Saturday, January 26, 2013
Life is good.... Really good! Things are moving fast and slowing down all at once. In October I accepted a job in suburban Chicago, packed up all my possessions...not much (It all fit in my car) but I like living lite at least right now. I was just happy to have a job that was within my field, wasn't somewhere I didn't want to be (Ok there really weren't that many places that I didn't want to be) and actually was going to pay me. Wow my job has exceeded that by 100 fold. I'm working directly in the area of the field I want to be working in with way more responsibility and opportunity that I would've ever dared to hope for. My two bosses are great and the companies future looks really bright. I was just thinking about an analogy for my life.... I feel like half way through senior year of college I got out of the cruise ship and into a life raft. I was out at sea but I didn't have much figured out or nailed down and then I got an intership and stayed out at sea. My internship was initially only going to be 7 months but the job market was still tough and things in Des Moines were pretty good so I stayed for 5 more months (more time at sea). Life was good. I hope it doesn't sound like I am complaining. It just wasn't solid or very constant. I didn't know where I was going to be living in 8 or less months from 2nd semester Senior year until really this past October. After my internship ended (at which time I still had no job). I thought I was doing alright and stayed in Des Moines for a few months (I was mostly traveling actually). Then finally I decided to move to Minneapolis and move in with good old mom and pop... this would be the "Jonah level" storm of my time at sea analogy. From July to October I was living at my parents. Those might be the 4 hardest months of my life. It was tough. I wondering if I would ever make it into my field or make it at all. When things are hard like that I think it becomes natural to start question things and before you know it you are questioning everything... "Is this because I did or didn't do xy or z"... "Why did I go to college".... "Should I start doing x".... "How do you get into drug dealing!?!?".... okay maybe not the last one. Maybe ;) The call. Man it was unreal. In a sense you know this is how it will happen. 1 call and then suddenly everything changes. 1 call. Its almost sick. Its hard to live like that. But when I got it. SHIT... One of the best moments ever. I got off the phone and couldn't even process it. I just wanted to drive and think. almost like I was just told someone died... sort of. I wasn't suddenly filled with joy, which i think most people would assume is what would happen. It was just to much, there you are going through one of the hardest things... the hardest thing that you have ever experienced with no definitive end and you have questioned and de-solidified almost everything you thought you knew or believed Maybe I'm just bad at handling those things.. maybe I was just afraid that I would find out it wasn't real. I'm not sure why that was my reaction but I just wanted to be alone and try and process it. I think it was probably shock. That feeling of "finally" So then I started the process of packing up and making my way (with about a week stop in Des Moines) to my Aunt and Uncles in St. Charles. I moved in and then started working and has started to smooth out. 1'st paycheck.... INCREDIBLE. Like a thousand pounds lifted off my shoulders. Being broke is pretty damn stressful. I think I would like to not do that again. So here I am still feeling "out at sea". I think this is mostly because I am still living with my aunt and uncle. which has been really great. Coming home to a cook meal is one of the best things of my day to day. It has been good to get time with them and develop a better relationship and my uncle loves bikes/biking so it has been fun to talk about that and learn a little even though I thought I would have so much more time to spend in his "shop" working on bikes with him. Funny how you forget that when you get a job it means you will have a LOT less time than when you are unemployed. Oh well! So I still have not got settled in a place. Honestly 3/4 my stuff is still in boxes in their garage. that's OK, life has been a real joy and I'm loving the adventure. it just isn't settled. still not on solid ground if that makes sense. There is also the lag time of catching up on finances and what not. You don't really budget when you are interning or unemployed... you just live like a cheapskate. I'm adjusting to being able to buy some non necessities like music or clothes. It's pretty cool. Of Monsters and Men is definitely one of the best purchases I have made so far. So I can see land but I still haven't hit the shore. It will come and I should be hitting my stride this spring/summer... honestly I think this summer is going to be incredible. Hopefully have some friends by then. Planning on doing some good traveling and having a bunch of different adventures. Also long days... that part of winter is really hard for me. I'm used to it but it just feels like there is so much more life and energy in the summer. But I do love the process of moving through spring. Its a wonderfully optimistic and hopeful journey every year. What is the day to day like? Well my day to day is good. Lots of work usually 50-60 hrs a week. Which I'm happy about I'm very excited about the opportunities at my work and it is motivating. No, that is not the expectation at my work.. well not exactly. being on top of your work is the expectation but working that many hours isn't. I just know what unemployment is like and I want to establish my reputation here. As well as trying to get as much experience as I can. Plus I don't have a social life so it works out well. After work I head to the gym and run/lift. I spent a lot of time running the past two months because I was training for a race with a friend which I did last weekend and it was great. I have never been a runner but the more I put into it the more I have enjoyed it and I look forward to the mental release. Usually I'm out of the house around 7 and back around 9ish. It is pretty simple but I'm enjoying it and I don't find myself dreading work or watching the clock during the day. I'm usually fighting the clock actually. Travel has really been the thing keeping things busy for me. I traveled the past 4 weekend in a row! This is my first weekend of being around, which has been lazy and great, and next weekend I'm off to Colorado for a ski trip. So that is life now. I think its pretty great. I might not be on land yet but I can see it and I'm getting closer and closer... get an apartment, get settled in a bit, start using christianmingle.com ;) and should be good to go.