Recessed, not Depressed

Rules for the Road March 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — shanemayer @ 11:18 am
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Taking a little vacation time has given me an opportunity to reflect and recharge. It’s made me even more thankful for everything I have (an amazing family, a wonderful boyfriend and fantastic friends) and excited for the adventure ahead. It’s also given me time to develop a list rules for the road ahead, which I plan to follow as I work on finding a job:

  1. Always accept any networking connection offered. Finding a new job is surely a networking proposition and a numbers game. Already people have offered to introduce me to their friends/acquaintances/colleagues/etc. Some of these seem like great leads, some don’t seem like they’ll get me anywhere. No matter what my preconceptions are, I plan to follow-up with these people. Who knows where it might lead.
  2. Listen to advice. Part of networking is explaining your situation. Invariably people will offer you advice. They’ll critique your resume, offer job suggestions, tell you how to network, etc. It’s easy to let one’s ego get in the way and feel like the advice being given is superfluous to what one already knows. I’m practicing on listening to all the advice being given and doing my best to really consider it and apply it when I can.
  3. Never turn down free food.
  4. Use my powers for good, not evil. The adventure ahead is certain to be trying at times. My goal is to always apply my nervous energy, my anger or other negative emotions to good use by being productive (apply to job, volunteering, networking).
  5. Stay positive. This is a bit like #4, but more specifically focused on my outlook. Staying positive will be very important for creating positive energy. Positive energy is important, because, well, no one wants to hire someone who’s negative and desperate. There’s strength in positivity whereas negativity demonstrates a lack of self confidence.

Spring Broke March 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — shanemayer @ 4:52 pm
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sw_chiefMy company provided me with 15 vacation – or “personal time off” (PTO) days annually. In the past year, I only used about three of those days. As our company’s work slowed down, I  felt uncomfortable taking time off, feeling a little uneasy about returning to find my job had been cut. A vacation is long over due.

As is the natural balance and irony of life, now that I’ve got the time, I no longer have the money. My boyfriend John and I are taking advantage of the time anyway and taking a low-cost vacation. We drove down to LA last night ($25 in gas shared between the two of us) and we’re taking Amtrak from here to Santa Fe, New Mexico ($60 each way, per person). Santa Fe is my hometown and my parents will be very happy to let us eat and play on their dime for a week.

15 days a year, including sick days, just isn’t enough. It doesn’t really compare to the average of six weeks most European professionals are allotted. It hasn’t usually left me refreshed or recharged, so there is a freedom to not having to worry about returning to work right after this break. Of course I’d rather have a job and income to return to, but I’m going to enjoy the freedom anyway, why not?

A note about PTO. For those of you worried about losing your jobs. Remember, your PTO can be redeemed as cash when you’re let go. I certainly needed a break, but I’m very happy to have that cash now. The downside to cashing in your PTO is that you get taxed on that income, where you wouldn’t if you took the time off.