Summer Sun, Summer Employment

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Ugh. This is almost as bad as my search for a part-time job back in the day. I opted to continue to get paid through the summer, so it’s not that I am not going to be able to pay my bills; however, that’s three months I could have a significant secondary source of income. I would be idiotic to not take advantage of it. If anything, it’s been harder to find a summer job. There aren’t a lot of opportunities available for only the summer, or that you can apply for now that will start in late May/early June. PLUS, many of them are solely either for teenagers or for current college students.

My best bets so far have been summer camps and summer school. I’ve applied to teach summer school and for several camps, but so far I’ve only had a phone interview for a nonprofit international camp in New York…which I haven’t heard anything back for so I’m not hopeful. I do have an interview on Monday that seems like it’ll pan out, so wish me luck! It’s with a summer camp that is a little further away than I wanted, but it’s still employment! Plus it’s in the same area that Favorite’s family lives, so maybe I’ll get to hang out a little more with him and do fun summer stuff.

The plan for this potential additional income is to use it solely for debt repayment and my emergency fund.

Some of my accounts are behind (one in particular VERY behind), so the goal for the summer is to completely pay off debts that are not attached to a card/tuition and to catch up all of my delinquent accounts. I would also like to have a month’s income put back in my EF by the end of the summer. I really would love to buy a “new” car by the beginning of 2016; however, in order to do that I need better credit, a better credit history, and money put back. Once I have money for emergencies and a higher credit score (for lower interest), I can concentrate on putting cash back for that purchase. My car is not doing well right now, so if I need to replace it ahead of schedule, I would be able to use my emergency fund for that.

Anyway. I’m planning with money not in hand, and I can’t predict the future, so the best I can do at this point is apply for summer positions as they come and hope it works out for the best!

Wish me luck 🙂 

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‘Tis the Season to be a Seasonal Worker

Guess what!

Guess what!

GUESS WHAT!

Is your guess that I found a temporary, seasonal job in order to pay for tuition and presents? Your guess would be…CORRECT! I’m incredibly relieved, not just because I didn’t want to have to be such a penny-pincher, but also because job searching is exhausting. I started back in July to find the job I have now, and spent September-November applying for seasonal jobs, literally at over 30 companies, and heard back from 3. Target was a no-go, but then I had interviews at Sephora and Macy’s. Macy’s gave me a big no the next day, so I was hoping that Sephora would be the one. It has the appeal of not only being a fancy place to work ;), but it’s also very near my primary job and is as a cashier, which I have experience with doing! Plus everyone seems incredibly nice.

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So while filling out the required paperwork, I had to pick how I would be paid. I decided that, while adding 50% to my savings account would be great, I really had no legitimate reason to not just go ahead, bite the bullet, and deposit the full amount into my savings account to accrue interest and sit there looking fancy until tuition is due. I’ve already had orientation, and I have training in a week, so I’m not sure when actual work begins, but I know it will be less than 24 hours a week…which is good since I already work 4o a week and am taking two 4000-lvl courses at my university. They’re starting me at $9 an hour, so I’m pretty happy about that, because I know the average starting salary for this sort of thing is much lower than that (since minimum wage is $7.25/hr). My goal is a total of $1000 in extra income from this job, with an additional $100 from side-hustle (aka knitting and crocheting), so we’ll see how that pans out.

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Journey to a Part-Time Job

This is the most accurate photo of my life right now…

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I’m sure y’all remember my September goal of getting a part-time job? And how I didn’t meet that goal despite two interviews and a billion (12) job applications? I went most of October trying not to worry about it…because I can make it on my current salary. Then I remembered that thing called spring tuition. That thing that’s approximately $900 that I will not make enough money to cover by January…so commence part-time job search numero two for the year!

When people say looking for a job is a job, they’re only lightly exagerating. So far this month I’ve applied to thirteen different companies, and to several positions at those companies. Not that I’m bragging (#brag). So far I’ve scheduled one interview. Seems like a lot of work for not a lot of return, right?

So here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Virtually every company has a “Careers” link at the bottom of their website that allows you to search for positional openings by location
  • Major companies are hiring for seasonal employees RIGHT NOW (get on that)
  • Don’t list your starting pay as too high. No, no one is going to pay you a starting rate of $15/hour to be a cashier
  • Revise your resume and MAKE SURE you didn’t accidentally address it to a different company
  • Have your information gathered before you start an online application. It may want the contact information from your previous five jobs, it may want your addresses from the last ten years
  • And on that note, some of them have these huge questionaires to fill out, so be prepared to spend up to an hour on an application based on what the needs of the company are. How do you feel about that statement? Agree, Completely Agree, Strongly Disagree, … (okay I’m done)

In the end, this is going to be one of those things that y’all should cross your fingers for me…but also if you’re going through this yourself, persistence, creative job searching (try to think of companies and peruse their sites, ask your friends, just ask the cashier at your favorite store, etc), and most of all patience, are going to be your bff Rose.

Catching Up Part 1: The New Job

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So after informing y’all of how July went (spoiler: terribly), I let y’all know I was starting a new job August 1. So how’s that going?

