Life Updates

It Really Is All About Who You Know

It’s almost embarrassing that it’s been over a year since my last blog post. Mainly, because I don’t feel like I’ve had anything to update on and also, because COVID19 has done a pretty good job of preventing me from taking my “new year new place” trip. It is a distant thought about a little weekend getaway somewhere up here in the New England region to still count as my somewhere new without going too far. I’m thinking Rhode Island maybe, but nothing is official yet.

On the other hand, I’m creeping up to my two year anniversary of moving up to Connecticut! It’s still crazy to me that it’s been only two years, because on one hand it feels so much shorter than that, and on another hand it feels so much longer. I’ve been at the car wash since moving up here – both killing it in sales and dealing with the ‘Karen’s’ of the state, although sometimes it feels like the world. It’s been a crazy two years there, with so many changes and experiences in between, but I’m so excited to say my time has finally come to part ways!! Never did I think I was going to still be working at the car wash two years later, considering my “plan” was to leave after about a year assuming I was settled and doing okay up here on my own. However, if there’s anything you’ve learned from my blog posts in the past, it’s that literally nothing in my life ever goes as planned.

After about a year of working at the car wash, I decided I was stable and doing okay, and wanted to start looking for other jobs to finally get into my career as a Human Resources Professional. I was putting out applications every day, answering questionnaires, doing phone screenings, and heading in for in person interviews. I had my resume with a few recruiters who were actively calling and emailing me any and all new opportunities we thought I’d be interested in, and I was consistently getting interviews left and right with their companies. When I tell you I’ve had at least 100 interviews in the last year and a half, I am not exaggerating. Never in my life have I been on so many interviews, felt so good about them, and still ended with a rejection.

I believe myself to have a pretty good judge of character and can feel out a situation pretty well, and every interview I was going on felt the same. I would have a couple phone interviews, then they would have me come in for an in-person. I would go in for at least two in-persons, sometimes up to four, and when ending each interview each time I always asked if there was any questions about my experience, ability to perform the job I was interviewing for, or any holdbacks they might have – I was always told no. I would ask when I could expect an answer from them, which was usually in a few days, and they would come back with some sort of reason to why they’re not giving it to me. Primarily my experience was the issue; at least that’s what I was being told. It is so frustrating to have spent so much time and money in college, getting two degrees with the idea it makes you “more valuable”, doing not one but two internships to get “experience” while still working full time in school, and taking on as many additional responsibilities and roles in any current positions I was working in to try and get any extra experience I could without having the “official title” all to get told at the end of the day it still isn’t enough. Left and right I saw people I knew and/or graduated with in their fields working regular professional jobs. It didn’t seem like anyone was struggling as much as I was. Coworkers at the car wash who weren’t even actively looking for jobs were leaving because they got better jobs, without even trying, while I was spending all of my extra time trying so hard to leave.

You might be thinking, “Well you must have done something to not get the job, because after 3-4 interviews, you’re usually good to go”. You are not the first person who would think this, as I’m sure so many people have, so let me give you an example.

My recruiter reached out to me about an HR Assistant job at a company, and I started with a phone interview. Things went well, and they called me in for an in-person. I interviewed with the same lady I spoke with on the phone, things went very well, she told me I would receive next steps within the next day, and I was called back for a second interview. A second interview turned into a third which turned into a fourth. I ended up interviewing with the entire department, everyone I would be working with if given the job. They all expressed the same thing to me – we are being overloaded with work, because we don’t have another person, and it’s too much for us to add on to our daily duties. None of them had any questions about my experience, all of them shared they thought I would be a perfect fit for their team, and I felt so confident this would be my big break. I asked my recruiter for their personal emails (normally my contact is via the recruiter and not with the company) so that way I could send personalized follow-up emails to everyone who took the time to meet and speak with me. She felt confident I would be getting an answer fairly soon and told me to sit tight. I was out one day getting tires for my car when I received the call. My recruiter told me she had good news and bad news. The good news – they called her while she was on her way to lunch saying they wanted to offer me the job. The bad news – when she came back from lunch about 25 minutes later, before she had called to tell me the good news *luckily*, they called again to let her know they actually weren’t going to fill the position at all anymore. Yeah, you read that right. From an offer letter to a vacant, no longer existing position in less than 30 minutes. Apparently, the head of the department said they didn’t need to bring on another person and could divide the work among everyone currently there – something I was told in my interviews wouldn’t work, because it was too much. Why they wouldn’t have discussed that prior to completely wasting my time is beyond me. But yeah, it is possible to make it many interviews in and feel like you “have it in the bag” just to be close enough to smell it and still not get it.

Long story short (although, not really lol) – after that I stopped putting out applications for a little while. I was completely discouraged. I had gotten so close, tried so hard, and for what? To constantly get told I wasn’t good enough? That all my hard work over the last five years was for nothing? So I continued at the car wash just trying to boost my sales and bank as much money as I could to make it seem worth it to me; and don’t get me wrong, it was. I was told I was going to get promoted to a supervisor role and get to be in charge of the membership and customer side of things, something I was pretty much doing anyways for free, but would finally get paid for that position. The offer seemed pretty solid, I would get more experience, have an actual “management” role to put onto my resume, and would probably get a pay increase as well. All I had to do was wait for the office to get their letter written and it’d be a done deal. Except it wasn’t. It was brought up to me constantly for a few days, and then literally never again.

