back to say they were experiencing a hiring freeze, and that the positions would not be filled. Hello, recession.
And so here I was, super prepared and newly graduated with no job. Fortunately I didn’t have any debt (I was all-scholarship-everything) and so I moved back in with my mom in New Orleans and passed the time by teaching aerobics a lot. (I taught all throughout college–it’s tons of fun.) I also worked part-time at a fabric shop. Well, as it turns out, a customer-lady at the fabric shop discovered I speak Spanish, and recruited me for this cellphone company. “We need Spanish speaking employees in the stores!” she said.
MY CURRENT JOB:
There were two positions available. One as a customer service representative that was available immediately, one as part of their Apprentice Program, but that wouldn´t be available for a few months. “Either way you´ll be a store manager within two years,” she said. And so I took the customer service position, desperate to start work as soon as possible. (Little did I know the Apprentice Program would have been a far better choice, but I was green and young. Oh well.)
Customer service was fine. I learned a lot. I learned about working for a big company, and what it meant to be micromanaged. I learned how to make friends with coworkers I’d spend more time with than anyone else in my life. I learned about people–average people–and how to talk to them in a way that they’d understand I was sincere. I learned about myself. I discovered I was really good at selling and a year later I moved into sales. I discovered again I was really good at selling, and I got promoted to be the senior salesman a year later. And that was three years ago. My career progression came to a screeching halt. At first I was moving right along and then bam! I got stuck. Senior sales. That´s me.
Well, after six years of being in retail, I´ve had enough. I´m good at sales, sure, and I enjoy my job okay, sure. I get to meet new people every day, great. And the money is better than what most people my age are making, definitely. But I´m not learning anything anymore. It´s the same thing day in and day out. And the hours are horrible. Plain and simple. I used to not mind so much, but I´m married now, and I´d like some time at home with my husband other than sleeping-time.
I’ve decided I want to get into corporate marketing for this cellphone company, specifically. The problem is that no one from retail is considered for a corporate job unless they´ve been in management. This isn´t policy, but it´s the trend. So I set my sights on becoming a retail manager.
Guys, from August of 2013 to now, I applied for literally 22 positions. I went on almost as many interviews. Nothing. Now if that isn´t hurftul, I don´t know what is. I went through all the stages: anger at my bosses, anger at myself, self-doubt, self-pity, and ended with resignation. It was a humbling and trying year. I felt bad for my husband. I was newlywed, and really depressed. It wasn’t him. I love him and I love being married to him, but I was hating my job day in and day out.
And so, this summer I decided to quit applying for things and I resigned myself to the job I have. I decided to change my mindset and decided to start enjoying my job again. I decided to quit hating my life, and just like that, I did. I decided to be grateful. I realized this isn’t a death sentence. Michael´s going to graduate in a few years and then we´ll move to wherever and we´ll get a fresh start. It’ll be fine.
In September I saw an internal ad for a marketing internship program. I did some research and it looked awesome. All the world´s vigor came into me throughout this application process. I emailed everyone I could possibly think of to get ideas and recommendations. I applied in early October. At the end of October, I got a phone interview that I thought went really well… and then in early November they flew me out to Houston for a face to face interview, and I thought that went really well… and then yesterday I was officially offered the job and I accepted it!
I’M SUPER HAPPY.
It´s a temporary six month position in Houston at the cellphone company´s area corporate offices. Hopefully I´ll be able to snag something permanent from there! The lady I´ll be working for is super nice. She has had 8 people before me, and all but 1 have gotten permanent positions after the internship. So you´d better believe I´m going to work my little tail off once I get there!
WHAT ABOUT MY HUSBAND?
Well, he´s in school, and this is a temporary position, so I´m going to go, and he´s going to stay. Ugg. My heart sinks at the thought of this, but this is definitely what´s right for me. And it wouldn´t make sense for him to transfer and move if we might move again in 6 months. And Houston´s not far from New Orleans. Both driving and flying are cheap and easy.
He´s been supportive and excited throughout this journey, but last night he looked at me realistically and said, “I´m going to be alone” and I almost cried. But hey, it´s only six months, and we´ll see each other on weekends, and it´ll make for a better life for us in the long run, and married people live apart all the time for work, and they´re okay…
It´ll be fine. I´m really very happy. Seriously. I´m going to have a fixed schedule! And a desk! And I´m going to be doing the kind of work I love! And I can go to the gym after work! And live super frugally because I won´t know anybody! It´s going to be great!
The pay they´re offering me is about the same as what I make now with commissions. Technically it’s a smidge less than what I’m making now, but if I work any overtime it’ll probably even out.
Our cost of living is technically going up because we’ll be back and forth to visit each other on weekends. My brother-in-law lives in Houston, so I’m going to ask him if I can stay with him for these six months. I’m suddenly really nervous about this, actually. The internship was available in Houston and Alpharetta, but I chose Houston always with the intention of living with him. But now that I have the job and I have to ask him, well, I’m chickening out and making Michael ask him. It’s his brother anyway.
That’s my story. That’s my happy news. This is obviously a huge life change we’re about to embark on, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this as it comes. What has been most amazing has been the outpouring of love, support and encouragement from my family, friends and coworkers. I received kind texts, emails, phone calls, Facebook messages. The world really made me feel loved yesterday.
It was a good day.