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Posts tagged with: job interview

Cross Your Fingers for Me

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Later today I have what I think will be a final interview for a full time job here in GA.  It’s the one I referenced here that called me on our move down.  I’ve been through the first interview, personality test, submitted professional references, so I think this should be the last in person part of the process…

Not counting my chickens before they hatch, been through too much of this in the past year and a half to do that, but I am hopeful. We’ve got one more week here before we return to VA for a week for Gymnast state meet, Princess orthodontist appointment and so on. (Yes, I did let this potential job know about this commitment in the very first phone call and again in the person interview.)

This move has been a BIG change for us all.  While I am really enjoying the lower cost of living (gas and groceries,) we are all filling the pinch of lack of activities for the kids.  We’ve been exploring the surrounding counties to see what their parks and rec departments have to offer.  I know once they get plugged in and make some friends it will be easier on them.

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Princess and I spent Friday night window shopping and trying on shoes just to get out of the house while Gymnast spent the weekend at cousins.

Oh, and Sea Cadet has a job interview as a vet tech tomorrow. I’m not sure how that will work since he has unofficially committed to the same summer camp as last year. If he gets this local job, he will have some decisions to make.


Financial Ups and Downs

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We already know that this month is tough – emotionally and financially!

Here are the latest happenings in this roller-coaster called life…

Good: I got called to do a campus visit interview for the job I recently talked about. It’s really kind of odd. They told me to pencil in 1-4 on a couple different days and they’d get back to let me know which day works for the committee. Very different than my other interview experiences where I’ve had a full day worth of meetings and activities, complete with detailed itinerary and dinner with faculty. I’m hoping this has more to do with the last-minute nature of this job posting and is not a red flag of a potentially low salary (no salary range was listed in the job posting, it just said DOE. I’m very nervous about a surprise super low salary offer, where we might be too far apart to even negotiate).

Bad: Hubs’ truck was making a super scary noise and not braking correctly so he took it into the shop. We were hoping brakes were the issue (they were recently replaced and are still under warranty), but nope. It was related to power steering (he told me more specifics, but I can’t recount the issues here because I’ve already forgotten the names of the leaking/broken parts). Price tag = $1350. Could not have come at a worse time.

Good: We had nearly $900 in our car repairs saving account! I’m going to pay for the repairs on a credit card so I can buy myself an extra month until it has to be paid (note: I still use the credit card for large purchases for the extra assurances and to earn some credit card rewards points, but I always pay it in full when the bill is due). I’ll be able to put $900 toward it from the money we already currently have and the other $450 will come from next month’s budget (since the bill won’t be due until next month). Wiping my brow, thankful we have that savings to cover the majority of the expense!

Bad: I cannot get my husband into the dentist. Cannot do it. Does anyone have any tips on this? From a logical perspective, he totally agrees he needs to go and should really have better oral hygiene – taking more preventative measures instead of waiting until things hit “crisis” level (aka: root canal) and being hit with a much larger bill. So – that’s not the issue. He “gets” it and he agrees. Part of the issue is work-related. Especially with the lower income he’s been drawing he really wants to focus 100% of his energy on work and not take time off for dental appointments. The other part is more psychological. He hates the dentist. I want him to go to a new dentist (an awesome local family-run office who has cut me deals for paying cash and works with me on price), but he refuses to get another dental x-ray. After his health scare in late 2013 when he had a million medical procedures performed, he’s very aversive to any additional procedures. He’s especially reluctant to have new x-rays done because he thinks he’s going to get cancer from all the exposure. He did try to call and have his dental x-rays transferred from his old office, but they send some file format that can’t be opened by the new dentist. The new dentist would even do it for FREE, so it’s really not a cost thing. It’s all about hubs’ fear of dentist/x-ray/dental work and his reluctance to take any time off work. Suggestions? I’m at a loss.

Good: We were officially accepted to a new preschool starting in mid-August! I will be very sad to leave the JCC. They truly have an incredible program! But I really like the new school too and I will LOVE the close proximity to our house and the lower cost! One caveat is it only operates during the school year (not year-round), so I may still enroll the girls in summer camp at the JCC next summer (which, of course, means summer months will be more costly for childcare since JCC costs more). I do like that as a possible compromise though.