Eventually I started putting in more applications, and I was still going on interviews. I had one for another company as an HR Assistant. I had a phone interview followed by two in-person interviews. The lady I interviewed with the second time around would be my direct coworker and was explaining to me how this position had been open for the last year, and she was drowning in work. She seemed so excited to finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and she started explaining my day to day duties. Then the pandemic hit. Their location ended up closing down for a little with the shutdowns up here in Connecticut, and my recruiter said they told her since they didn’t know what was going to happen, they wouldn’t be able to fill the position just yet. Understandable. When things started opening back up, I personally sent an email to the HR Director I had originally interviewed with letting him know I was still very much interested, would love to set up a time to catch up about the position and how it might look in our “new normal”, and wouldn’t mind even having to wait a couple of months to start working as long as I knew I would be. I wish I could say I was surprised when I never received an email back, but I wasn’t.

I’m thankful to have had a job during this COVID crisis when so many people did/do not. I’m glad to have still been getting paid when so many people were/are not. The rules and regulations have been crazy. The people who have been stuck in their homes and finally venture out and seem to have no idea of what’s going on in the world currently are crazy. Businesses are changing. They’re making cuts now that they see they can because they’re not necessary to have, I get it. They’re making changes and shifts based on their perception, unfortunately without thinking of those the changes actually impact. Due to some changes like these happening in my work environment, and many other factors in between, I decided I needed to find something new. I started being significantly more proactive in my job search. I spent literally 90% of my free time searching for jobs and filling out applications again. I reached out to the few people I knew up here in CT to see if they were hiring or knew of anyone who was – including my uncle. A simple text of, “I know this might be a little bit of a long shot, but do you have any connections to offices in my area looking for administrative assistants?”

I guess it really is all about who you know. No more than five days later, he reached back out to me saying he knew someone who’s looking for some help in his new job. No more than five days after that, I got a phone call. Day after day, I was moving forward in the process. I had three phone interviews (if you want to call them that) before being invited in for an in-person – all within a week of that original phone call. My in-person interview was the most promising one I think I’ve ever had, but I tried really hard not to get my hopes up so I wouldn’t be crushed if my past year and a half was continuing into my present. Less than 20 days after that initial text to my uncle, I got the job. All this time I spent applying, answering, interviewing, and spending so much time trying to get a new job for over a year for it to really be this easy now that I knew someone who knew someone, and it finally happened. I wish I could say I wasn’t frustrated at that fact, but I’m only human.

I accepted the job offer, obviously, and went into work with my notice. While it felt so good to be giving my notice, knowing I’m officially moving on to bigger and better things, will be working in a professional setting, and will finally have a normal “adult” working life, it is still bittersweet to be leaving. Despite all of the nonsense, stress, and issues I’ve had over the last two years there, the job at the car wash was everything I needed at the exact time I needed it, and I can never forget that.

I got that job on day one of a three day trip to Connecticut.

I found an apartment on day two of my three day trip.

I made it official on day three of my trip that I would be relocating up to Connecticut one month later to see what this new chapter of my life had in store.

That’s pretty badass if you ask me. 

I was able to afford living completely on my own for the first time. I was able to completely pay off one of my student loans from school. I was able to move apartments to a completely different area with a higher rent and still afford it without stressing. I got myself completely out of credit card debt. I make monthly payments greater than the required amount to try and tackle my existing debt even faster. I was able to replenish my savings plus some after using most of it to relocate. I’ve made relationships with members at our car wash that will probably continue even after I’m gone. I’ve made great friendships with my coworkers that I will never forget (probably because they’re my only friends LOL 😉 I even met the love of my life.

There are so many things that this job at the car wash has given me that I can’t put into any more words, but I will forever be grateful for. It’s been a fun, challenging, trying, and learning two years, and while I’m still a little sad to be leaving my coworkers and not working with Noe everyday anymore, I am so excited to see how I grow professionally from here. Yet another chapter in my life has closed while another is opening. My last day at the car wash is approaching, and I’ll be starting my new job on August 11!

For those of you who have continued reading this far, thank you.

For those of you who have supported me since my move up to Connecticut, thank you.

For those of you who have listened to me complain over the last year and a half on why people won’t hire you without experience, but you can’t get experience if no one hires you, hopefully I won’t have to make that argument anymore!

For my coworkers who may or may not be reading this, thank you for being the reason I do love coming to work.

For Sean for being the “person I know” who was able to even make this happen, thank you a trillion.

For everyone who has stuck by me no matter how hard it’s been, supported me when I needed it, told me I am deserving of something so much better when I question if I am, and contributed more than I could ever say, thank you.

And finally, for Mi Amor, thank you for supporting me always. For telling me you aren’t sad we won’t be working together anymore, even though I am, because you’re so happy I’ll be getting more experience to help me grow professionally. For believing in me and giving me your energy 110% of the time. For being so excited and giving me the satisfaction of seeing your face when I told you I got the job (kicking myself BIG TIME for not screen recording it). For loving me always and making sure I know it, muchas gracias.

Stay tuned to see what happens next in my life! Hopefully I can make a little weekend trip happen for my ‘new year new place’, but if I can’t, hopefully it won’t be another year before I write again 😉

Much love always ❤

 

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