Friday, August 21, 2015

Cheers to Changes!



It's rare for me to write a personal post because I find them super self-indulgent (no offense to those who do share more!) & I can't really fathom people caring or taking an interest in my personal life.   I mean, why do you care what I have to say? Also, what is a big deal to me might be not nearly as important to others (as is the case with todays post) but this is my blog & I'll do what I want. No seriously, this summer I learned an extremely valuable & life changing lesson, so I wanted to take some time to share it with you all.  I apologize for the length of this post. If you decide to stop reading now, I'll understand.

After making a big decision back in April to leave the only job I've ever had since moving here (catch up here) I decided to take some much needed time off. I traveled, saw my family, caught up with friends, spent lazy mornings drinking coffee & watching some terrible awesome TV, started playing tennis again, went to the gym, took the dogs on long walks, cooked a ton (so many recipes I have to catch up on) made major wedding plans, spent time with J, signed up as a volunteer at a no kill shelter...it was all WONDERFUL.  But, in the back of my head, there was this nagging voice telling me "you need to get a job...you need to get a paycheck" on constant repeat.

Finally, in mid June I began the exhausting search.  When you work in production, it's common to jump from job to job, never really knowing where one gig might lead or when that job might end.  For those who get bored easily, it's an incredible world to work in.  However, I happened to find jobs on shows that have long seasons & have been on for a while/were constantly getting renewed.  Financially, this was wonderful. I was always secure in my job & knew where my next paycheck was coming from, so I wasn't accustom to this terrifying yet liberating feeling.  Quitting freaked me out because I didn't know IF I could get another job at my level or if I'd have to take a step down after working so hard.  Having only worked on a few shows, I didn't have as diverse a resume as many of my production friends. I didn't know if employers would want someone with such limited experience. I didn't know what other places paid because where I came from, when you were miserable & wanted out, the solution was to throw more money at you to get you to stay.  Well, listen. Money is AWESOME & who doesn't want to be secure? BUT when you sacrifice your mental health, your relationships...your life? MONEY AIN'T WORTH IT.

I know what some people might be thinking...money is a necessity. And yes, you are correct...we all NEED it.  And sometimes, you have to take the shitty jobs in order to survive. I can speak from experience...I've worked for 8 years in production...8 years on shows I wasn't happy at. But a girl needs a roof over her head, so I did it. I get that I might sound ridiculous/obnoxious/spoiled/selfish in making proclamations like "Quit your job! You'll be fine!" when in fact that isn't an option for most people.

As I started my job hunt, I quickly began to internally freak out. I signed up for multiple job sites & quickly learned how depressing the jobs listed were.  I applied to almost everything & anything that fit the description of something I MIGHT be able to do, but I was getting nowhere.  I applied for positions way lower than I had held, but I was panicking & getting desperate. Some of the sites will tell you how many people applied for the one job...one posting said I was ranked 212 out of 400+. Well, THAT is encouraging.  I began searching production companies that did shows I enjoyed & blindly sent off my resume crossing my fingers some receptionist would see it, feel sorry for me & hold on to it.  Every time I got an email alert saying a job that fit what I was looking for was posted, I ran to my computer to apply. And crickets. I was getting no calls, no emails, no interviews, nothing.  Any time I chatted with my friends online (um, everyday) they'd ask how the search was going & I'd be all "Oh it's great...finding some good leads"...when really, I was completely full of shit.

Then the phone rang late one Fri night from a number I didn't recognize. On a whim, I answered & it was an old coworker.  She told me about a new talk show that was literally RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.  It was like my little blog was coming to life on TV.  She had the inside track & without me knowing, had already told the execs about me. Within an hour of me emailing my resume/explaining why I'd be amazing for this job, I had an interview set for Monday.  Monday's interview went REALLY well & by Monday night, I had locked a 2nd interview with one of the hosts/EP/celeb who is extremely well known & could possibly be terrifying set for the next afternoon.  Dressed in my trendiest yet most professional outfit I own, I met with said host & her manager.  It was possibly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I. Wanted. This. Job. I wanted this job so badly & I told SO many people about it.  The execs told me they were going to make a decision quickly so be ready. And then I heard nothing.  I heard nothing for days. I emailed them to check in & was told no decision had been made yet. I was checking my phone/email obsessively & crickets.  They emailed me a few times asking if I was still available & when I promptly responded that I was, I then wouldn't hear back. It finally sank in that this job wasn't going to happen.

Disappointed & slightly crushed, I moved on.  I started to question whether I wanted to stay in production or not. I actually looked into taking some interior design classes, maybe I'd go do that instead? Then I heard about the NCIDQ exam which is similar to the bar exam...& I said HELL. NO.  Then my dear friend Kennice sent me a post about Hello. Blog Academy.  It was how to make a profit from your blog.  This sounded EXCELLENT.  So I began the course, but quickly learned this was going to take time & I still needed a real job. (But there will be some BIG changes coming here in the next few months!)

Fast forward a month & a shit ton of job applications later, I'm working a short-term freelance gig that I was hoping would turn into something more permanent (sadly, it wouldn't) when guess who comes back into my life? The talk show. They want me to come back in for yet, another interview. Instantly, I got this icky feeling.  I don't know what it was, but something in my gut was saying this was a bad idea.  I happened to know someone who was working there so I began picking her brain. Truthfully? Everything she was saying reaffirmed my icky feelings.  Long hours, working on the weekend...everything I didn't want. But, when you have no other offers & you're freaking out at the idea of being unemployed, how dumb would it be to turn down an offer?

By the time I make it to their offices that night, it's 8pm. I'm exhausted, I'm not dressed properly for an interview & I just didn't have it in me to sell myself. But I was about to become unemployed with no prospects...I needed this job. I walk into the offices of one of the EP's I had met earlier in the summer & the first thing he says "I want you to work here & we need you to start ASAP, like tomorrow"...well, that's nice. Seriously, where were you people back in June? I should have been jumping out of my skull with excitement, but instead, all I felt was dread.

The next morning, the official offer comes in. Crap. What do I do? I didn't sleep at all the night before & a giant headache isn't helping anything.  Do I accept a job simply because I'm terrified of being unemployed even though my heart is telling me this is a bad idea? Then, to put it bluntly, the universe decides to fuck with me.  I'm at my computer when I get an email from a production company I had emailed MONTHS prior wanting to discuss a position on one of their shows that I actually watch. WHAT?!?! Enter complete FREAK OUT MODE. Seriously, I freaking LOVE this company & watch many of their shows. This company was one of the first places I applied to when I began the hunt, but they don't post their jobs online, they simply have you send your resume off into the abyss & hope for the best. I mean, what are the CHANCES this company emails me on this day?!

Well, I'll spare you the details as this post is already long enough, but after a LOT of debating with J/my family, I turned down the talk show offer & accepted the opportunity to interview for my dream company. I mean, was that a huge mistake? Turning down an offer just for the chance to interview? I guess we'll see.

Well, one week later I know I made the right choice because this coming Monday I start my new job with a company that just feels right.  Will it be as glamorous as the talk show gig? No. Is the pay amazing? Nope. But will it give me a chance to work on a fun show while still having a life? Yep. Will I work the weekends? Nope. Will I be staying past 6-7pm during the week? Absolutely not.  Will the people I work with on the show hate me afterwards (like my old job)? Nope. Will it give me the freedom to still work on my blog & volunteer? Yep.

I. CANNOT. WAIT.

So what did I learn this summer? Well, it was actually J who taught me to STOP settling, STOP being afraid of being unemployed & START going after what you REALLY want.  Cheers to new beginnings!