Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Update: What a bad blogger I’ve been

So, it has been a couple weeks since my last post.  Sorry!  I need to be a better blogger.  Lots of updates to be had.  Let’s see…the inspection on the house went well.  They only found a few minor defects and the sellers agreed to fix them all.  Score!

On the job front, still no progress.  I must have applied to close to 30 jobs now, but still no offers.  I think there are a few things working against me at this point.  One, my address is in a different state than all the jobs I’m applying to.  That can’t help.  Two, I appear more than overqualified for the majority of the jobs I’ve sent applications in for.  Who wants to spend the time to interview an attorney when they think they can’t offer the salary I would want?  News flash: I don’t make squat now! And if I can’t find a job, then I won’t be making anything.  This is all just very frustrating.  And three, I won’t be moving to Madison for another month and a half at the earliest.  Who wants to hire me that far out?  Most people are looking for employees to start right away, not in two months.

And of course the whole job front brings me to my current position.  We interviewed several people for my job and ended up picking the girl.  I could have told them that if they interviewed three guys and one girl, the girl is likely going to be the one that is most like me.  She is super sweet and nice and I think she will do well in this position.  But it has me thinking again…did I just make the worst mistake of my life?  Did I just give up this great position to someone else?

No.  I can’t let myself think that way.  Without quitting this job I would never know and always wonder.  I would always wonder if I could get a job at a library.  I would always wonder if I could get that dreamy non-profit position.  I would think I made a mistake either way.  The only way out of this predicament is finding a job.  Easier said than done.

So my fall back plan right now is to work on my freelance writing until I get an offer.  Or, keep freelancing while working part-time.  I like writing.  It is a passion of mine.  Freelance writing for content mill sites just helps me hone my craft.  And it is fun to learn about all these different things.  Dh doesn’t like me talking about freelancing for a living.  Likely because I am not making much right now.  But $25 a day is still good when I am working a full day and have only been doing it for a week.  I will get better.  I will get faster.  I will get accepted to sites that pay more. 

I think in the back of my mind I would really love a career as a freelance writer.  If I could just get a few private clients I could really make something of myself.  Maybe down the road this can be a reality.  But for now I will just keep applying to jobs.  Ugh.  Why won’t someone hire me?

Friday, April 8, 2011

My job and why I didn’t keep it

The current company I work for is great.  And by great I mean amazing.  The people are supportive, nice, and really like an extended family.  We watch movies on the occasional Friday, eat pizza, and cheer on the local sports teams.  There may be squabbles from time to time, but it reminds me more of an argument between siblings than anything else.

And I’m good at what I do.  After just almost two years of working here, they really trust my judgment.  I basically run an entire department by myself, just asking for help and opinions when I have questions.  They are looking for a replacement that is just like me, even wanting me to sit in on the interviews and give my opinions of each candidate.

So with all that praise, it may come as a surprise when I say that they offered to let me work remotely from Madison…and I didn’t take it.  I didn’t take it for a number of reasons, even though everyone I am in anyway related to is disappointed in me for not just going ahead with this job.

First, I need a change.  I never in my life planned to work in this industry.  I didn’t even know what it was when I interviewed for my current position.  And I work the claims side, which is hard.  I get emotional when I shouldn’t be.  I feel the consumer’s pain when I must deny their claim or give them less than they expected.  I really just need to do something where I feel like I’m contributing to society.  Something I believe in and can be proud to say, I did this…  Not I helped Bank of America foreclose on twenty people today and then denied a claim of an owner because he didn’t know to ask for a certain type of coverage when he purchased his property.  I originally set out after law school to find a job that contributed to society, but the economy was not my friend, so I took the first job offer I was given.

It isn’t only the actually work that is convincing me to leave, although that is the main factor.  There is also the fact that I am an introvert.  After I know people for a period of time I will open up and start to relax, but at first, I’m just no good.  I don’t like going to parties, or even going out on a weeknight much to my husband’s dismay.  I enjoy reading books and working on sewing projects.  And I suck at making friends.  Moving to a new city where I know absolutely no one is going to be hard in itself.  But moving there and working from home would be a disaster.  I would just make excuse after excuse as to why I don’t need to go out of the house and sooner or later I would become a hermit.  No, I need a job outside the house.  One where I can talk to people every day, even if it is only to say “hello.”  Basically, I need human interaction.

Even though my parents, husband, in-laws, everyone I talk with, may think I’m crazy for quitting this “cush” job where I could work from home in my pjs, I have my reasons.  They may not be the best

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Whole New Worry: Moving

So over the weekend we started to think about the logistics of moving.  What we will bring with us, when we will move, how will we move…Then we came to the conclusion that there are a lot of different factors to consider.  Like, do we really need our dining room table if Dh’s parents are going to give us their old one?  And will our couch and love seat actually fit in the new place?  And is our stuff even valuable enough to take with us. ..that is where we hit our first bump in the road.

See, we have some decent furniture; it is just not the best stuff.  But it will work.  And we don’t have tons of disposable income to purchase brand new couches, so these will have to work.  Then we came to the question of how to move.  Get a Uhaul truck and load the stuff ourselves?  Hire a moving company?  Are you sure we can really lift these couches?

Now, throw in the fact that Dh has orientation starting two weeks before closing.  So, theoretically, he will be working when we are having our furniture moved in and thus not be around to help lift these silly couches that aren’t worth the cost of a moving company.  There is our dilemma.

