Posts tagged with: job search

And we have moved!

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Day 1 of the rest of our lives is upon us.  We have finally made the move from our very high priced hometown to a very small town three states away.  The last two days during the move, I have woken up feeling so much hope just overflowing at what the future holds.  We will be living with my grandmother as we get the lay of the land before seeking housing of our own.

And I got a sign that we were going in the right direction during our 8 hour drive loaded down with the last our of our belongings. I got a call regarding a job, one small town away that I applied for 2 months ago!  Woot, woot!  Don’t know what will come of it, but it’s right up my alley and super close to our new town.

All of our stuff is in storage for $125 a month.  It’s in a container that we can have delivered to us for a few hundred dollars or go pick it up at no cost.  We are spending the weekend with friends in Atlanta as Gymnast will compete here for his last regular season meet with his old gym.

We will return to Virginia for one week in March for Gymnast to compete at states near DC.  We have free housing for the week and will knock out orthodontist appointments and so on that same week. He will train here locally for the next three weeks and then return to his team gym for the week before states.  We are so blessed with their flexibility and willingness to work with us.

So for the next three weeks we will be getting the lay of the land, seeking work (Sea Cadet and I at least) and trying to get the kids settled in.

Oh, and one more thing…I now have a “guaranteed” 25 hour a week job at the one I’ve been working for the past year.  So it’s not full time income, but it is steady and more than I’ve had consistently.  (Both my part time jobs have committed to keeping me on despite the move, so I continue to have regular income.)  Will do a budget and goals post in the next month or so as the dust settles from the move.

Things are looking up.  I am filled with HOPE for what this move could mean for us…lower cost of living, more work and who knows what else.


A Blessing in Disguise

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One of my biggest dreads this past fall was living in the camper for the winter.  Going outside and up and down slippery stairs to go to the bathroom, inadequate heat and just being cooped up in the tiny space, literally on top of each other.  If I let my mind go there, the darkness would overwhelm me.

We were all so excited to escape for the holidays to my grandmothers home and our short jaunt to Texas, as Christmas got closer and our return date got closer, I could feel my stomach tightening with dread.  Then I go the text. And we were homeless.

And as grateful as I was for the housing and the experiences we had…it was kind of a relief to know that we wouldn’t be spending the winter in the camper.

The housing we have been provided for these next weeks is beautiful! It’s newly remodeled and barely lived in (empty nesters.)  It’s like living in a dream.  I even got to soak in a bathtub for the first time in I don’t know how many years.  After the last two years so scrimping by, tiny living and shared space, this has been such a blessing.  And we’ve only been here a week.

We are not being charged any rent or utilities, but I am buying all the food and cooking and cleaning.  I imagine this is what most people live like every day…but for us, this is totally new.  Each of us has our own bedroom, our own bathroom (Princess and I have a jack and jill set up,) there is a pool table, washer and dryer, and we even have a dedicated school room.  I admit it, we feel a bit spoiled.

But I am so grateful, overwhelmed, by thankfulness in fact.  All I can say is that God heard my cries and he answered me, in a big, giant way.

It’s just temporary, but the respite from the daily struggle and stress has already worked wonders on my soul.  And I know, that whatever comes next will be okay.

Continuing the job hunt, preparing to pack and move everything to GA and make it our homebase until work allows us to settle somewhere, and completely open to whatever comes next.  And this weekend, we go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis where Gymnast will compete in the Navy Challenge.  Wish us luck as we will be fighting the inauguration traffic both ways…ugh!


And we are on the move again…

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Hello BAD Community and Happy 2017!  I hope your holiday season was fantastic and you were able to spend some down time with friends or family.  The kids and I have enjoyed a sabbatical (for lack of a better word) here in Georgia with a quick 10 day trip to Texas.  It was the first time we’d seen most of my siblings (there are 5 of us) in over two years.

We had a very frugal Christmas and loved every minute of it!  I didn’t decorate, I didn’t cook and I felt no stress to meet anyone’s expectations.  It was very freeing!  The kids were ecstatic with their “gift card’s for lunch with mom” and a variety of other small things like the $0.46 shorts.

