Thursday, August 27, 2009

Debt Update (or not)

I currently have enough cash to pay off my credit cards, however I still haven't found a job. Part of me really wishes I would have paid them off like ripping off a band-aid back when I was still employed. I haven't been charging much of anything. It's just really hard to let go of all that cash in the bank without even a slight promise of having anywhere near what I was making at my last position.

I've thought about stair-stepping them and paying one off each month/2-weeks. Same thing, just drawn out. Or maybe that would be torture.

Meanwhile, all the credit card companies are enjoying my interest payments. I need to just make the decision and go with it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can I just work?

I had another interview today. It was in my industry and I was a perfect fit for both the job and the company. I didn't get as nervous about this one and I feel it could not have gone better. I'm glad I'm getting used to these silly charades we have to endure in order to be hired. I just want a job. I literally felt like telling my interviewer that. "Can I just work? I need to work again." Really not into giving employers the desperate plea just yet. Maybe next week.

Unfortunately all the stress of my morning has led to a headache-ridden afternoon. Yum.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mental Blocks

I've been working on mental blocks, recently. Those pesky annoyances that I only have with myself. Invisible to others, they keep me from completing a task or taking a risk. No one can see them - why should I care?

How I look, how I act; everything I can nitpick, I do. My never-ending dialogue tells me I can't do something before anyone else informs me. Tells me I'm not good enough before I can even try anything. I have learned to turn down the voice inside of me and will work on completely quieting it in the future.

I've been reading See Jane Lead and ran into this gem of a story. I've given up on being judged by pigs.

No one can tell me who I am. Only I know what I have been and what I would like to become.
Only the future holds the truth about what I can achieve.

Putting my mind, heart and soul into anything will make it happen. I must believe to achieve. Failure is not an option.

Not having to answer to anyone is freeing. Liberating. Empowering.

I feel like I've just broken a mold I've been trapped in for too long.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Adventures in Frugal Cooking

I have a lot of mac and cheese in my possession. Don't ask why. It's a story too long to tell.

In trying to use this mac and cheese up, I started boiling some water and dropped the pasta in. I took out the milk, then went searching for my butter tub. I searched high and low and then realized I must have used the last of it during my last big cooking day [too long ago to remember - another thing I thought I'd do more of in my unemployment, become a domestic diva].

So I figured if I mixed this aging organic [bought around 9 months ago when I still had a job] salsa in, I wouldn't miss the butter. I thought of it like how some people put chopped tomatoes or even ketchup on their mac and cheese. I didn't just stop there, though. I went further, adding cumin, chili powder, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Perhaps a few too many of those. It was delightful sitting down with my milky, hold the butter, add the spice and salsa mac and cheese. It was delicious. Until a half hour later, when all of the spice hit my stomach. Now I can't even fathom looking at the rest of the batch left in the pot.

That will teach me to keep my spices in check and always check for butter before I drop any pasta...

Ms. Treated

U.S. News features a wonderful article today on the 5 Ways Companies Mistreat Job Seekers... and I do believe I have experienced each one of these at some point in my short career.

- Having no regard for the candidate's time:
This is such a tip-off of how the relationship will work with your future employer if you are hired. I had one employer ask me a few questions and then drone on and on and on about the firm, the position, the history, etc. I left thinking it went well [and it did because I was offered the job]... but I couldn't help but think it was due to the fact that I was a good listener. I really crave having to prove myself and negotiating for what I think is fair. I guess I left feeling good that the employer enjoyed my company but didn't really know that much about me. Or perhaps the employer had their mind made up even before I came in. Who knows? The employer ended up not knowing that much about me [or taking an interest in me] once I was hired and I still don't consider our work relationship to have been that close.

- Not sharing their timeline:
Frustrating to say the least, this is now one of my many questions at the end of a first interview. I imply that I am very eager to take the position and would like to know where we go from here. The absolute best interviewers will tell you without you having to ask. Again, a really great insight into how your future work relationship will work.

- Refusing to share their salary range, but asking you for yours:
This was the case with my last interview. Even though I researched, I still had no clue where they would land. They inquired as to my last annual salary, and I provided it. I'm really an open person. It's not that I dislike negotiation [it's growing on me]. It's that I don't like lying and the such.

- Misrepresenting the work:
This is by far the worst of all of these. Not only because it's lying [I hate lying!] but also because it's all smoke and mirrors and then you get sucked in and bitter. I've had this happen plenty of times. And while it occurs on the flipside, as well: with potential employees misrepresenting themselves to employers, the employers should know better than to play this game. In this relationship, I see them as the "adult".

- Not notifying candidates that they're no longer under consideration:
As frustrating as not knowing the company's timeline. How can you not send and email, a postcard, even a carrier pigeon? I know, I know, HR managers are busybusy people with busybusy offices and they don't have time. However, I took the time to come in and interview and learn about your firm and the available position. The very least you could do is leave me a message or let me know something.