The Big Event

This weekend is Reunion weekend at the college where I work. I’m so excited to meet the alumni I’ve been talking to and emailing for months.

There are many events today and tomorrow so it’s all hands on deck. I love the thrill of running around and making sure that everything runs smoothly (or at least faking it so no one knowss it isn’t)! I thrive on the fast thinking and details that need to be thought through to make it a great experience for everyone coming back to campus. I’m an event planner by nature. Once I started doing events for the American Cancer Society there was no going back. I have a pipe-dream of being a wedding/events planner, but we’ll see what happens!

I’m posting early because it’s going to be a long day and I’m not going to be back on a computer until Sunday, when I’ll need to catch up on all my homework and work for my PT jobs.

Yes, this is happening

Yes, this is happening

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A Long Weekend

No, I don’t just mean it’s long because of the holiday (Happy Memorial Day!) I had a very busy day at work and had to do a ton of errands and go to my parents’ house to help my sister pack up for her move to DC. I then went to sleep because at 7AM the next day I left for Pittsford NY to take my little brother to his regatta, while my parents took my little sister to DC…and I got home a couple of hours ago after a few more errands.

My fabulous littles

My fabulous littles

It was an exciting weekend though! My little brother did fantastic in his first crew race ever and I learned all about the crew world and being the ‘parent’ of a teenager. I did realize how little I miss being a teenager….

My little bro's first race!

My little bro’s first race!

Having my sister (aka my best friend) move 7 hours away is pretty emotional. I’m so so proud of her for landing an amazing job in her dream field, but it stinks that she won’t be around to hang out. I look forward to visiting and exploring DC as often as I can, but I know the reality is that people get busy and it will be a while before we get some quality sister time.

No three day weekend to relax after all this either, I have to work tomorrow 😛

New Job!

View from my office

View from my office

I got a new job! I’m now working in the Annual Fund at a college! It’s been a little over a month and things are going really well. The people I work with are amazing and I love the creativity I’m allowed. Another cool perk – I get to travel to visit alumni, attend events, and conferences. I’ve already been to Boston, and I’m going to Richmond VA in April.

I miss my friends at my old job. I’m actually still working for them in a PT capacity writing blogs and selection guides. It keeps me busy, pays the bills, and allows me to stay in touch with people.

More exciting news and updates on the way!

Double Life: Working Two Jobs

I’ve always worked more than one job. In high school I taught swimming/life guarded and worked at the Hallmark store on the weekends. In college I had a work study job, worked the hockey games, bar-tended the campus pub, and  did random odd jobs for my boss throughout the year.

Image Credit: wired.com

I thought nothing of getting a second job while working a full time job. I thought it would be easy since I had evenings free and didn’t have to deal with weird class schedules or homework. The extra money was nice too since I was trying to make a big dent in my student loans before I moved out.

The first attempt was at a clothing retail store. I know the manager so I was able to get the hours I wanted. It was only a 4 hour shift so I didn’t get a break and the work was really really boring. There was also a lot of drama and honestly, that was the most exhausting part. The pay wasn’t great and when they suggested cutting my hours I took it as a sign that I should put in my 2 weeks.

Time on payroll: 1 month, 2 weeks

The second attempt was off of craigslist. I’ll preface the story with that because there’s always a good story when you start with “So I found this ____ on craigslist.” The job was doing SEO work for a local computer repair store. They needed someone to clean up their site, and help their rankings. The job had the potential to become full time since the store wanted to start offering SEO services to their customers. I was so excited. I was basically a consultant for them and it was a huge opportunity for me. The pay was great and I had a ton of control over their site and blog. But…

The ‘office’ was rough. The company is run by a “bro.” I wasn’t always comfortable or able to be productive at the store. He wouldn’t let me work remotely so I had to go to the office three nights a week and deal with him and his friends talking about their weekend shenanigans  It was tiring but I was making (at least I thought I was) a lot of progress. Each day I would edit pages on his site, and come up with a plan to help the company rank for local searches. The site had been hit hard by some of the recent Google updates and he had participated in some sketchy link schemes.

The owner wanted me to get  more links (which is what got him in trouble in the first place) and not the right way. He was growing impatient and frustrated. He gave me a “what’s my ROI for you?” speech. I worked harder, I worked from home (not being paid) and I would write him detailed reports, with supporting articles, on what I had done, how it would help, and where we need to focus. But it always came back to “we need to rank for a keyword.”

And then one day it became clear what his expectations were. He told me that the last SEO girl created an Avatar named “Miss Sexy Boobs” and flirted with webmasters to get links. I told him I wasn’t going to participate in manipulative or Black Hat practices. So I quit. It sucked because I couldn’t accept credit for any of the work I had done for his site or use him as a reference.

Time on the payroll: 1 month

The bright side – I learned a lot. I was able to play around with SEO Tools, back-end website CMS, and create content for a website. Most importantly, I learned that I shouldn’t compromise my personal ethics for money and I have to power to say no.

So I’m back to square one. Honestly, I could live without the second job. I would be perfectly happy working one full time job and using my free time to rock climb, dance, and volunteer. But since this blog is about being independent and broke, that would be too easy 🙂

Welcome to the Post- College Dream

Post college life isn’t all its cracked up to be huh? We think it’s going to be working 9-5 at a job we love, making more than enough money. Weeknights would be spent at happy hours with cool friends that have jobs with perks they can share (Devil wears Prada anyone?). Weekend night would be spent acting like you never left college and weekend days would be spent catching up on your favorite TV shows in  your cute apartment.

In reality, it’s more like working 8-6 at a job you tolerate, making barely enough to be by after loan payments and bills. Weeknights are spent looking for a job you actually want to do and weekends are spent home (like parent’s house) because you used up your ‘entertainment budget Tuesday or at your second job so you can afford to not have time to go out.

But don’t lose hope! You’re not alone.

Everyone has a story and different circumstances that got them to their post-college life, but we are all in it together.

The purpose of this blog is to make you smile, maybe laugh, at the situations and challenges we are all going through. It will also provide some tips and tricks for the many challenges we face from  working in a cubicle to working (period), grad school, budgeting, friends, and relationships.

I’ll be honest and say that I’m scared of what’s ahead. I’m afraid I’m going to run out of money, or lose my job, or end up alone. I have irrational fears of choking while I’m home alone or having someone break in. But my biggest fear is not making it. To me, this move starts a new chapter in my life. It means I need to be self-sufficient, frugal, determined, and reliable to my family and friends as I discover my dreams.