What are some good (or bad) things that have impacted your finances lately?


Hair Solution

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I was debating what to do about my hair for my upcoming not-an-interview.

As you might recall, I went a full 9+ months without a single professional hair cut/color (I cut and colored my own hair at home during that time). The only reason I opted to finally go back to a professional hair salon was in preparation of my last interview. That was almost exactly 2 months ago and I’ve been really torn on what to do for my upcoming trip. I know I want to have a nice, polished look, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money and I feel like I just barely had my hair done!

Well, I think I came up with a good compromise/solution to the hair conundrum I found myself in (first world problems, right?) I went to an Aveda Institute salon (the “Institute” salons are the schools so they’re cheaper) and I paid for a cut and eyebrow wax, deciding to forego the color. I think my “old” highlights (said in quotes because they’re only 2 months old!) still look great. I don’t have a noticeable line of new growth and I think they’re holding up well. But my last salon visit I did more of a trim so, to have the polished freshly-cut look, I had the hair stylist cut a couple inches off the bottom and add in some new subtle layers.

The total cost for cut + eyebrow wax was a whopping $25. Add in the cost of tip ($7) and parking ($3) and the grand total was $35. Much, much cheaper than if I’d added in any color. Plus, I think the new ‘do provides a nice, polished look to it. Could just be a psychological thing, too, but hey – it’s important to feel confident at an interview, so I think it’s worth the price tag (plus I’d budgeted for this back in February, too).

Speaking of….

Surprise! I’m here now! (note:  I’ve purposely not mentioned where, specifically, I am….but I’m at the interview location, heh).

I flew in on Wednesday afternoon, picked up my shiny new rental car (brand new! so many fun/cool features!), and checked into my super fancy-pants hotel (with a full kitchen! full fridge! free hot breakfast! free evening social hour!!!) I’ll miss my kiddos but – man – can I stay an extra day? LoL! I feel like I’m in the lap of luxury right now!!

Meanwhile, I wrote this post on Wednesday night as TODAY is my interview not-an-interview! Wish me luck! They’ve got my itinerary pretty jam-packed in the morning (guest lecture from 9:30-10:45; then research presentation from 11:00-12:00), but then the rest of the day is more casual (lunch with faculty, individual faculty meetings, etc.). I wish it wasn’t back-to-back with my two presentations first thing in the morning, but at least that way I’ve got them out of the way and can just basically coast the rest of the day.

So – for a second time – please wish me luck! I know that there’s not officially a position open right now, but I’ve got to think that if this visit goes well that I’ll have made the short list for the next position that comes available (whenever that may be).

Also, thanks to those of you who have sent lists/links of interview questions for academic positions. I’ve definitely used them to brush up a bit before my campus visit.

Hope you all have a great Thursday! I’ll see you next week when I’m back in Tucson!


Coffee Date #2

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As a reminder, this post style (the coffee date concept) was an idea I borrowed from the Fitnessista (with her knowledge and permission). If you’re into fitness, check out her blog. She offers tons of FREE workout guides, videos, healthy recipes, and more. See my last coffee date post here

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If we were having coffee right now….

  • I’d tell you all about the drama in mine and hubs’ families right now. There’s been a LOT. Hospitalization, rehabilitation (not the drug kind, the physical/health kind), threats of lawsuits, and icky job-related stuff. Nothing that directly impacts me or hubs and (knock on wood) things are going well with us, but these issues have been in the forefront of our minds as we’ve been having LOTS of phone calls home recently to discuss various issues.
  • I’d invite you and the kiddos to the zoo with us! We’ve been making great use of our family pass, going once a week for the past several weeks. The girls’ favorite thing is to see the gibbons swinging around (and they now know the difference between a gibbon, monkey, and gorilla). A close second is seeing the peacocks (since they wander freely the girls always try to chase them), and feeding the giraffes! It’s so fun to talk later all about what we saw and did.

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Intently watching the gibbons!