Now for the bad news…we are still in Georgia, well beyond our expected return date. And the reason is that we have no where to return too.  While we were in Texas, I received a text from our hosts of our Glamping Adventure and where we have lived since April, 2016.  It read and I quote: “Bad news…a line broke on the camper. We had to totally winterize it to protect the rest of the plumbing.”  Yea, just a few days before Christmas we became officially homeless.

They did assure me it wasn’t something we had done (we left on Dec. 7th and this text was received Dec. 19th.)  So instead of returning to VA right after the New Year as anticipated, I have been frantically, FRANTICALLY trying to find us housing.  My original plan was to remain in VA at our free housing until April  and then move everything to GA and make my Grandmother’s our home base if I still hadn’t secure enough work or a full time job to get housing for us.

That has now been modified.  I have been able to secure temporary housing beginning Thursday at a home that will go on the market in March.  They have offered us housing through March 1st at no charge.  It is fully furnished and recently remodeled.

The plan now is to:

  • Return to VA on Tuesday (delayed from Monday due to snow storm.)  We will stay in a hotel for two nights.
  • Move into temporary housing on Thursday with absolute minimum necessary.
  • Spend the next two weeks packing our stuff at the camper.

Now I have to decided whether to:

  • Leave our stuff where it is (at the camper) until mid-February when we must return to GA for a gymnastics meet.  We would then load a moving truck and put everything in storage here in GA; or
  • Get a POD or U-pack or something similar and load everything in to put into storage until we know where we will land next.

A quick pricing check puts these two options within a $100 of each other.  I am leaning to the POD type storage because I am not certain when we will have housing and I am not certain, although I hope, that we will end up in GA.  Any words of wisdom from the BAD Community?

In additional to frantically seeking housing, I have SPAMMED everyone in my network with a plea to share my LinkedIn profile with their network.  I had a first interview on Friday afternoon and made it to the next round, but I’m not confident. 


Different Priorities

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Hello BAD community, thank you for your inquiries.  I thought I would pop in and share a quick update.

Debt

My sole debt at this point are my $32K-ish student loans which are in Income Based Repayment requiring $0 per month.

Income

I am still on the hunt for work, chasing any and all leads.  It’s been very frustrating and I can’t explain why this has been such a challenge.  It’s been a year since I had full time income.  It’s been challenging but a very enlightening experience.  Most recently, I was turned down by Amazon Customer Service which is work from home for $10.  I just can’t explain it.  Someone asked me why I wasn’t getting work…I could only answer that it’s my age, my weight or I’m just not in God’s will.  So I keep plugging along.  I do still have two part time jobs equaling about 15 hours a week.

The twins turned 18, so the adoption subsidy ended.  That was a hit because I was assured it would carry them through high school.  But despite it all, we are doing well.  We are fed, have shelter and even a few extras.

Housing

We continue to live in our free housing situation.  We have painted the front and back decks and continued to assist on the farm.  It makes me feel a bit better, but my pride has definitely taken a hit.  There is limited heat, and it can’t seem to keep up very well.  The nights are cold.  I am grateful for down comforters, wool socks and sweatsuits.

Challenges and Upcoming Changes

Remember when we moved out of our apartment we put stuff in storage.  It was costing me $78 month.  We went in October to get some winter clothes out and some more school materials.  And it had been leaking!  We lost a ton of stuff…violin, most all the winter clothes and more. I am in the process of getting rid of my car, downsizing to just the twins car (’96 Honda Accord) in order to save the insurance and property tax money.  I hope to save enough over a few months to buy another older used car which won’t cost as much in insurance or taxes.  Hoping to do this mid-January.

Holidays

We will be leaving next week to stay with family for a month over the holidays.  We are looking forward to sleeping in real beds, not having to go outside to go to the bathroom and having heat regularly.  We will be spending 10 days with my parents, which will be hard based on our history, but I am really working on forgiveness.  It will be the first time since I had kids that I won’t be in my own space for Christmas. I am really struggling with that, but the kids are looking forward to an airplane ride to Texas and time with family.  (I was able to get round trip tickets for all 5 of us for $391 by being flexible with my dates, buying early and my dad’s generosity with his points.)

