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Attempting to Find a Second Job — For the One Millionth Time

19 Jul

Lately, I have noticed quite a few bloggers that I read from time to time posting little pieces on how awesome it is to have a side gig and that everyone should have a second job. They’re so damn positive about it that it makes me sick inside. Sick I tell you! What I find even more frustrating is that a lot of people in my particular field have second jobs too. How do all of these people get second jobs and why can’t I get one? And why does my awesome husband have the same problem?

Resumes

I have reviewed our resumes. For my field, my resume is actually quite reflective of what I do—in fact, I used to get a lot of resumes to review at my old job and my resume is actually quite good in comparison. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but the fact is that a large number of people in my field are from other countries and English is not their first language. This becomes VERY apparent once you start looking over resumes. There are no spelling errors in my resume. Everything flows. I think it’s pretty spiffy.

I have also looked over my husband’s resume. His old resume definitely needed to be redone and when he fixed it up, it was actually quite good as well. In fact, when I first read his new one I thought it might have been too short—but in actuality, he conveyed so much and summed up what he did so well.

Fields

My field is supposedly always in demand. I am so tired of hearing this garbage. If you look on any job or career website, you will see my field as one of the fields in health care that will end up with a shortage. I am still waiting for this huge shortage so that there is actually some competition for workers in my field.

My husband is probably in the best and the worst field for freelancing, which is writing. He somehow managed to fall into copywriting and has been doing it for over four years. He loves his job and he’s good at what he does but it seems almost impossible for him to find steady work to do on the side. He has had one thing here or there but nothing consistent—except a very meager (and very random) site that will pay him $8/article. Being in the writing business is definitely NOT for the weak, as he has applied to jobs over and over again only to:

  • Find out that people want you to work for free or practically free. I have never seen so many jobs that want you to work for nothing or for $5/article in my life—until you find yourself looking on craigslist.
  • Find out that the people who tell you “you’re hired” are actually flakes.
  • Find out that probably two hundred or so other people applied for the same job and that one hundred of them are willing to undercut you on the price.

Networking

I actually think this is our biggest problem.

We actually got our full-time jobs on our own with no help from anyone which I actually have found it almost impossible to do. However, we don’t really know anyone in our fields with an “in” somewhere else.

I would say I am definitely more of an introvert—okay maybe misanthropic if you really want to put it out there—so I find networking incredibly difficult to do. My husband hasn’t really done a lot of networking in a long time. I don’t really know too many people in my field and neither does my husband. I am guessing what this is what we both really need to work on a bit.

But…

After reading all of these bloggers lately, I think I am going to apply to some jobs right now!

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Getting My Education — For Free (Almost) – Part One

14 Jun

I am one of those people who absolutely hates school but always find myself in school. I think it’s a sick form of mental masochism that I am always doing this to myself. Once again, I applied to school and I am starting to question my sanity.

But the point of this post is not only to allow readers delve deeper into my insanity—it is to tell you how I have received the majority of my education for free.  For this, we must go back in time to nearly ten years ago, when I first found myself applying to colleges.

HIGH SCHOOL

I would consider my high school years as apathetic with a hint of care. I took honors and AP classes but I did the bare minimum required. I rarely ever studied and sometimes I would have to take days off from school because I was so massively behind on homework I needed to stay home just to catch-up. When I was growing up my parents never really pushed us—it was you either go to school or work. So since all of my friends were going to college I thought, “Hey, I don’t want to work. Everyone else is going to college. I might as well just go to college!”

Since I obviously didn’t put any thought into it, I only applied to the college system in my city. For one application fee, you can apply to numerous colleges within the city system. I figured I would live at home like most of the people in the city system and go to school from there. At the time, tuition was only $4,000 for the entire school year as a full-time student, which was a steal compared to other schools.

COLLEGE – THE UNDERGRADUATE YEARS

For whatever reason a last minute decision sent me to a particular school. I hated it there but because of my parents’ income, I was able to at least have my entire tuition covered. I also received a grant because I had maintained a B average or greater in high school. This allowed me to at least pay for additional costs such as books and transportation.

After my first year, I transferred to a different school within the city system and they offered a much better financial package. In fact, I was making money going to school. It was great.

For my third year, something stirred inside of me and I transferred up to a state school. I had practically the same financial package, lost the grant I had from the city schools but gained two other grants from the state school because of my grades. However, to stay in the dorm, I needed to take out a loan. I took out more than I needed, because I didn’t have a job at the time and had no idea how much things would cost me. This was the only loan I ever took out for school—something small like $5,500. I wouldn’t say I regret it but I definitely could have taken a loan for a smaller amount.

After that year, I transferred back to the second city school I was at. (Are you still with me?) I still had no idea what I wanted to major in and I was now in my fourth year of college! Eventually I just picked something I thought I could potentially get a job in and actually followed through with it. I spent two more years as an undergraduate which totals to six, yes six years as an undergraduate. That might not sound so bad except that I was a full-time student the entire time.

Now after my fifth year, I couldn’t receive money anymore from a particularly source of financial aid. Luckily, at the same time, my program told us about a grant we could receive for $3,000 if we wrote an essay. Unlike most people, I did it and ended up getting the grant. And finally, after six years I graduated with a degree—that I didn’t even want to use.

