#5294 – think it's time to start a new chapter

the spring schedule of classes was just posted not too long ago, and early this week i was able to register for my last three graduate school classes: project management, information architecture for the web, and systems and information integration. if all goes well, i’ll be done with classes on may 12, and graduation is may 20 – only 189 days left to go! then, time to really get cracking on looking for a new job. i’m already looking, visiting job fairs on campus, etc., but that’s when i’ll really have to step it up.

i mean, i like my job now, but i need a new challenge, and something that pays more. like i keep saying, i want to a) move out, and b) have enough money to move out and pay rent and my student loans and so on. my problem is, i don’t really see that many opportunities at work now that i’d want to pursue. there was that sales ops position a few weeks back that i thought i’d be perfect for, but i ended up not applying. why? well, i looked at the job duties (and i mean really looked), and thought it over, and with the amount of work i’d be doing, and my plan to take 3 courses in the spring, plus the possibility of traveling extensively for the position… well, it didn’t seem like it’d be a good combination for me. at least, not at this time. i don’t think i would be able to devote the time necessary for my classes full-time while taking on advanced responsibilities full-time and then traveling from place to place on top of that. so, i didn’t apply. i feel a little bad about it, but i think i’m being realistic about it too.

also, a lot of other positions i’ve seen at work are located in places i’m not sure i’d want to work (no offense to new jersey, but our headquarters is located in new jersey, so a lot of positions are based out of our offices there, but something doesn’t appeal to me about living in new jersey 😛 ). and, a lot of the positions i’ve been finding seem to require much more experience than i have, or specialized skills i don’t have… lots of senior positions, and few mid-level positions (if any).

is it weird that someone with a soon-to-be master’s degree plus 8-10 years of work experience feels they’re underqualified? maybe i’m underestimating myself, which wouldn’t surprise me. perhaps i’m looking at the wrong job openings, which is also entirely possible.

i keep getting this feeling that i need to go somewhere else to strike out on my own. it probably sounds silly, but i think it’s because i’ve never lived for an extended period of time anywhere that was more than 30-40 minutes away from home. even feisty_fitz and anne both went to college hours away, but me – when i started at UMBC… when i lived in my apartment… both of those were only a short drive away (and when i went to UMBC, and when i lived in the apartment, i always had close friends close by). maybe if i were living on my own i wouldn’t feel this way, but i really feel like i’m stuck in a rut, like i need to go someplace new, meet new people, and try new things. but at the same time, i like having my friends here, i like having family here, i like knowing where things are and what’s around. i’m wondering if i’m using my local attachments as a security blanket – i know i feel pretty uncomfortable when i think about striking out somewhere on my own. then again, that seems like a natural reaction to me. all i know is that kelly’s now in texas, thinking about moving with her fiancé to tennessee, and anne’s now in college on the eastern shore and who knows where she’ll go once she’s done. it’s ridiculous to expect the family to all live under the same roof forever, and spreading out is expected.

i remembered today that friday is when i’ll find out if i’ve been selected to be one of the student volunteers for the CSCW conference in china in march. if i’m accepted, hello cheap trip to china! i’d just have to pay for airfare, and in exchange for volunteering 20 hours over 4 days i’d get my hotel and most of my meals paid for. then i just need to figure out if i should go, and if i can afford to. at least the graduate student association on campus can give me a $250 travel grant in exchange for 1 hour of community service on campus, so that helps too. i think it’d be about $900 r/t for airfare after the voucher, if i remember right.

monday is the first day when we can submit our vacation schedule requests for 2011, so i’m getting all my travel plans figured out so i can plan out my days to request off. the girl in the cubicle next to me asked me if i had made any plans for my around-the-world ticket yet (since i’m only 17,000 miles short of that thanks to the bazillion miles i purchased to use for the trip to japan earlier this year). us airways is having a special right now until november 15th where they double the miles purchased, up to 50,000 miles (for a total of 100,000 miles). i can purchase my remaining miles for about $250. not bad. the only question would be when would i use my around-the-world ticket? after all the dates i’ve planned out so far (and it’s not even all the days i want to take off yet), i’ve got 13 days of vacation. so, 2 weeks. it was stressful trying to hop all around europe for 2 weeks, i’d rather have a whole month or two to travel around the world. i told my coworker that it’s the sort of thing that i’d want to do between quitting my job and starting the next. there’s also an option of taking a leave of absence, but they don’t guarantee your job will be there when you return, and if you start working for someone else during your leave of absence then you’re fired. while that wouldn’t be a problem (since i wouldn’t plan on working during that time), i’d have to be sure i’ve got enough money saved up to last me during my travels.

at least thinking about it has put me in the mood to listen to michael palin’s “around the world in 80 days” audiobook again.

speaking of travel and jobs, i also told mom and dad about my planned trip to portland. mom’s first question: “does this mean you’re going to move to portland?” 😛 i have no clue, mom. maybe if i find a job there, i dunno. going back to the beginning of this post, i know in my job search for other cities i’d potentially move to, i’m only really looking at places i’ve been to before (i’d hate to get a job in some city i’ve never been in and end up hating it there, so i feel that i have to visit a city at least once before i can work there). that means in no particular order i can look for jobs in the following areas: washington dc, baltimore, new york city, boston, san diego, san francisco, atlanta. maybe milwaukee since we used to live there when i was a little kid, but perhaps that doesn’t count in that case since i haven’t been there in 24 years or so. there’s a few other areas i’ve been to, but they aren’t city enough for my taste, or have other environment/social/political issues that would make me uncomfortable. i guess if we were talking international locations, london and montreal are options too, though those are extremely unlikely. portland would be an option after january, but a) i’d need to find a job for it to be an option, and b) i don’t want to move somewhere just because all the cool kids are doing it. i’d have to feel that it’d be a good fit for me.