Gymnast

I have really tried hard to stay where we are at in large part due to Gymnast training and my bartered arrangement for his training.  It seems to be paying off.  He is competing as a Level 6 gymnast this year, and his first meet was a week ago.  He placed 1st on vault, 2nd on floor, 2nd on high bar and 4th overall.  He competes again this weekend, and then we will leave for the holidays.  He is training 5 days a week, 4 hours a day.

Princess

She finished up volleyball season and has decided to take up TKD again.  (She got her black belt when she was 10 years old.)  A local studio is offering $25 per month per child for two classes a week.  I can afford that.  She and Sea Cadet will begin in January.  She continues to excel at school, working on most of the same classes as her twin brothers (seniors) with the exception of math.  She has learned how to knit and it making massive amounts of Christmas presents with her skills.

History Buff

He is applying early admission to the college of his choice.  Please send a prayer up that he will be accepted.  That would be a huge relief for me and joy for him.  He continues to work at the movie theatre and is also now a attendant for a special needs young man a couple nights a week.  He plans to study criminology and recently began participating in the Police Explorers program.  He is on track to graduate from high school in June, but has serious senioritis!

Sea Cadet

He has another year of high school, which we have known for some time.  We are calling it his super senior year.  Math is a BIG challenge for him.  He wavers a bit now between military, college or just working at a camp year round for his future.  He continues to work at the move theatre and has also picked up a part time job in the kitchen of the camp where he worked as a camp counselor this summer.  He is applying to be a senior counselor this next summer.  He and History Buff share a car and pay their own insurance and phone bills.  I can tell that watching History Buff get ready to leave the nest bothers him a bit, but I think it will be healthy for both of them.  I continue to think that the military route is the best one for him, but will support whatever he decides.  We are going to try out community college for his super senior year to give college a test run.

Me

Most days I feel like I have no idea what I am doing and feel like I am failing my children.  Then others, I am just grateful for the opportunities we have had as a result of this hardship.  We have gotten to raise chickens, live in a camper, live in the country on a farm, be completely free.  I long for a stable home, comfortable bed and a recliner to relax in.  But I am so grateful for all the extra time I have gotten to spend with the kids and my grandmother.

We are spending a great deal of time volunteering.  It gets us out of the house and feels good to give back. I have no idea what the future holds.  I’m just taking it a day at a time.

The Home School Foundation did a feature on us as part of their Single Parents who Homeschool grant program.  I thought you might like to see it, you can watch it here.

 

 


And I Quote…

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Received via text Monday, March 7th at 10:45am
From the recruiter for the local job

Good morning Hope,
Sorry it’s taken so long to get back with you.  I have been waiting for final word from <company name> as they made an offer to another candidate but it wasn’t accepted right away.  I will get an answer today.  They enjoyed meeting you and was impressed with your technical background so much they said they would consider you for a more technical role depending on how this turns out.  Again, wish I had better news but we’ll find out for sure later today. Thanks.

So thus it is confirmed with no decision needed on my part the best option right now is to open shop again on my own business.

No other messages received despite last line.


Changing My Mind

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I mentioned last week that I was in the final interview round with not one but two companies, it was a great feeling, and for a fleeting few days, I had these grand plans dancing around in my head.  But reality started setting in as I started running numbers.

First, I should tell you, I did not get the Cincinnati job, which was frankly an answer to prayer as the thought of moving to a new city where I know no one was very overwhelming, not to me personally but as a single mom.  But during the few days I waited before the interview and finding out, I started thinking.  The salary was a good salary, very good.  But several things would have eaten it up immediately upon arrival leaving us living on less than we have in the past….

  1. I would need a whole new wardrobe. I know negligible in the long run, but would need it pretty quickly.
  2. Currently, I have bartered for Gymnast’s training.  Not only would I not have that at the new gym, but the costs at the new gym are AT LEAST 3x that of our current gym…3X…so we are looking at a minimum of $500 a month, minimum.
  3. I would have to hire some help because I would be spending 40+ hours a week in the office, I would need to hire someone to come in and help with the kids, not full time but definitely a few hours several days a week, at minimum that would be $600 per month (used $15 per hour at 10 hours a week and I’m not even sure how realistic that is.)

