When plans change.  

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I've been dead set on staying out in Washington D.C. ever since I lost my job. I just didn't think I was ready to leave, until the other day. I can't quite pinpoint what triggered it, maybe feeling the full extent of the nothingness D.C. represents now, but I felt this sudden and strong desire to move back to Seattle. I felt like I was ready. I had ventured out on my own at the age of 18 and seldom returned home for extended periods of time. Three times for a few months at a time in the last nine years, if I recall correctly.

I think my last trip helped me realize what I miss out on when I choose to see the world and grow up, on my own. I miss familar faces, home cooked meals, extended family, my pets, familiarity of surroundings, memories, my dog sleeping under the covers to keep warm, puppies and kittens, and the realization that I am not completely alone.

I go into the storage area where all of my stuff is in Washington and get so excited at what I have collected over the years. I cannot wait until I settle down somewhere and I can hang my diploma's up on my wall in their beautiful frames my dad bought for me for the last three of my four degrees. I cannot wait to have my stuff back. I cannot wait to have my winter, summer, fall, and spring wardrobes all together!

So I texted my mom a few days ago and told her I was ready to come back. Not necessarily move back into the family home, but move back to the area. The sad reality now has been the foundation of why I wanted to stay; there are just more jobs here. More professional opportunities to grow. My professional ties are here. A job I might get is most likely here and to start applying to jobs in Seattle would be a time consuming and potentially fruitless effort.

This job I might get would last thru November. I couldn't drive across the country in December. The time is now, or next year when I am most likely broke. I can't make the decision now, nor a week from now. I need time. I need things to sort themselves out and then everything will become clear again and the road will unfold before me. Until then I bask in the nothingness of Washington D.C.

To Be Continued Continued.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

One of my former bosses, who I adore, has passed my name along to someone in the political consulting industry. I was able to have a phone coversation with them and met with them today to talk about getting a position with the consulting firm. The problem is that I am lacking in some of the qualifications they desire. They asked me to have two of my references call them and gave me a homework assignment. The assignment is a writing project, but the project is a type of project I've never done before. Yikes.

The pay would be about a $500/month cut in pay, but the experience I would get would hopefully trump the cut in pay. They actually told me when they mentioned the pay that it would probably be more than what I was making at my last job...not quite. I got a promotion and raise in February.

My main concern, aside from the homework, is approaching my boss about these medical issues I am having with that damn car accident. I really should be getting physical therapy 2x/week. The appointments are only about 30 minutes, and I can walk there in about 10-15 minutes from work. So I only need a few hours a week. However, if I do get this job and start right away, I will still need to schedule time to go see a Neurologist and go get that MRI.

The most unfortunate thing about campaign work, and this job would essentially be a campaign job, is not just the pay, but the hours really kick you in the ass. You don't work 8 hours a day, and scheduling needed appointments around a campaign schedule can be exceptionally difficult.

So any advice on approaching my potential boss if I get the job about appointments would be greatly appreciated. I figure as soon as she opens the door to accepting the job would be my time to ask her if it's "possible" to go see my physical therapist twice a week. Frankly, I'm content holding off on the MRI until I get more physical therapy.

To use my COBRA or not, that is the question.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

On June 30th, my health insurance coverage will end, unless I elect to use COBRA and spend 25% of my unemployment $$$ on the coverage. So, I wanted to go see my doctor one last time. I was assuming she'd give me some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories because I'm still having pain from my car accident that happened a few months ago when I was rear-ended on I-5.

Well, I was wrong. She ordered bloodwork to see if I have any vitamin deficiencies (I bet I do), then wanted a urine sample, then ordered an MRI, and said I need more physical therapy, and last but not least, referred me to a Neurologist. I'm thinking my doctor didn't quite get that I won't have insurance to cover all of the aforementioned after Monday, and there is no way I can squeeze all of that in by Monday, unless I use my COBRA to continue my coverage, which I kinda feel I need to now. Did I mention how I despise needles?

The last time I had blood drawn, I nearly passed out. It wasn't just because they took 9 vials, it was just the fact that I am scared to death of those damn needles and if you've seen my arms, you know getting a vein can be quite the challenge. And they use the baby needles, so it takes forever.

So I was somewhat relieved when the Phlebotomist acted pretty confident in her ability to get a vein. Yet, she picked the right arm. RED FLAG #1. Red Flag #2, #3, and #4 were the successive attempts in that arm she tried to get a vein. Finally, finally, she moved to the other arm, the arm that has been used for iv sites and bloodwork the last several times, all successfully. Yet, it took her a few more tries to finally get a vein. She then asked, "does your blood move slowly?" I don't freaking know, but clearly it does since it's taking 2 hours to get 4 vials. The vein she got finally gave out and she couldn't even fill the last vial. Thankfully the torture was over and I thought that a day that was supposed to be hopeful has turned out pretty freaking shitty until I checked my Facebook and saw I had a message.

To be continued...

When it rains, it pours?  

