Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The "Real World" Starts Monday

I've been going back and forth about writing this blog entry. I didn't see myself in this position so soon. For the past month and half I've been trying to convince under-qualified recruiters that I'd be the perfect fit for their organization (side note: not all recruiters are under-qualified, I've just received too many emails from hr departments with misspelled words, poor grammar and even calling me by the wrong name that I'm a little bitter!).  Trying to explain that I had the skill set necessary to be successful and to grow with their company was far from easy. At one point when I was asked where I saw myself in five years I was tempted to say, "In the exact same position, applying for jobs that I'm over qualified for." Of course I bit my tongue on that one, but it is so easy to get bogged down by all of these emails that read along the lines of: We've moved forward with another candidate. Best of luck in your job search. But, you've got to keep pushing. And like everyone says, eventually, something great will come your way.

And it did. On one of my late night job hunts I came across a brand new posting on Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) job listing. It was for an "Internal Sales Assistant" with Windy City Limousine and I thought to myself, I could do this! The job description wasn't exactly screaming event planning, but it was right up my alley in the hospitality field.  Plus, not to mention I've always loved being on the vendor side of things (shout out to Kramer Events). I applied and the next morning I saw that someone from Windy City Limousines had checked out my Linkedin! I received an email 30 minutes later scheduling my interview!

Fast forward and now I'm starting my career on monday! I couldn't be more excited to be starting my next adventure with Windy City Limousine.  Check them out, they're pretty great! Not to mention- we're not limited to only Chicago, we do global transportation too!

I kept getting stuck trying to come up with a title for this blog post. During college we always joked about what the real world was going to be like.  At our Senior Predictions with Alpha Chi Omega, my best friend Purser predicted I'd moved to Chicago (check), land a full time job with Red Frog Events (not check), meet a hot yopro (Young Professional: suit wearer on the weekdays, Sperry Top-Siders on the weekends) and settle down (hahah! yeah right!).  I haven't exactly lived up to that prediction yet. Along with so many other recent grads, I fell into the movement of Post Grad Problems. The life after college.  Going from the mega high of having an incredible position, to barely being able to switch from my pj pants to my yoga pants and opening a new rejection email each day.  But, in all honesty, these last few weeks have been as real as it gets. My little unemployment phase has helped me become a stronger person, an avid reader, a news follower and most importantly more appreciative for the things I do have than ever before.  So although the career world starts monday, the real world has already begun!

Thanks again to all of those who have continued to show their love and support. I couldn't have done it without you! Especially you, Zach- as harsh as you were at times, I needed someone as real as you help me kick it into gear!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Water Pipe

This all began about two weeks ago. After he hit the snooze button about 6 times my roommate Cody sleepily stumbled into the bathroom to take a shower.  To his surprise when he went to turn on the shower nothing happened.  He called to me to come check it out (like I knew how to fix it?!).  We put our heads together to come up with what could be causing this and decided we should check the other faucets around the apartment and with the girls that live above us.  Cody had an interview that day and needed to shower so he headed to his girlfriend's place leaving the water sitch up to me.

I contemplated calling our landlord but figured I'd put it off until I finished one more job application. And then I started another and sort of forgot about the little situation we were having when there was a knock at the door.  It was a man with the silliest hat on his head.  He let himself into the apartment and started rambling on and on.  I looked at him in shock.  I'd never met this man and he was trudging through my apartment with snow still on his boots!  He made it into the living room, turned back to me still standing at the front door and said, "Oh by the way, I'm Emmett the property owner." I let him look around and call his plumber friends.  He discovered a frozen pipe that had burst on the back side of the apartment.  I knew immediately we'd be seeing a lot of this guy over the next week. And despite the labor and construction costs he was about to endure, I couldn't help but think he was making plenty of money off our rent, why the hell is he wearing a child-sized Spiderman beanie?!

As the week progressed we did see plenty of Emmett.   He worked side by side with a construction crew and a plumber to get things fixed.  He listened in on a few of my phone interviews and gave a some words of encouragement here and there.  He asked Cody and I what the heck Linkedin was and why he should have one.  It was kind of fun having this guy around.

Speaking of Linkedin, our friend Amy was over having Cody take head shots so she could update her profile.  We like to refer to Amy as the most interesting woman in the world.  You name it, she's probably done it.  She isn't afraid to give something new a try or strike up a conversation with anyone.  Naturally, she was intrigued by Emmett's Spiderman beanie and asked him if there was a story behind it.

Emmett told us a quick story of how he was running late to court one day (he's an attorney) and he couldn't find his hat.  Desperately trying to get out of the house, he grabbed his son's Spiderman beanie.  When he arrived at court all the other attorneys made fun of him and joked about his lack of professionalism. It's been seven winters since that day Emmett was running late.  He wears the beanie as a reminder not to take himself too seriously and that there are things in life that are more important then what you wear on your head to keep warm.

For a bunch of fUnEmployed folks that was the best thing we could hear.  He wasn't trying to tell us we'd find jobs, or that we're better than the other applicants.  What he was telling us is that life is too short to take yourself too seriously and that you can still have fun and enjoy life no matter what it is you're doing or wearing.

Prior to knowing the meaning behind the beanie, I contemplated including a new one along with our February rent check. I'm so grateful that Amy asked that simple question and prevented me from the embarrassment.  I've always been a believer that everything happens for a reason.  But the water pipe fiasco couldn't have come at a better time to learn a life lesson from our friend Emmett.