COLLEGE – THE GRADUATE YEARS

I ended up disliking my major and jumped into something else immediately after I graduated. I applied to a program that was very similar to the Teach for America that would essentially pay for your graduate degree. So yes, a month after I graduated I started a graduate program in something completely unrelated to my field.

The program was funded through AmeriCorps so each year I received approximately $4,750 to apply to my tuition. Since I was at a city school again, my tuition remained low even though I was in a graduate program. Two years later, I graduated with my M.S. and left the field. Aside from paying taxes on the over $9,000 I received to pay my tuition, I only had to pay for books and a registration fee at the beginning of the semester. Considering I was working full-time, this was not a problem. I actually had money leftover from my grant, over $1,000, that I was able to apply to my student loans.

POST-GRADUATE SCHOOL

I decided that I would return to the field I had received my undergraduate degree in and although it was difficult, it is far less stressful. I had to study for my exam in order to get state licensure two or three years after I graduated, I did it and became a licensed professional within my state.

Funnily enough, I am now in a place that is associated with a union so I am back in school as of Fall 2012—only I am working backwards and I’ll be pursuing my A.S. The union will pay for up to six credits a semester or twenty-four credits per year.  I am at the point in my life where I figure—why not? In fact, I can see myself pursuing another graduate degree in the future!

Tune in next time for some very specific ways to keep college-related expenses down.

When a Cheap Person Wants to Exercise…

25 May

When I was a kid, I used to be fairly active. I would play outside all summer long. Gym, like many kids, was my favorite period of the day. I would spend my entire summer playing tennis multiple times a week for hours a day. Sometimes I found myself on softball teams. Summation: Good stuff.

Then…

I got older. Why does this happen? There was no one left to play tennis with and I couldn’t get enough people interested in playing a game of softball. I found myself sitting in front of the TV more and more. I was always studying for an exam. There were no more athletic activities for this old soul.

Years go by and I am still lazy. I am thankful for the genes that have allowed me to stay on the thinner side while I continue to stuff my face. To be fair I am not as thin or toned as I was in high school but I am no where near being overweight either. Go me?

Every once in awhile I get this crazy idea in my head that I want to exercise. Yeah! I want to be in shape. I want to get rid of these love handles. I want to tone up. Of course, then you remember that you’re too cheap to join a gym and want to partake in free exercise. Maybe I need some more inspiration or maybe I want to try to figure out what I should do because I currently do nothing. Maybe that’s why I am documenting everything for you guys.

For kicks, here are my attempts (and subsequent failures) for my exercise on-the-cheap:

Jogging

One day at an old job of mine I made an astute observation—everyone who was a “runner” was a type A personality. I am not so I should have known that I would have immediately failed at this venture. Every once in a while I decide that I am, once again, going to take up running. I get the sneakers on. I get the sweatpants or other related gear on. I put the headphones in my ears. I’m off! I have an absolutely gorgeous spot to run that is right next to the water. The views are spectacular. You would think this would be nothing but inspirational.

But then again, you don’t know me.

For whatever reason, I am the queen of side stitches. No matter what I do, no matter what I try to do beforehand, I end up with side stitches. Sometimes I try to jog through them. Other times the pain is so bad that I have to stop. In fact, the last time I jogged my side stitch was so bad I think I ended up tearing something behind my rib cage! (I know they can’t do anything for rib injuries but allow them to heal so I just found myself to be in pain for two weeks.) I also have a lot of trouble breathing whilst taking a jog, so much so I need to stop at times.

Thus I have failed at one of the cheapest forms of exercise—but I am sure it will make its triumphant return one day! I mean, triumphant attempt. Yeah.

Biking

I have to say I always liked being on a bike. I used to ride a bike when I was a kid. Bikes are fun.

Except I find that I have a general hatred for people on bikes.

People on bikes seem to think they can do whatever they want. Something in their way? Sure, just dart right in front of your car. They’re coming from behind? Get out of their way. There are some seriously angry people on bikes and as a result, there are some seriously angry people in cars (read: me) who find themselves behind these bikers.

Now I have had bad knees since I was about thirteen. I did ride a bike on occasion after the age of thirteen but not very often. One day a couple of years ago I got a bike from my grandma’s basement and brought it to my apartment. “I don’t want to jog. I want to ride the bike. Much easier!”

Words of infamy, my friends.

I started off well. I biked down to that same beautiful landscape that I can run on—it has a bike path as well. At first, all seems to be going well. And then I realize it’s happening—the knee pain. I think that I can bike through it. I keep going. I get to a point not too terribly far that I realize the knee pain is overwhelming.

I can only describe this pain as someone is violently stabbing me in the knees. Repeatedly.

You see, I have found that biking must bother my knees far more than anything else because they are essentially completely bent when I am biking. Something about this really hurts the old joints. I took a breather. I sat down for a few minutes. “I’m ready to bike back,” I thought. This thought process was so successful that I ended up walking my bike halfway home.

The Result of Failed Ventures

I don’t know about you, but I foresee myself attempting to jog or bike in the near future.