Posted by Jessica in ,

So I had two phone interviews today. The first was for a Senatorial campaign in a southern state. Pretty major race. I would be so much more interested if it meant I didn't have to move. I thought for sure they were calling and wanting to guage my interest in field work, but it was actually for a research position, which I found so much more interesting. What's really great is they approached me! I sent them some of my research work earlier tonight. I just have no interest in moving to this particular state. DC or bust!

Then I interviewed with a group who does staffing for a lot of campaigns and organizations, such as the DNC, Moveon.org, etc...You do work on behalf of the groups but are paid through this other group. A lot of campaigns contract out some, or all, of their staffing. I have a feeling that the pay will not be great and the hours (80-100/week) is really tough to maintain. I pulled hours like that for two months last summer, then dropped down to 60-80 hours for a few more months, and have been at around 50-80 hours since then and it is killer. I just don't think I can maintain that and this position includes a lot of door-to-door work, which can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Later on I received a call from a political temp agency. Only in DC. I'm gonna go see them next week. Figure it's worth a shot, ya know? I'd love to work in a PR Firm or Ad Firm, or something like that. I find advertising so interesting.

So that's the status. Meanwhile, I'm plugging away at cover letters. Ugh.

They Will Not Be There Had It Not Been for Hillary.  

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"Someday soon, very soon in America, we will have a woman as president. And you know what that woman will say? 'I would not be here had it not been for Hillary Rodham Clinton."' Joel Klein

When Big Government Matters.  

Posted by Jessica in

Despite being a total bleeding heart liberal, I'm not the biggest fan of "big government." Besides being, often times, inefficient and ineffective, it costs a lot of money to run a "big government." This is where my libertarian streak really manifests itself. With that said, we still need government. But we don't just need government. We need an effective and efficient government. A government which limits the bureaucratic nightmare it has made so famous.

This is why.

And when you click on the link and read it, this next sentence will make sense. No, California officials, bureaucracy didn't fail the little boy, YOU did.

Going home.  

Posted by Jessica in

The Little Ship

I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted his white sails with a golden light, and as he disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered, "He is gone".

But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered, "He is gone" a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, "Here he comes!"

Maria Shriver read this at Russert's funeral. Pretty touching.

When politics goes from everything to just something.  

Posted by Jessica in

For the past year, politics has been my life. Everything else has taken a backseat while I traveled our country to live my dream. Anytime I start feeling sad about my job, I just remember that I had an opportunity few have and there were many many happy times. For that, I am eternally grateful.

There were times when I thought that my life was just too great and maybe it was something God made happen to make up for the fact that I had this not so great childhood. I'll never forget those times and I have many people in my life now that only exist in my life because my job placed me in places where I could meet them (hi Paula and Michelle!).

But I wasn't smart. I let politics not only dominate my life but dominate it to a point where I didn't have much else there. So, this makes me wonder if maybe I'm not cut out for campaign work.

The dirty secret of campaign work is that a lot of the time you get treated like crap, paid like crap, and promised things that never materialize (promotions, pay increases, opportunities, skills). I worked for people during the last year which were pretty good to me but I started out organizing making $400/week. Thank goodness I had free housing, but I was working 80-100 hours a week! The interns in DC were making $2000/month....so annoying.

So the question then becomes, am I willing to put my life on hold to work in politics, not make very good money, not have very stable employment, work insane hours, and work with and under people who can be inept or totally lame?

The hunt continues. Did I mention that I hate hunting?  

Posted by Jessica in

Sigh. So I've applied to several jobs and it's really frustrating how time consuming it is just to apply to a job. Not only should your cover letter and resume be tailored to each job you apply to, but when you email those out, you should even have a mini cover letter in the email body. And then I'm all confused because most of the jobs I'm applying to ask for no phone calls or faxes and so I email them my stuff. Do I follow up with an email a week or so later? I'm not usually emailing these to specific people because a specific person isn't listed. The whole thing is just really annoying.

The good thing is that I'm realizing how valuable my background is in qualitative and quantitative methodology is. In fact, I wish I had some of my books here so I can refresh my knowledge.

I've discovered I get bad writer's block on my cover letters. The worst part is my intro. I want it to be exciting enough to catch their interest, but nothing crazy or weird. I'm also having a hard time summarizing how awesome I am. I kid. But really, summarizing 7 years of college, 5 years of work experience and several skills I've gained from school and work can be challenging.

So that's the challenge. I'm thinking I might head to Border's tomorrow to get out of the house and work a little on job applications. I'm getting bored here at home...

Greatness doesn't happen to those who play it safe.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

There were aspects of my last job that I greatly enjoyed. Namely, the candidate tracking. The rest of my job, which encompassed most of what I did, I didn't enjoy. It felt like menial work and everyday that passed, my IQ dropped a point. With this in mind, I continued in my job, worked my ass off and didn't search very hard for another job. Why?

I enjoyed the familiarity I had with the campaign and my coworkers. I loved the casual dress code and other small perks that can be unique to campaigns. But mostly, it was safe. I knew how to do the job, it wasn't difficult, and I made enough money to pay my bills. So when I was laid off, I was pretty upset but realized the silver lining. I wasn't strong enough to leave on my own to pursue something better, someone had to push me out, push me out so I could pursue something great. Greatness doesn't happen when you are playing it safe.