So in the end, I was grateful that I did not get that offer.  It would have been tough to turn it down knowing our current situation, I am relieved I did not have to make that tough decision.

Now for the local job which I had a final interview for last Wednesday.  I left that interview super excited, really like the team I would get to work with, the job is expansive so I would get to put my current skills to work as well as get the opportunity to add some new ones.  The money was, at first, reasonable in my mind.  It was more than $15,000 less than the Cincinnati job, but I figured with no move expenses, barters already in place, etc.  It would be okay and allow us to stay here.

Then I got home and started running numbers.  I used -30% as the baseline of what I would be bringing home after benefits, taxes, etc.  I will be bringing home almost $1,000 less than I was previously, working at least 10-15 more hours per week, need a new wardrobe and still need to hire someone to help with the kids some.  And on top of that, if you have been reading my posts for a while, we live in an expensive housing area.  That has ALWAYS been a problem for us, and exactly why I decided last fall to move away from here if we hadn’t found something by April of this year.  Ugh!

Now we come to the point of this post…based on the points above, I have decided to resurrect my consulting business and focus on building it again.  I have not made this decision lightly at all.  I REALLY, REALLY wanted the stability a ‘real’ job would offer, the benefits, the vacation time, the work without the need to constantly sale and market myself.

But, on the flip side, I REALLY, REALLY can not stomach the idea of being away from my kids so much, especially with no other adult in the picture.  And I know this sounds petty, but I HATE dressing up, I have always said that if I can’t wear my jeans there, I should probably not be there.

So here is a rough account of where I stand right now:

  • I’ve currently contracted out 30 hours a week beginning next week (first week of March.)  I’m not making the hourly rate I need on all hours, but I am on some, and I have the possibility to grow both of these clients with good, consistent work.
  • I’ve secured an additional 4 short term contracts doing website work.
  • I’ve paid for a 1 month subscription to one of the freelancing sites I’ve gotten a great deal of work from in the past.  (Subscribing lessens the percentage of my fee that they keep for work procured.)
  • I’m planning to re-up my LLC and business license this next month.
  • I’m planning to re-brand and re-launch my corporate site: epoh.com in the next month.

Now the only caveat to this is that I have been working primarily with two recruiters looking for corporate work.  I plan to keep my resume out there, but with the caveat that I am looking solely for work that allows at least 50% remote work and that I am willing to relocate through August of this year at which point, I will withdraw the offer to relocate until after the next school year.

I do not know if we will stay here next year, housing continues to be a BIG headache and financial drain for me.  But while we have free housing over the next several months (move at the end of April to the RV,) I am going to explore all options.

One more thing to note…I have going to add more teaching to my schedule if we stay here next school year.  Currently, I am teaching two classes, 1 hour a week each.  I plan to teach at least 4 classes next fall if we stay here.  That will not only cover the cost of the kids homeschool co-op classes, but also bring in some income.

This has been a really, really hard decision.  I know many will not understand 1) my commitment to being available to my kids, 2) not being willing to send my kids to public schools and 3) my other reasons for not wanting to take on a full time plus, in the office corporate job right now.  Rest assured, I am still very committed to get out of debt, perhaps even moreso than before after this experience.  But I know, really know, that my kids are my number one priority, and I’m willing to live on less, to be present in their lives for every moment possible while they are still young.

Oh, one last thing…in conjunction with starting my business back up, I am committed to spending the summer when we are not on such a heavy school schedule, renewing and gaining some new certifications in my field to 1) make me marketable and 2) increase my skills and maintain them so I am ready when the right opportunity presents itself to return to a ‘normal’ job.

Sorry for the book…

Update: As of Tuesday night…still no word from the local full time job, but the recruiter did text today and say they expected to hear in the next couple of days…


Work – maybe

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One week ago today, the kids and I were in Cincinnati as I prepared for a final interview there. The company paid for our trip out there, we got to look around for a couple of days in case of a move, and met with the company.

And later today, I have a final interview here.

As I write this, I hold out hope to get offers from both jobs…but only time will tell.

So time will tell….


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