The Diary of an Unhappy Nobody: Day 40

Today marks a grand anniversary for me. A year ago today I was able to go to work as an employee for Travelers for the first time. I have lots to say.

I’ve been incredibly open about my struggle to find employment in the months leading up to starting with Travelers. I quit my job at Half Price Books in July, 2016 because I felt like I was settling. Then spent months trying to get a job in law enforcement. Failed. Then spent several more months trying to get ANY job. Got some offers and REJECTED THEM. Why? Because I was holding out for the one I actually wanted. The one I’ve now had for a full year.

Travelers has allowed me to learn and do so much. I finally started investing in my future for the first time with my 401(k). I opened my first brokerage account. I’m giving more to charity than ever before. I’m traveling. I’m helping people every single day I go to work. I’m challenging myself. I was able to buy not one, but two new cars. I moved into my first apartment. I’m not worried about where my next paycheck is coming from. And maybe most important of all, I feel like I know a lot more about insurance than I previously did.

The list could go on forever. I’ve spent the last year of my life employed by a magnificent company. And the time is fast approaching for me to decide where I’m going next. Oh, what a difference a year makes.

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The (Un)Importance of Books

Oh boy.

I love books. I love reading. Y’all know this. But I’m realizing that they’re really taking a backseat. And I’m okay with that.

I just recently hit six months with my employer. I love this company and the opportunity I have. The people are great and the atmosphere could not be more conducive to growth.

I’m completely focused on my career. For the first time I’m really looking ahead. I’m not worried about where my paycheck is coming from. I’m not worried about having to look for work. I’m focused on what I can do to reach where I want to reach.

I know some would say I can still make time for reading. 45 hours a week in the office. An additional 2 hours a day commuting. Sleep. My off days are not back to back. Gym. Girlfriend. All of that leaves little time to sit back and read. And that’s okay. Also, moving in two months. So there’s that, as well.

A Fresh Start

I’ve been keeping a secret from all of you. But there’s a back story I want to tell first.

Y’all know I worked at Half Price Books. Y’all also know I quit that job in search of something better. Y’all know I haven’t been quite as successful in my job search as I’d have liked. But y’all don’t know I accepted an offer a month ago.

In December I interviewed with a highly respected and very well known company. It’s a company I firmly believe shares my values and encourages inclusiveness and diversity at every level of the company. People say a lot of things about millennials, of which most are patently false. But I know this is one that’s widely true. Young people want to work for a company that shares their values, and I’m no different.

I spent a Friday afternoon taking various tests for the position I applied for. Then interviewed the following Friday. After months of interviews with different companies and law enforcement agencies, this interview was the longest and most conversational. I didn’t feel like I was being interrogated.

They said I’d get a response after about three weeks once all interviews were completed. I got the answer I was hoping for. My first day is today.

I know no two experiences are identical. And I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’m fortunate to have found a position within such a great company. But so often I see people essentially giving up. Sometimes they’ll blame the economy or they’ll blame politicians or they’ll blame themselves. I could have done ALL of those. I believe in December the unemployment rate among college graduates was less than 3%. Underemployment was slightly higher, but I wasn’t underemployed. I was unemployed. I could have lashed out. I could have let the months of not knowing really get to me.

But I didn’t. I kept applying. I kept reviewing my resumé to make sure it was polished. I kept interviewing with companies from all kinds of industries. But most importantly I kept believing in myself. And that’s what I’d tell someone in a similar position. Believe in yourself. Be confident. Be open-minded. Be true to you.

Today I start what I hope will be a long journey with a company I’m proud to work for. And not everyone gets such an opportunity.

I’ve had plenty of encouragement from a number of people on here when I’ve written about my job search. It is ALWAYS appreciated.

Also, I’ve posted every day of 2017! Ayye!


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Things Don’t Always go According to Plan

We all know this. We do our best to plan something and very quickly realize our own lack of control. This was me over the last month. I started a new job on October 27. It was quite exciting to be writing a new chapter in my own personal book of life. But I soon realized the chapter would be much shorter than I’d initially thought. The job wasn’t a good fit for me, and I didn’t enjoy a single minute of it.