It’s going not terribly.

Pros:

  • Benefits: Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Long-term Disability Insurance, Vision Coverage, New Balance discounts, Orthopaedic services discounts
  • Coworkers are nice
  • Supervisor is firm, but consistent
  • Pay is a little higher with allowances for raises
  • Room for job growth
  • Free food sometimes when med reps come through
  • Cycling Fridays for getting off early (So I don’t have to take off for appointments)

Cons:

  • 20ish mile roundtrip commute every day
  • Buy & wear scrubs every day (instead of the business clothes I now have tons of)
  • Traffic is a PAIN IN THE A$$
  • It isn’t building my portfolio (I’m a cashier now, not a course creator 😦 )
  • LOTS of people interaction, and a lot of it isn’t pleasant (people don’t like their insurance, don’t want to pay, are in pain, etc. etc. etc.)

Overall it’s been a pretty pleasant experience. It’s a lot more mentally exhausting than my other job and isn’t as flexible (my old job I worked primarily alone and it was do what I needed to when I wanted etc. etc.), my boss isn’t a jerk and that’s been a relief. I’m also glad to finally have dental insurance. It all starts September 1, so I’ll be able to get additional problems fixed for not a ton of cash.  The pay isn’t as much as I would like it to be (or really to be honest as much as I need it to be), so I’m applying for part-time work, but I’m not sure whether that will pan out or not.

Ending Note: Scrubs. They’re comfy and it’s like wearing PJs to work…but I liked dressing up, so it’s a little sad-making that I can’t wear my dresses anymore.

July: Month of Craziness

This. Month. Has. Been. CRAZY.

One of the consistently good things is how well bf stepped up to show his true colors and willingness to help gracefully when I really need it, and I am so grateful for him, his family, my own family, and my friends for their support through some of this nonsense. A lot of it is seemingly trivial, and I know this, but damn did it all pile on at once!

July 2, 2013

Being a good neighbor I jumped their car off, only to find that my own would not start later. bf drove me to work the next day and it was put in a shop Friday (since the fourth caused some wonky closing days). Found out then that the car needed an entire new engine…and since it was already on its last legs (200k miles, no ac, a lot of body damage, 15ish years old, etc), the cost of the engine outweighed the worth of the car.

So onto the car hunt! After two being purchased from under my nose (a Yaris and a Rio), I finally managed to find an Allero. Red, two-door, etc. for $3000 (amazing right?). It isn’t the cream of the crop, but it was within my price range and will get me from point A to point B with AC. This car was purchased June 18…so for the three weeks before that bf and his family let me live at their house (downside: no wifi), driving me to dealerships, work, my energy exchange for yoga, fed me, etc. My parents ended up finding the Allero and driving it the two hours to get it to where I live from where they purchased it, as well as actually doing the financing themselves since it was too old to be acceptable by my bank (so car note to the ‘rents!).

July 8, 2013

My boss calls my coworker and me into her office that Monday (keeping in mind that that is the Monday after I found out I would need to get a new car) to inform us that (in my own words) “I’m cutting both of your hours to 25 a week from 40 so that I can continue to not provide you with any benefits at all.” Insert panicking since with the added car note I was moving dangerously close to expenses > income territory. I began to desperately job-hunt, and ended up applying for 10ish within the first two days. My boss is not my favorite person in the world, but I did enjoy creating courses. If I could afford the software, I would definitely freelance…but yeah, cutting my monthly income from $1280/month (on a good month since I don’t get holiday pay or sick leave or overtime) to $850/month was not cutting it for me.

July 16, 2013

I began to have horrific tooth pain that I attempted to ignore (since I don’t have dental insurance). Ended up sucking it up and going to the dentist, where I learned that I needed a root canal. I proceeded to get one July 25, along with a credit line of $2000 that I had to use $1015 of which to pay for the procedure (not including the crown, which I have not gotten yet). On the 16th, I also refilled my Effexor prescription (after 3 days of forgetting – will never make that vomit-inducing mistake again) for a million ($104) at CVS. Going to do some shopping around next month.

July 24, 2013

I found out (after an interview) that I got a new job! It’s working as a front desk/copay desk assistant at a clinic for $0.50/hour more starting pay full-time with holiday pay, overtime, a 401K, dental insurance (where was this when I had to get that root canal!?), health insurance, and vision (if I so chose, which I won’t since I don’t wear glasses or any of that jazz). I start tomorrow (August 1).

July 26, 2013

I moved into a new house from my old duplex! It was a pretty hard 3-4 days with my brother and roommate moving everything around (them more than me because they’re both stronger and I had work). But I’ll have to post some pictures of it. It was built in the 1930s, is beautiful Tudor-cottage style with hardwood floors, a giant gas range (with a skillet top and two ovens), an enclosed brick patio, and in general is just classy and wonderful.

So that’s pretty much a brief summary of the more important things that happened in July. I’ll actually start posting more and catching up now that things are calmer.

tl;dr

Got a new car, new job, root canal, and new house.

