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The Hardest Part

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First and foremost, I must present you with not only one of my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers songs, but also the incredibly awkward music video that comes with it.  Please enjoy as you read this post.

I meant to write this when everything first happened. But things got crazy. Everything happened so quickly and then continued to happen at such a rapid pace that this is the first time I’m able to sit down and write about it.

A little over two months ago, I started a new job. It’s an amazing job for an amazing company. I am now an Academic Formatting Specialist for a company called Research Square. I get to work in the middle of downtown Durham, the office itself is really cool and has free sodas in the kitchen, and I get to help people publish their findings in the US. It’s pretty much everything I could ever want in a job—plus I get to work from home whenever I want!

Last summer was very difficult for me. I had been let go from what I then considered to be my dream job and then, once again, I was unable to find work. I had to resort to unemployment benefits for a few months until I could find a job. One of the requirements to those benefits was to search for jobs on a consistent basis and provide proof of your job search. It was through one of my job searches to keep the benefits that I first met Research Square.

The photo taken of me on my first day!

I originally applied for an editing job there. I was called in for an interview last September, and, although I didn’t end up getting that job, I instantly fell in love with the company and the office and my would-be coworkers. I was absolutely crushed when I didn’t get the editing gig because all I wanted at that point was to work at Research Square.

Around the same time, I had applied for a job through a temp agency. I was able to begin work there very shortly after my RS interview, and the unemployment benefits stopped. I worked at the temp job until February of this year, and I actually really enjoyed it. What was supposed to be a two-week stint turned out to last over six months, and the pay was incredible. But, I knew going in that it was a temp job, and eventually those have to come to an end. I’d made enough money at that temp job to keep me afloat for another few weeks before it was absolutely essential that I find more work.

I thought back to RS and wondered, even hoped, that maybe there was something there waiting for me. I wrote an email to Amy, the woman I had interviewed for back in September, who also happened to be the hiring manager. I figured if anyone knew of any open positions, it would be her. She wrote back and was delighted to hear from me. Sadly, she said, there were no open positions available. However, she did advise that I set up a lunch date with a couple of people that were out of town when I interviewed in September.

So, I did. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had lunch with the woman who would be my boss in less than a month. There was very scant talk of a position that could open up down the line. After lunch, and for several days after, I constantly refreshed the open positions page on the RS website, hoping to be the first to apply for the new position. When it finally showed up, I applied immediately.

It wasn’t long after that that an interview was set up. Then the interview happened, and I was sure I’d made a fool of myself.

Things got tense, because the same temp agency I’d worked for earlier in the year had been working to get me another job—which I was very grateful for. The timing was very inconvenient, though. I was waiting to hear back from RS regarding the position I really wanted, but I couldn’t just say no to a job that was being offered to me. Justin and I decided that I would accept the temp position and then, if RS offered me the job, I could quit. That’s what I did.

Then, the night before I was to start the temp job, I got my offer email from RS! I don’t know if I can put into words how filled with happiness I really was. There was an email, staring at me, telling me that I was not only wanted somewhere but could start on this date for this much money. It was as official as it gets. I screamed, Justin screamed, we jumped up and down, he told the guildies. All the official stuff.

I began work on March 16 and it’s been going like a runaway train ever since.

Sometimes, work got to be too much to handle. I was working almost 70 hours a week, and I hadn’t even had the job for more than a month! Thankfully, this was addressed, and now my workload, at least to start since I’m still learning everything, is much more manageable.

I love who I work with and what I do. It’s not exactly editing, but it’s another form of editing. Not to worry, my meticulous nature is still being catered to. 🙂 This job is a big deal to me, not only because of what it is and who the company is, but because this is the first time I’ve been given an in on the ground floor. Every other job I’ve ever had through a temp agency or was part-time work. This is official from every side, and that’s amazing!

I got my square…because now I’m a Square!

So, that’s what’s going on. I’ve had this tab open for several weeks, trying to find time to write about my new job, but sometimes life is hectic. I haven’t had much time to read or edit my second book, either, so don’t worry—it’s not just the blog that has suffered.

I’m hoping that I can continue updating this blog again now that I have more time to write. Thanks for following along, even in times of uncertainty. I know that the waiting is the hardest part.

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This Just In: Saturday Breakfast is Back!

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Man oh man, have I got an announcement to make!

I got a job!  A real job!  A big-girl job!

