For the first time in a year and a half, I will be working for someone else. For the first time in a year and a half, I’ll be receiving a paycheck! Starting at the end of January, I’ll be working in the tasting room at a winery on beautiful Seneca Lake.
After three months of job searching, all I can say is: phew. That was kind of tough.
If you’re moving to a new place without a job, here’s a little hint (something that I learned the hard way): check in on the job posting boards regularly for a few months before you think about moving there. See what the local job climate is like. See if there are enough jobs posted for the sort of thing you want to do.
The answers for Ithaca turned out to be bad and not so much.
Paul is doing fine with his freelance work and side projects, but I was starting to feel desperate. When we were on the road, there was always something to do: a hike to plan, a post to write furiously in the library or on the picnic table before my laptop battery died. Confined to an apartment by a dwindling budget and freezing temps, I was beginning to go a little nuts. Constant job applications, rejection or silence from potential employers, critical self-analysis…it was getting to me.
I was starting to question our entire plan. Just last week I said to Paul, “What do we do if none of these ideas work out?”
Paul made a list. The way we saw it, we had a few different options:
1. I get a winery job in the Finger Lakes region. We move to Ithaca when our Tburg lease is up and I get some good winery experience under my belt.
2. I get a serious job in Boston. There are plenty of jobs that I’m qualified for in Boston and I’d love to live there. My applications seem to be going directly in the bin, though. Here’s a quote from a rejection letter I recently received:
Blah blah blah, “…we have decided not to undertake employment discussions with you, and your application has not been selected for further consideration.” Not too bad as those things go, but still slightly obnoxious.
Our next plan was to sign me up for a Boston-area Google voice number and to remove my address from my applications to see if that changed the story.
3. I get any job in the Finger Lakes region. I applied to the bagel shop where I worked while in college. I don’t see this as a step back — I loved working there and they treat their employees well. I just don’t really want to work those kind of hours again — the open/close shifts were brutal.
4. We go back to the crazy life. We could:
- Buy an RV and live in Death Valley or another National Park and work at the resort through a company like Xanterra.
- Retreat somewhere where the living is really cheap and become hermits.
- Set out on another trip in a less expensive area, like South America (I’m slightly obsessed with this trio close to finishing their Central/South American trip).
- Get trained to teach English as a foreign language and go live in another country for a few years, probably somewhere in South America or China.
While I really want to do all of these things, right now it just feels like we’d be delaying the inevitable — right now, we need a home base, we need to regroup, and we need to make a bit of money. And I don’t feel like I should become a hermit until I’m at least 70.
5. Finally, we could succeed at one of Paul’s old stand-bys and:
- Win the lottery,
- (and/or) Become internet billionaires by starting our own social network site
Luckily, plan A came through. I know, I know what you’re thinking: ”Wow, why is she so excited about getting a low-paid, part-time, probably seasonal job?”
Well, I’m glad you asked. This is the first time in my life that I’ve held out for something I really wanted rather than taking the easy route. It’s been kind of agonizing. I’ve been spinning around like a confused windex, waiting for the wind to finally pick a direction so I can go with it. (That sailing reference is for you, Paul. You’re welcome!). And now I’m going with it.
Hey! You! If you’ve embarked on any new adventures lately, share them in the comments!