  • Speaking of doing stuff with the kids, I’d probably try to convince you to go camping with us in April! The town where we live hosts a big family camping night once per year and I really want to go this time. It’s super cheap ($5 for a family of 4), and the town does a big-screen movie in the park, has a huge bonfire, does tent decorating prizes, has a storyteller, offers crafts, and lots more (all for just the $5 admission). Hubs and I used to be big campers pre-babies but haven’t gone a single time since the girls were born. This would be our first family camping experience and I think it sounds like a lot of fun.
  • I’d have to tell you that I didn’t get the job I recently interviewed for. They haven’t sent an official rejection, but I was told the decision would be made the first week of February. Seeing as its now the last week of February…I think its safe to say I didn’t get it. It’s a big bummer, but not the end of the world.
  • Speaking of jobs, I’d tell you about my current employment situation. I’ve hinted at it before, but things went a little downhill with “University B” (the research job) at the end of last year. I got my last paychecks in January and haven’t worked for them since. Things with “University A” (where I teach online) are still going well, though I’ve had some frustrating class experiences. The past 2 semesters in a row I’ve had a class cancelled due to low enrollment. That’s not my employers’ fault, but its super frustrating when I’m expecting “X” number of dollars from 3 classes, but then get downgraded to only 2 classes. Next semester I’m going to insist/beg/plead/whatever it takes to move up to 3 classes (even if it means changing up the classes I usually teach). I really do get paid very well from them (like…. literally twice as much as the local community college pays), but I need a third class to boost my income a little after my loss-of-income from University B.

If we were having coffee right now we’d probably be chasing the kids around the park and trying to keep them from hurting themselves. It’d be a coffee date and playdate rolled into one. I’d thank you for meeting me and hanging out on such a beautiful day (sorry to those of you in cold places….it’s been in the mid-70s in Tucson). We should do this again soon!

If we were having a coffee date, what would you tell me?

PS: What do you think about the stock photo (of the coffee cup)? Trying to decide if I want to start sprinkling in additional photos to my posts. I’m a TERRIBLE photographer, so my own iphone-quality photos have been few and far between. But there are lots of free photos available through various websites that I can use (for free, duh!), but not sure if it would seem cheesy or if you guys like the pics to break up the text? Tell me what you think!


On-Campus Interview

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I just got the email I was hoping for….I’ve been asked to do a campus interview!!! This is for the job I recently had a phone interview with (I talked about the phone interview here) and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d receive the campus visit request. I felt the phone interview had gone well but its been a full month since then and, even with the holidays, I thought I would’ve heard back before now. So I was thrilled and pumped to see the email!

I’ve been asked to prepare two separate talks. The first (and longer) talk is about a specific content area (which happens to NOT be my area of expertise. A little odd and will require some prep, but no biggie). The second, shorter, talk is supposed to be about my vision of higher education in reference to technology, different modalities of teaching, etc.  Academic friends – thoughts on this topic? I assume the best bet is to research the University’s and Department’s strategic planning to make sure my thoughts are in-line with theirs, but this is certainly an interesting thing to talk about. Not what I’d expected, but interesting to be part of the interview.

And in reference to my birthday money I’d talked about, it now has a purpose! I’ve decided to put some of it toward getting an appropriate interview outfit (no, I haven’t done that yet) and some of it toward getting my hair professionally cut/colored for the interview. This will be my first professional hair cut/color since BEFORE I started blogging here (my last time was back in early March 2014). Although I think I’ve done a decent job doing my own hair (I do my own cuts & have just done all-over boxed color), I think its important to look one’s best on a job interview and the confidence boost I’ll get from having professionally done cut/color can’t hurt, either. Even after my last botched experience, I decided to purchase a Groupon for the hair cut/color. This time, though, the Groupon is for a really fancy salon, and I paid $65 (retail value of $185). I’m hopeful that my experience this time around will be lightyears better than last time. I have no idea how much the interview suit will cost. I know there’s a huge range and I’d like to stay on the lower-mid-cost side of things, while still scoring a really nice outfit. If birthday money is leftover after that, it’ll be going toward debt.

Fingers crossed for finding a decent interview outfit! My interview is scheduled for January 26th, so I’ve got a couple weeks to find something.