Probable, Possible Promotion, & a Poll

I’ve had a few work-related posts since the beginning of the year, primarily here, here, and here. Note that they’re not all exactly…positive? Throughout other posts I’ve mentioned that I relatively like the actual work I do, but that I am also low-key job-searching. So far there hasn’t been too much luck, although I haven’t gotten a resounding “No!” from the position I applied for recently…

6623495649_ce745b96a1_zBut I digress. I have mentioned this before, but I work on a “Work as Needed” contract. The position I have right now doesn’t technically…exist? I originally found this position by using my university’s site. It was advertised as a student worker position, and I was a student! I applied, interviewed, and got it! Then as they were processing my paperwork, my supervisor discovered that I wasn’t eligible to hold a student worker position because I wasn’t a full-time student. But because I had the qualifications, had already been working there for two weeks, and she thought I was a good fit, she found a “Work as Needed” position that wasn’t being filled (those aren’t actively filled) that was “floating” in the HR department and appointed me through that. My official job title on paper is “Clerk,” and although everyone in our department has a different title (student worker, administrative assistant, etc) we all call ourselves “Instructional Designers,” because that’s what we do.

I have been growing frustrated with my job for a variety of reasons. Primarily that my boss is sometimes inappropriately interested in my personal life (a la “You look tired, did you see bf last night? 😉 ” variety), her deadlines are often unreasonable, and I am often doing things that are completely outside of my actual job description. I have also had this experience where she offered me (unofficially) a promotion last October and throughout March, then again at the end of April. And retracted all of them. Well here we are with promotion: June edAlthough this one looks like the real deal. So I’m having a bit of a dilemma and thought maybe y’all can help, because there are definite pros and cons to these choices. Enough that I can’t tell if I’m just being a scaredy cat or if I’m being reasonable.

Current Clerk Position:

Pros: 

  • There is no limit to the job appointment. I could work under this position for literally forever (which I see as security)
  • The hours are very flexible (I can leave if I have a doctor’s appointment or have any other obligation and it doesn’t count against me as long as I get my work done)

Cons:

  • I am not eligible to receive a raise (I found this out yesterday, you know, 10 months into working here) so I would stay at $9.50/hr
  • I do not receive any benefits (retirement, dental, health, sick leave, paid holidays)
  • Because I’m work-as-needed, I could not be needed and told to not come back at any time
  • No visible job development

Training Specialist Position:

Pros:

  • Benefits! Accumulated sick leave, paid holidays, dental, and health (no retirement)
  • A raise – I believe my pay would increase to $12.75/hr (not small pennies compared to above)
  • Job development is possible (it can increase from levels 1 up to level 3)
  • It shows that I have been promoted in my job within a year of being there and gives more rapport with other members of the agency

Cons:

  • It is an 11 month appointment – my supervisor would have to appeal its extension in 11 months or I will be out of a job
  • The hours are not as flexible and it would primarily start when school also starts

I know there’s definitely more pros in the promotion vs. my current position; however, what I am really concerned with is the limited amount of time the appointment has. I do not plan to work here forever – I don’t. And the plan is have graduated by December, so when this appointment is up in June, I should be eligible for many other positions that require a BA/BS (pretty much all of them). I just don’t want to lock myself out of a job that is building my portfolio…but I also don’t want to be 26 and working an altered and glorified student worker position making $1500 above the poverty level either.

So what do you think? 

25 Things to do Instead of Hating Your Boss

I’ve found that a significant portion of the satisfaction I have with my life correlates to the satisfaction I have with my job. Months ago, I would have said I was very happy doing what I was doing, but for the last few months that has not been the case. Feeling trapped (work as needed with no benefits or leave) at $5 below the typical starting pay per hour for this occupation have not done much to boost morale, but working under such disorganized and pressing timelines has really started to do a number on me. I have been grumpier and complain a lot more. In my quest for a happier life, I tried to make a list of things one can do instead of holding onto the feelings they have toward their supervisor and where they spend 8-5 every day, thus letting them affect their relationships and overall well-being in a less detrimental way.

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Pretty much how it feels…but ya gotta keep running!

  1. Bake cookies
  2. Walk around a lake
  3. Give someone a hug
  4. Deposit $ into your savings account
  5. Call a friend
  6. Watch Mad Men
  7. Knit/crochet something
  8. Bake a pie (a very involved process, so for particularly bad days)
  9. Take a shower
  10. Play with a dog
  11. Write a blog post!
  12. Redo your budget for the eightieth time
  13.  Listen to your starred Spotify list
  14. Wander around Walmart looking at things
  15. Get a pretzel from the mall
  16. Go for a run
  17. Find a blog that has existed for years and attempt to read all of its posts
  18. Spring clean (or autumn, winter, summer clean)
  19. Watch Hoarders (at least things aren’t that bad)
  20. Watch Investigative Discovery (live vicariously through them)
  21. Have lunch with your favorite coworker
  22. Go to the zoo
  23. Call your mom/dad/brother/etc
  24. Hug your favorite stuffed animal
  25. Smile and breathe