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Searching for a job is rather challenging. You need to have some idea of what you want to do, where you would like to live (and work as well) and then you need to figure out how to find the jobs that fulfill these requirements. I feel fortunate to know what I want to do. I would like to be an Investment Analyst for a Commercial Real Estate owner/developer/investor. Essentially I want to be working with the people who make decisions for what to buy/sell and/or are responsible for making the managing decisions for a portfolio of properties. As far as location goes I'm pretty open (and becoming more so by the day) but I also have clear preferences like Denver, Chicago and Minneapolis. I thought I was one of the fortune was to at least know what I would like to be doing and actually have some experience/background to stand on. But when you are unemployed for this long (almost 4 months) you begin to wonder.... about lots of things, excess amounts of "free time" really lends itself to wondering. But especially about working and the future. I'm pretty sure I always spend plenty of time thinking about the future but I bet I spend even more now. I find it somewhat curious that I spend more time thinking about the future when I am essentially unable to plan for the future. I'm currently able to plan 1-2 weeks out. HA HA... Man that really just sounds pretty horrible AND in that sense it is pretty horrible. Oh.. shoot. Can this please be over soon?!? Sometimes I consider giving up (temporarily) on the career job search and moving to Colorado, out to the mountains and getting a service type job to get by... Ah! Spending an entire winter living out on the slopes seems like it would be pretty good. Maybe. At least I will be heading back to Chicago next week for an interview. Hopefully that goes well or the company I have been in contact with and had 2 phone and 2 interviews with since the end of June will finally make a decision. A few things I am thankful for in the meantime. Living in the same city as my sister and brother-in-law. Extra time with them has been a nice bonus. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Maybe a little fruity but I am pretty sure that might be my favorite drink period. Also one of the most "seasonal" drinks. Right up there with Egg Nogg. Fall... Great weather. Potential adventures. (I'm planning to go camping up at Lake Superior this weekend!!) Fantasy football. Lots of fun and one of the things me and my brother-in-law spend tons of time talking about. New Running Shoes. I'm trying to use some of my extra time to get into running. Such an incredible sport of discipline and patience. It has been difficult but I believe the rewards of becoming a "runner" are well worth it. Flannel shirts.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
“Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.” Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers Being unemployed for nearly 4 months, that sounds like a long time, has given me opportunity to think about the value of work. Since I haven't had any, HA! Recently I have been helping my parents with some projects around the house. Which have included painting. Honestly I was not very excited about the prospect of helping out with these projects when I was first informed. But since I have been helping out it has be interesting to notice the impact that taking part in some meaningful work can affect my outlook on life or mood. I enjoy doing work that has a high connection between effort and reward like mowing. When you finish mowing you are able to clearly see the product of your labor. Painting also has a very high connection between effort and reward which has been very nice for me since I feel a need to do productive things each day. When job hunting I feel like I spend so much time and effort without a clear reward. I can spend an entire week searching for positions and applying online without ever getting contacted for a single position. I believe that is a major part of what makes the job search such a difficult thing. I also believe the connection between effort and reward was one of the things that made my second internship so difficult. There seemed to be a low connection between effort and reward. Which I think is what made it difficult to stay focused, that and the fact that I was constantly trying to figure out what was next in terms of my future job and city. Last night I was sitting out on my parent's back porch sharing a few beers and consequently thoughts with one of my best friends, I believe he is in fact my longest friend (since I have known him as long as I can remember), Matt Stephenson. He was detailing how challenging his work was because of weight of going into the office and sitting at a computer from eight to five everyday. I can say that I still remember the exact challenge he was speaking of. We tried to figure out if there is a better alternative or if were we just romanticizing something different. Is there connection between effort and reward predetermined by the work that we do or can we work to discover or expose the connection in a more obvious way? Should the work we are looking for have more to do with the quote at the begging of this post or the relation it has to our financial well being? Maybe it is both.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4 I heard this song this last week and within 30 seconds of it playing on pandora I went over to see who it was because I knew I really liked it. I love when you are listening to a song for the first time and you just know that you really like it. My one complaint with this song is that it is about a minute short. They really needed to add a few more lines to make it a longer song. Anyways, enjoy!