    Yes, I took a sneaky picture of Emmett's Spiderman Beanie :) 

Have a wonderful day friends, and remember don't take yourself too seriously!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pep Talk

Last weekend I had the opportunity to play tourist in my own town.  It was incredible. Well, it was mostly incredible because of the people I was spending the weekend with. My mom, dad, brother Zach, sister-in-law Darcie and my niece Clara all came into Chicago for a little get away.  Although the weather wasn't perfect, we still made the best of the weekend and were able to enjoy all aspects of the city.  Quick shout out to my parents for braving the cold- loved seeing you guys more than you know!

On to the real stuff.  As many of you know, I'm in the job market in Chicago.  Or as I like to call it, I'm currently fUnEmployed. Some may ask: what exactly does that entail?  Let me give you a quick run down of a typical day.

  8am: Walk to 7-11 across the street for a deliciously inexpensive cup of coffee (with the roommates)
  9am: Google the sh*t out of companies I am interested in
11am: Tweet something funny about job searching & check Linkedin
12pm: Write a few cover letters, send some resumes
  2pm: Do the insanity workout (with the roommates)
  3pm: Send some resumes
  6pm: Zumba
  8pm: Bed

Okay so that might be a bit exaggerated- I'm not usually in bed by 8 and I eat sometimes too.  You get the gist.  Most of my friends in Chicago are in the same boat. Occasionally we get together to play football or roam the streets- but for the most part we're full speed ahead at landing our next gig.  Although we're trying to make of fUnEmployment, this cycle is beginning to get a bit tedious and repetitive.  Yesterday a friend shared this video with me... Today this video is going viral.  Check it out. We could all use a little pep talk!

"The world needs you to stop being boring... Yeah, You!"


PS. This kids got my vote

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

a dose of self discovery

I've never been big on self discovery, meditation, "alone time" or yoga. I'm just not good at it.   However, the past few days have allowed for a lot of time inside my own head.  Shockingly, I'm not mad about it.  After cleaning my room, not just shoving my clothes in the bins under my bed, I felt, for lack of a better word, calm.  When I moved to Chicago everything happened so quickly.  I didn't take the time to hang my photos of the wall or make my bed everyday like I'd done for majority of my life (my mom said it was good luck- maybe that's why I didn't get the job...). Having the time to do these little daily chores and tasks has done wonders.  I believe I slept better last night because I could stretch out on my entire twin bed and not have to be nestled between clean clothes and winter coats.  Everything was back in the right place, my mind included. In a sense it was dose of self discovery to have a clean room.

I've been reminding myself lately about the things that I continuously put off or avoid; but that I am never mad about doing after they're done.  So far my list includes cleaning my room, working out, cooking a legitimate meal- not a frozen pizza, painting my nails, writing a hand written note, actually engaging in a real conversation, unplugging (no cell phone, computer etc.) for an hour a day, reading a book and 95% I'm not mad after I strike up a conversation with a stranger.  Surprisingly, after I complete these things I've realized I actually enjoy them and that is important to incorporate them into my daily life.  Sure, that is easy now that I am fUnEmployed.  But I am going to make it a priority that with my next job I remember how important these things are for my own sanity.

I rarely ask things of others. It isn't exactly in my nature.  But I'm going to make an exception today. I'd like to ask each of you to contribute to the list. It is so easy to get caught up in work, family, social media, celebrity gossip and life itself that we don't take the time to do the things we love.  So please, comment on this post with the things that YOU put off doing but are never mad about once the task is complete.  I can't wait to hear about what you enjoy!

And while you're at it engaging in social media when you should be working- take a look at this video and share it with your friends because it is an important lesson for all of us.


Monday, January 14, 2013


The past five months have been a roller coaster. The kind that looks terrifying.  The kind that your stomach twists and turns while you wait in the turnstile. The kind that once you go over your first loop you can't wipe the stupid smile off your face.  The kind that leaves you wanting more. The kind that gives you the confidence to take on the bigger coaster. I left Red Frog on Friday afternoon wanting more.

I had put my blood, sweat and tears into everything a Red Frog and got more out of the experience than I could have even hoped.  However, it looks like this time I didn't quite make the height requirement to take on the next coaster.  This isn't the first time this has happened in my life.   If you haven't heard by now, I did not get offered a full time position.   The initial blow was tough to swallow. People always say that when you work hard, good things will happen, or good things happen to good people, or even better my favorite quote, "The best way to predict your future is to create it."  I spend Saturday wallowing in self-doubt and emotionally eating everything insight.  The list was actually pretty impressive.  I started with an omelette with a side of toast and hash browns, ate a slice of ice cream cake AND a slice of chocolate cake left over from Jake's birthday party, about 10 pigs in a blanket and 5/8 of a Domino's pizza. No I am not proud of this self indulging feast, but I think it adds to the story. And yes, Mom, I did puke at the end of the night- overindulging has never sat well with me (I am not bulimic, I do not need medical attention, haha). It took a while to fall asleep on Saturday night, but when I woke up on Sunday I felt refreshed.  I was back. Took a shower, whipped up some egg whites and turkey bacon and felt like a million bucks.  So what if I was unemployed, so is half of America.  I decided right then and there that I was going to make the best of the situation and pull the positives out of my experience. After all, I wasn't raised to give up.

The next few weeks might be a little different, but I sure as hell am going to make them fun. For example, today I'm going to be a hair model and get a blow out at a fancy salon! Wednesday night I'm going on a date?! Apparently being unemployed isn't as unattractive as it sounds. Thursday I'm having drinks with lady I met while shopping for my Halloween shoes (She works at Red Bull- making that net, work!) And the most fun thing of all is that my mom, dad, Zach, Darc & Clara Mae are coming to visit this weekend!

So remember friends, All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
          -Walt Disney

Thanks for your overwhelming love and support.  Remember to enjoy the things you have, take the time to stop and smell the roses and most importantly do what you love.  I'm thinking that at my next job I will rock some heels to make that height requirement!