Monday, February 18, 2008

Blue Dreams of Cherry Blossoms

Those of you following the blog know that I'm "on the market" this year; that I will need some kind of a job to follow my imminent graduation, and that I would prefer it to be a nice job, with things like sick days and health insurance, and possibilities for advancement.

Although my initial fear was that I was unqualified for anything except blogging, I have since created a pretty spiffy LinkedIn profile (wanna connect? email me at prettybluesalwar-at-gmail-dot-com), gotten my resume professionally analyzed at a Resume Rodeo, and crashed a rather famous national convention to talk to industry reps.

Long story short, I'm more qualified than I thought. Thank goodness.

What's the next step?

For me, it was deciding on where to live. I know that some people think the job should come first, but environment seemed to want to come first for me, for two reasons:

1. What I want is an opportunity rather than a specific position. My education thus far has been... um... liberal, and so I'm not lined up for any particular type of opening. Whatever job I get, I'm going to have to get through my communicative skills and my ability to sell myself. And, because I know so little about the professional work world (though I know a great deal about the service work world), I'm open to any opportunity that I can find.

2. I do not have the money, or the time, for a national job search. I have one spring break, which I know I'll have to spend in a single city, meeting and talking to as many people as possible. After graduation, I could temp in my sleepy university town, but my best bet would be to relocate to the city I visited over spring break, start temping there (at more prestigious companies, natch, with possible temp-to-perm options), and continue to meet people and apply for positions until I find something permanent.

So. Where, in the entire wide world, should I go? One friend suggested I go to Singapore; I've always wanted to live in Toronto; Chicago's just a train ride away.

I knew I didn't want to move to a city where I didn't have any connections or current friends. That's what I did after undergrad; moved to Minneapolis on the strength of an internship that fell through, and spent a year in the city with no social or professional connections. I'm smarter now. I know, for example, that the bigger your social network is, the more opportunities you have for both work and fun.

So I made a list of the places where I knew people. And then I thought about each of these places.

And then my heart did something kind of silly. It told me "Blue, the most exciting place in the world to be next year will be Washington, DC. Can you imagine, living at the heart of the place where a new president is going to be working to restore our country?"

I told my heart to be quiet for a moment, and reminded it about things like "no taxation without representation" and DC's expensivity and the fact that it might not be Obama, after all, doing the restoring (to which my heart responded "okay, but Hillary would be cool too!"), and that the idea of moving to a place because it was close to a bunch of exciting white buildings seemed... romantic, at best.

But my sister lives in DC, and I miss her.

So I called my sis to ask about life in DC, and what kind of opportunities would be available to me.

And she talked about what she was doing at work, and what her friends were doing, and then she said the sentence that clinched the deal: "... and with your skill set, we might be able to get you an entry-level job in a think tank."

Which she had to immediately follow up with "Hey! I said might!"

Long story short: after research, consideration, conversation, and a bit of idealistic romanticism (the heart wants what it wants, after all), I'm flying out to DC in two weeks to go on the "informational interview tour," to see what actually is available for a person with my resume, and whether or not I'll be moving there this summer.

Hold your thumbs for me.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this would be a really great fit for you in lots of ways! Best of luck on your visit.


Blue said...


Anonymous said...

Lived in the DC area for 7 years, and it's absolutely my favorite place in the country (having lived in the mid-atlantic, Midwest, Appalachia, and possibly the same "sleepy college town" as PBS). DC has great culture, great art, great theatre, great public transportation, possibly the best delicious food/cheap price ratio in the country, and the undercurrent of excitement that comes from knowing you are in the place where "decisions are made". The only complaint I heard was that the singles scene is lame because the single people are too busy getting things done!

Anonymous said...

Good Luck! Crossing all appendages for you!