On Monday morning I spoke with the owner of the office in order to openly discuss where my head was and what was expected of me. We mutually agreed to part ways. The people I met and spent time with were pretty great, but the job was still the job. And it simply wasn’t for me.

I’m once again jobless. And that’s okay. The lesson I learned from this is simple: Don’t settle for something you don’t really want. That’s what I did. And that’s what got me here.

But there IS a silver lining. There were numerous days over the last month in which I worked 10,11,12, or even 13 hour days. Because employees are essentially brainwashed into believing it’s a travesty if they don’t hit their own goals they set for themselves. So it’s completely normal for employees to work 11:00-11:00 even though the workday is 11:00-8:00. Heck, on Black Friday I imagine every person in the office will work 12 hours. 

Anyway, those hours obviously leave little time for much outside of sleep. But now I’ll be able to focus on my reading! Finally. I started a new book last night and just the feeling of picking up a book felt great. I want to finish off 2016 as strong as I can.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

I may come across at times as being aggravated by something I read or say on WordPress, but I’m really not. I only lead you to think that because of how I write my posts and/or comments. There isn’t much anyone on WordPress can do to get me remotely close to angry. Because we’re all strangers on here and if you want to get upset over nothing, then that’s your choice. I’ll just nap like I always do and forget about it. BUT there is something I’ve seen more frequently in recent weeks than I’ve seen in my previous two years on WordPress, and it’s getting to the point of almost pissing me off. Almost.

You might know a writer who decided to quit their day job after a year or two or 20 to pursue writing full-time. I don’t know anyone who’s done that, but I know it happens. I have no issue with that, because it’s their life and they can do as they please. What I do have a problem with is when someone makes the choice to do that (if they were working at all) and then writes a sob story about how they’ve put off their writing for so long and now it’s time to pursue their dream of becoming an author….AND would I please donate my money to help them along the way. UH, WHAT?

What the hell did I just read? So YOU made the choice to quit YOUR job and now you’re asking ME to give you money that I worked for so you can get by while you work on your next great novel? I must be on a prank show. This can’t be real and you can’t be serious.

No reasonable person would outright quit their job if they couldn’t afford to do so, or didn’t intend to try finding something better. Think about that. And there are actually people on WordPress who are doing that and then immediately asking for money from strangers. I guess WordPress has turned into GoFundMe.

I once launched a Kickstarter campaign to help with my first book. But it was NOT a campaign to fund a “writer” lifestyle, it was meant to help make my book better. The book was written already. And you see things like that everywhere, but this is different. What people are asking now has nothing to do with their writing. They’re essentially asking people to be a source of income. And that’s just ridiculous.

Have you come across this kind of thing? I’d say I’ve seen it maybe 7-10 times in recent weeks. I’ve yet to comment on one of these posts, but I think the next time I find one I’ll just link back to this without anything further.

Saturday Selects: New Year’s resolutions are a joke

new-years-resolution

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month in which I discuss something unrelated to the general bookish theme of the blog. This month we’re talking about those damn resolutions everyone is talking about.

“I’m going to the gym more.”

“I’m eating healthier.”

“I’ll start looking for a better job.”

These are just a few examples of resolutions people tend to toss out just about every year. And they piss me off. I have no issue with setting GOALS for a new year. I mean, I’d hope you have some goals for yourself. But what I don’t understand is how come everyone and their mom has to suddenly decide to change just because the calendar says January and the year has changed. I don’t understand this.

I want someone to tell me why January is the only month of the year that one can decide to change for the better. I’ll wait so you can type your response…

Still waiting…

Got nothing? Thought so. It’s stupid. 330 days out of the year you’re perfectly fine with yourself. But oh wait, January comes around and suddenly you want to be better. Yeah…no.

If you really wanted to change something about yourself or do some things differently, then you’d have done so long before the new year. If you want to come up with a meaningless list of things you’re going to do differently, then that’s when you start running around telling everyone your resolutions for the new year. News flash: you’re not fooling anyone. Not even yourself.

Rant over.