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Relocating & Job Searching

This is a venting post. Job searching is the worst. After months of applying for jobs in Portland, Oregon and getting nothing (or an automated rejection email) back, I finally took a leap last month and relocated with no job waiting for my arrival. With nothing but my clothes, computer, and cats, I hopped in my car, drove the six hours to Portland and began my indefinite couch-crashing at a friend’s house. This, I still maintain, was a good decision – my heart and happiness are in the PDX! But yesterday was the 1 month mark, and I have only one phone interview and one in-person interview to my name, and still no gainful employment to show for it.

They, and by that I mean everyone and their sister, say that networking gets you a job. But you cannot network for a job that you are already applying for, because that can be unethical for whomever you network with at the company. Okay, so instead you anticipate future jobs that you should network for – this does not do much for current job searching, and always feels so contrived to me. I of course see the benefit in networking – these become informational resources and potentially future advocates. I get it, but I hate it. I need networking to be more organic; I do not like to feel like I am using someone else for personal gains. But networking, they say, is how you get a job.

Perhaps it is my chosen field(s): Marketing & Communications. Fairly broad and incredibly competitive. With a degree in English Literature and a minor in Photography, along with a year and a half experience in a Marketing position, I thought that I would have found a great job in my field after a few months. And I have found great jobs to apply for, jobs that I would be excited to go to every morning – the problem is that I have not been hired for these great jobs. I’ve consulted Career Centers, friends, professors, professional contacts and applied all of their advice to my search. I pound the job boards and the social networking sites and write cover letters conveying all that I can convey. The questions and doubts about my abilities and qualifications have begun to surface; will I ever be employed? Do I not look good on paper? What am I doing wrong, and how in the world do I fix it?

I need a win, people.

Until that win, I will continue to cultivate job searching optimism from next to nothing and coffee. And cats. Always my cats.

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Xena & Duke en route to Portland

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Daily Prompt: Six Word Story

Six Word Story

Following heart’s home or staying hometown.

Typical story: girl grows up in small town, can’t wait to leave, goes to college in big city, graduates broke, moves home, gets good job…etc.

This is where my grandparents live, my oldest friend lives, where I have a good job and a good life , yet –

I dream of moving back to the city. My heart aches sometimes because I miss it so much – and I have family there too! My brother and sister-in-law, and a beautiful, perfect new nephew. And friends too…it makes sense.

But still, torn. That nagging thought that my grandparents won’t be here forever is my biggest hang-up. Leaving a good job is also a barrier. I understand that I have to live my own life, follow my heart, seize the day, find my dream job and all of those other inspirational quotes, and I believe (hope!) that I eventually will.

Thinking about leaving makes me feel sad, but the idea of staying makes me ache.

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Transported: Dead Men Tell No Tales…But Scent Certainly Does

Ironically, it looks like my first post will deal with neither cats nor kale. I didn’t know about the “daily prompt” when I signed up, and I’m excited to be prompted daily to write (and write some more!).

Scent does transport – straight to nostalgia in many cases. Of course the smell of pumpkin pie reminds me of Thanksgivings in my grandma’s kitchen, and the smell of cut grass reminds me of summer vacations and “carefree times,” but one scent that truly lingers, and certainly transports, is the aroma of Pirates of the Caribbean.

No, not actual pirates, not movie theater popcorn at the midnight premiere(s) for the blockbusters, and not the glossy magazine cutout that I used to have of Johnny Depp all Jack Sparrowed up. The smell that transports me is the musty, underground, humid, low-grade explosives aroma from the Disneyland ride itself; this smell is truly recognizable and I have found it in the strangest places!

My freshman year of college I ate all of my meals at our University Center, and consequently spent much of my time in the building. One staircase on the right-hand side of the kitchen went from the common area down into the mail room. My first time walking down this staircase I was so struck by the POTC scent that I listened to the theme song for days following. Thinking it through, the placement makes sense: near a kitchen (POTC has the Blue Bayou Restaurant in the same building), heading downstairs/underground, an older building to provide the faint “must.” What always troubled me was the humidity factor and the explosive powder component – hopefully my mind only needed three components to translate.

I notice that my POTC aroma instantly makes me want to go to Disneyland. As a kid, this was where my family vacationed, so nostalgia is a huge factor. That ride is great, and our vacations were easily the best times (family-wise) in my childhood. And now, after writing this post, I only want to eat a Monte Cristo at the Bayou and watch the dog dangle the keys just out of the pirates’ reach…

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