But after many quick internet quotes, many disappointments that some companies do not service our current location, and a few references to the Medical Spouses book, we came up with a solution that just may work.  Get a moving company that has the option of loading and unloading, with storage available, but where we can pack our own belongings to save a little bit of cash.  For now, that is the best option.  That is really the only option.  But we are still three months out from actually closing and many things can happen between now and then.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Manic Job Search

In the two weeks we have known that we will be moving to Madison, I have applied to 15 jobs and counting.  I applied to every available position at local Libraries, at a major company, and with the government.  Some positions I am grossly overqualified for.  Some I am under qualified for.  And a few I want more than others.

So now all I have left to do is wait.  Wait for more jobs to be posted.  Wait to hear back from the 15 I applied to.  Wait.

What doesn’t help is that my current job has no counterpart in Madison.  I will be starting over in a totally new career.  My legal license doesn’t even transfer and I would need to retake the bar exam in Wisconsin if I wanted to practice law.  I don’t really want to practice law, but if I could, that would just be more jobs to apply to.

And really, all I need is a low paying part-time job to bring in extra money.  Just a couple hundred dollars a month would really make our budget shine.  Did I mention we have a budget that we scrutinize every single day?  If we stick to our plan we can afford to live in Madison and not go into debt.  We just need to stick with it.  And me getting a job would make a huge difference.

I think once I find a position things will really start to calm down.  The worry will ease.  We can afford to live in the house we want, even though we never thought we could.  We can afford to go out to dinner once a week and occasionally buy organic groceries.  We can live the life we are currently living, just in Madison.

So it hasn’t even been one week since we had our contract accepted on the house, but we are finally starting to see the reality of the situation.  I know things will work out.  Trust in the Universe and everything will be okay.  I will find a job, we will get a loan, we will move into this perfect house in June.  Everything will be okay. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beginning the Process - House Hunting

So I took the day after Match Day off from work with one purpose in mind - find a realtor.  Luckily the pediatric program had already recommended two.  I went with the one that had a website I liked.  And a team of realtors to find me my perfect house.  Check that off the list.

And then I had to find a bank that would be willing to give us a mortgage on a house with a high load of student debt and no pay stubs for Dh until we would already be moved in.  Check that one off the list too.  The realtor’s had a couple suggestions.  I went with the local bank with the better financials. 

Next step, book plane tickets to look at houses.  It just so happens that my father had some free tickets and was willing to come with me to Madison.  Dh was working 6 days a week and couldn’t come with me to look at the house that we were going to buy. 

So one week and one day after Match Day, my father and I headed up to Madison.  We spent all that Saturday looking at houses. Houses within 2 miles of the hopsital so Dh can bike or walk to work each day.  There were more duds on the list than we thought there would be.  We narrowed it down to two.  Then one.

We decided to look at “The One” the next day just to make sure.  But when the realtor called to ask to see the house again, we learned that there was already an offer on it.  But…he hadn’t accepted the offer yet.  So, that next day we headed over to the house, decided we would make a strong offer and after some emailing and faxing to get the offer signed by Dh, we sat back and waited.

Then the phone call came at eight o’clock that night.  We didn’t get the house.  The man who was selling his house without a realtor went with the lower offer because they were putting 68% down.  Who puts that much down on a house?

My father and I were left with half a day to look at houses again.  This time we decided to up our price range to get into a neighborhood we loved.  Five houses listed just a little above our price range…but they all had offers on them.  Still, our realtors got us into one that already had two offers. 

On the market for a week, no showings until that Saturday, and the house had two offers.  Still we went.  It was a great house.  Bigger than any we had looked at.  And out of our price range.  So why did we put an offer on it too?

Then the wait began again.  I didn’t know whether I would be excited to get the offer accepted or relieved if it wasn’t.  We were way above our price range.  We could still afford the house, it would just drain the savings that we had been putting away for years.

The phone call came as I was driving back home.  We got the house.  The house we couldn’t afford.  The house that already had two offers.  Did we just make the worst decision ever?

Now I need to find a job FAST.  Now we need to get approved for the loan, get the inspection, get through the next three years.  Dh is freaking out.  This is not the house we had imagined we would be living in.  It is too nice.  Too expensive.  We run the numbers in our budget daily.  If I get a job, even just for one year, we will be okay.  Our savings will be rejuvenated.  We can make it work.

But it is still scary.  And we are still freaking out.  And I still need to find a job now.

First Post - An Introduction

On March 17th 2011 I found out that I would be moving to Madison, Wisconsin.  Now, several individuals may realize right away the significance of the 3rd Thursday in March.  No, it isn’t that March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day.  To many people, March 17th is the dreaded and highly anticipated Match Day where medical students from around the country find out where they will be spending the next year, or three, or even five.

It just so happens that my lovely husband really wanted to do his pediatric residency at the children’s hospital in Madison.  And that is where he “matched” on that fateful Thursday.  So in a few short months we will be packing up our house and hopefully moving into a home of our own.

This transition has brought a lot of anticipated stress, as well as stress we didn’t plan on experiencing.  Once we learned where we were headed, it was up to me to find a house to buy so that we could have some place to live.  Now most people would likely think, if you are only going to be in a location for 3 years why are you buying a house?  Well…can you find me a landlord who will rent to someone with cats and dogs?  That is the issue.

And then there is the stress of finding a job, of applying for a mortgage with student loan debt and only my husband's contract for employment, of moving on to a bigger city and saying goodbye to the place we have lived for the past eight years.

I have decided to start this blog to document the process of moving and settling into a new city where I do not know anyone.  I hope to find a job, find a home, and find some friends along the way.