It was a very fast process, and I’m really excited to get this whole shebang started.

Here’s how it all went down…

After nearly 3.5 years of job searching, I finally took what I always considered to be my last resort – going through a temp agency.  I found a list of agencies through the Durham County (DCo, since Durham is so hip) website, and contacted two of them on April 16.  Express called me and set up an appointment to come and talk to them about finding a job.  I went in on Friday, April 19, and met an angel named Jensen, who has been my constant contact through this process.

There were two jobs that were readily available for what I wanted to do: a temporary data entry position, and a Product Launch Specialist for a secret company.  The Product Launch was a full-time position, one with actual hours of pay and benefits and direct deposit.  I remember telling Jensen that day that I really wanted that job and to definitely send them my resume.  While I was there, Jensen had me take a few tests for the data entry position.

On May 6, after not hearing anything from Jensen for two weeks, I wrote an email to check in.  She wrote back and said that although she hadn’t heard anything about the data entry position, the people hiring for the PLS were hoping to schedule interviews that week.  That got me really excited, but past experience told me not to count my chickens, so I held back.

It was several days before I heard from her again, but she called me and told me that the secret company wanted me to take an editing assessment for them!  On May 20, I was given 4 hours to complete the assessment.  I completed it and turned it in.

The ball just kept rolling.

On May 30, Jensen sent me an email saying that the company wanted to meet me for an in-person interview.  We spoke on the phone a day or two later to discuss details.  I received an email on June 3 to confirm the date/time/location of the interview, which was June 5.  I arrived much earlier than I had anticipated, and spent nearly 20 minutes in my car rehearsing my brilliant answers for all of your general interview questions, none of which were even asked.  A few laughs were exchanged during the interview, and I felt positive afterward.  I headed home to decompress.

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The very next morning, Jensen called to let me know that I had been offered the position.  She said that my interviewers had come out of the interview room after I left and told her I was the one they wanted.  They were impressed with me and liked my personality.  And my assessment was the best one they received!  She said she knew the night of the interview, but wanted me to have time to process everything before telling me.  I hung up and started screaming in excitement at Bonnie.

I proceeded to call everyone and tell them that I had actually gotten the job.

Yesterday, Jensen sent me the direct deposit form and the time card for Express.  I am technically their employee until I have worked for Cutting Edge Information for the first 3 months; afterward I will be brought on as a permanent employee.

I have incredibly mixed emotions about all of this.

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This was my “test shot” for my makeup the day of the interview.

I am so used to being put in a corner.  I am used to being a second thought, even a nuisance.  Everywhere I’ve worked in the last 3 years, ever since I graduated from college, has sucked.  My paychecks have been forgotten, I haven’t been offered very many hours, I haven’t been appreciated or included as part of a team.  It’s almost as if they forgot I was coming to work and had to scrounge for a 2×4 and two cinder blocks to set up for me so I have somewhere to work.  It’s been hard and really shitty for my self-esteem.

I’m hoping this job is going to change all that.  I want so badly to feel like part of a team, to feel like I am appreciated, like what I’m doing matters.  So far, I haven’t felt any of that.

I’m so tired of having to ask Justin for money to do everything – including money to buy him things with.  I don’t know how other housewives do it.  It absolutely tore at me.  When I told this to my mother, who was a housewife while my father was the bread-winner, she didn’t really seem to understand.  I tried explaining it this way: when you are a parent, you are responsible for your child in every way possible, including financially.  So every Christmas, every Mother’s Day, every birthday, your child is only able to buy you anything because of the money you give them.  At some point, presumably, the child grows up and wants to earn their own money and buy their own things.  I’ve never liked other people buying things for me, and even as a teenager I would request that my mother give me a project or chore to do to earn the money for whatever I wanted.  I like having my own money and being able to buy other people things and not have to save so hard at the grocery store to keep within a stricter budget.  I’m so excited to be able to get my own paycheck every week.

But one of the things I’m most excited about is Saturday breakfasts.  The last time I had a job, May through December of last year, I would get up every Saturday and drive up to Biscuitville to grab breakfast for Justin and me.  It was one of those little things that make the weekend so enjoyable.  It was one of our things.  And then it got snipped, right before Christmas.

But now, Saturday Breakfasts are coming back!

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The place where I work now.

I start in the morning, and I’ll receive my first paycheck next Friday.  And then, hopefully and God willing, things finally won’t suck so hard anymore.