So with a severance package that buys me a month or so to find another job, I begin my search in hopes of finding greatness.

The Seattleite Returns to the District.  

Posted by Jessica in , , , ,

So after spending a few days home in Seattle, I returned to my other home back east. I felt like I was going to a funeral, which sounds so awful and melodramatic, but it's painfully true. My whole life was my job and now it's gone which means I have no life. My social life revolved around my work and co-workers and that is gone. I can only spend some much time job hunting, writing cover letters, tweaking my resume, etc, before I become bored to death. So, I decided to use my severance check to buy a small television and get cable installed...

I haven't had my own access to a tv and cable in almost a year, so I think it's high time I was reunited with one of my great loves-television. I love to sleep with the tv on. It's a bad habit, but I've done it for so long and the familiarity of it feels really nice. I also figure that even when I do find a new job, it hopefully won't require 60-80 hour+ work weeks like my last job so I will have more time to relax in front of the tv.

I've been really toying with the idea of moving to Seattle. I just don't know if I should pull the trigger on that idea quite yet. Here's why; I've spent the last year building up my resume, but building it up for campaign work. Now, I'm not quite sure I want to do campaign work. The hours, the instability, the often times shitty treatment, I just don't know if I have it in me to make a career out of it. So when I look at other jobs that I'm not quite qualified for, but could be soon, I think what better place to be than D.C. to build up my resume and really get good experience outside of campaign work?

I love politics, and if I don't/can't work on campaigns, maybe I should keep myself in my Mecca to still feed that hunger but not gorge myself on it by working on campaigns?

Lastly, I would just like to say that I wish more than anything that my family lived out east. I love it out here, especially New England.

Tim Russert Dead at Age 58.  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

He was very kind to me when I met him. RIP.

This Seattleite is returning to Seattle.  

Posted by Jessica in

But only temporarily. Why sit around and job hunt and be lonely and bored in Maryland when I can do it surrounded by family and animals??? 

So, job hunting sucks! I have two resumes I work off of. I edit them each time I submit one to an employer. I've had some people help me clean them up. I use one for political work and one for all non-political work. Everyone, these days, wants a cover letter. In some ways, that's more important than the resume because if you have a shitty cover letter, will they even look at your resume? Mostly likely not.  I have found that I quite enjoy using Craigslist to find jobs, at least for the DC area. There is a lot of offerings and not as many fake job offerings as I thought there would be. Like on monster.com, most of the jobs are for joining the Army or doing "sales" for some company. 

I also know of some websites that are good for liberals/Democrats/progressives looking for jobs. I'm trying to find a contact for the Obama campaign but so far I haven't found someone with any pull/knowledge who could get my resume to the right person. Plus, I'm not sure I want to track anymore. Even though I was told by my former employer that I am the best tracker in the country, I'm not sure I want to keep doing that. I've mastered it and I would prefer to do something more challenging, intellectually stimulating, and new. I need to build up my resume with more skills. This girl doesn't want to be some one trick pony. 

My mistake for the last year has been making my work my entire life. So when I find myself without work, I find myself with almost nothing. I feel lost and unsure. I know I will survive and I know things happen for a reason and that in the end, this will be a great thing, being let free to really do great things, but right now, I can't help but feel confused and scared. 

Hillary tells staffers that their last day is friday.  

Posted by Jessica in

It's the end. Sad. 

This Seattleite is unemployed.  

Posted by Jessica in

So...it all happened today. I'm looking to get my resume out there. Gonna look for work in New England, Washington D.C., Utah/Idaho, Vegas, or Seattle.

Anyone know of any campaigns looking for a tracker or researcher? How about the public or non-profit sectors looking for a recent grad who works her ass off?

Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box  

Posted by Jessica in ,

So a few years ago in my Sociological Theory class at BYU-Idaho, we were studying some theories by Terry Warner. You have probably not heard of him but I was so fascinated by the theories that I bought the book, Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute.  (he founded The Arbinger Institute).

I had read the book a few years ago and liked it but just wasn't able to wrap my mind around the whole idea of getting out of the box and how important it was. A few weeks ago I started reading it again and have realized the importance of getting out of the box and how learning to do so isn't so much a trait of being a good leader but a trait of being a good person. I've also realized that no matter how good you get at getting out of the box, it's a constant struggle. 

I don't even want to get into some of the theories of the book for fear of completely butchering them. But if you go the link above, you can read excerpts from the book and if you like it, you can buy it used for $6.42 + shipping. Or, go to a local bookstore and buy it because I think it has important lessons to impart.

Warner is Mormon and teaches at BYU and if you want a short wiki bio on him, go here. So anyways, check out the book and let me know what you think or if you have other good recommendations. 

PostSecret of the week!  

Posted by Jessica in

For new secrets each week, visit PostSecret. And, if you are on Facebook, you get bonus new secrets each week!