Persevering

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Bridal Veil Falls – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

The last six months have been a bit of a whirlwind. After over a year working at a local mom & pop car rental agency, I was offered a job at a really nice resort in Wailea. I’d had 4 interviews for various positions at that resort over the span of a year, and finally a job opened up that was perfect for my background, in a department that has zero turnover. I was told it was going to be a temporary (as in a year to 18 months), but I was happy to be working for a great company that I was quite familiar with.

The next three months were crazy. I had no on-the-job training, they just put me to work and expected me to figure it out. But I plunged in, head first, and was excited to coordinate with multiple departments orchestrating the billing for the groups that would come on property. I dealt with some pretty intense and high-stress people who expected perfection even when they hadn’t given us correct information. I learned how big an undertaking a resort is, and caught a glimpse of the enormity of how all the individual parts that make up a “resort experience” happen. It was definitely a learning experience. But it was fun and exciting and I hoped I could create a career there. However, a week before my 90 days,  I was unexpectedly called in and let go. It ended up being truly temporary.

So… back on the job hunt. Have I mentioned how much I don’t enjoy it? Well, I don’t mind revising my resume, or creating cover letters. I even don’t mind going to interviews. I’ve done so many so frequently that I think I do relatively okay with them. The really hard part is the waiting. My personal goal is to not have more than 1-1.5 months in between jobs. That way, if I get laid off in November, and get hired in December, it doesn’t look like there is a gap in my employment history.

I kept at the job hunt. I applied at other resorts where I had people who knew people sort of thing (Maui is all about that). I was even called in to interview for a position that opened up that I hadn’t previously applied for – which is always a good thing as it shows they actually took my application seriously, or that I knew people who talked about me positively, or both.

I finally stumbled on a job position that fits my background and my career goals. The interview process was pretty intense. Phone interview, then interview with the HR coordinator over all the Hawaiian islands, than a branch observation and interview with the manager and district manager, and then a final interview with the regional manager. I was offered the position at the end of the final interview.

So I’m excited that the job hunt is over, and that I’ll be in a company I’m excited to work for and with. I dislike working for a company just to pay the bills. I want to be passionate about my employer and the positive impact that they are making, their respected reputation that they’ve earned.

And a minor thing, I’ll be starting work by the end of December – so no discernible  gaps in my employment history. 🙂

But at the end of everything, while it was tough, I didn’t let myself get discouraged. I kept plugging away, knowing that the universe has something out there for me, I just need to find it. So don’t give up, persevere!

Photo credit: me – Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon – July 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

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Wow, has 2014 been a whirlwind. I started the year off working at a company that I was desperately trying to find its replacement. Then I find the replacement, only to find out within 2 months that I’d be moving to Maui! 3 weeks after my boyfriend was offered the job both of us had packed and left the great Pacific Northwest and were living in the tropics. From an apartment in the city to a condo on the beach. From a dead-end job to a position where I’ve already been promoted to a manager. I can feel the difference in all the little things. I’m eating better, exercising more, and lost weight. We’ve simplified our life, and it’s been good. There’s been downsides – being so far away from family and friends is difficult. And I’ve missed the changing seasons – especially experiencing fall which is my favorite. It was the first Christmas where I didn’t do any decorating. But overall, I’m very happy with the changes. It’s been a good year. A year of growth, new experiences, new friendships, and even experiencing a new culture (and in some cases, a new language – pidgin counts as a different language – right?).

Here’s to 2015 and the adventures it will bring!

The dust is settling

IMG_1354Three (almost four) months since we made the epic adventurous move to beautiful Maui and the dust is finally settling and things are getting into place. We’re moved in to a beautiful condo, my man and I finally, for the first time since we started dating have the same days off together! I can’t even begin to describe how nice that is for us to have 2 whole days together. Half of our workdays, I can even come home to him having lunch made for me before I take him to work – so it’s like we get extra bonus time together. We’ve explored some of the island, but there is a ton more to see and take hundreds of pictures of (don’t worry mother dearest, there will always be plenty of pictures). I’ve done snorkeling, surfing, and hiking. I’ve been able to hang out with old friends who just happened to be visiting the island on holiday, as well as extended family who I haven’t seen since I was 8 years old. My work is chill and relaxed, and I didn’t have to take a pay-cut – which is great. My man is greatly enjoying his work, even with the bumps and dips that come with being a  manager. I’ve met a few friends – which is great. I thought people in Portland were friendly – well, Maui-ans put Portlanders to shame. “Talking story” is big here, and I’ll frequently have customers who will stand at my counter and chit-chat for 20 minutes or more, just because. I love that – it’s just so nice to be a part of a culture that values people and relationships and communication. Doesn’t have to be anything important, but those relationships are growing into how this island runs. More and more, I find out that it really is who you know and what you ask to figure things out. People are more accepting here – it’s such a small island that everyone knows everyone – or at least can figure out a relationship on how they know that person. A person at a bank is the sister-in-law of your next-door neighbor sort of thing. 5 months ago, I had no idea I’d be living in Maui within 2 months, but now that I am and things are calmer, I have no complaints, and am relishing every moment I have in paradise.

Life Changes: See ya later PDX, Hello Hawai’i!

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I was getting antsy, I’ll be honest. I had spent three and a half years in a job where I wasn’t going anywhere, and the office morale was terrible. Then I found a great job, but I knew the upward mobility just wasn’t there, however it was a huge breath of fresh air for me to not be in such a toxic work environment. My immediate family moved 4 hours away from me a few years ago, and while my mother made frequent trips, it’s just not the same when I wasn’t able to visit my sibling’s basketball or volleyball games, or hear them in their school choirs. Portland is an amazing city, and it will always be “home-base”, but I feel that it’s always a jumping off spot for me. I left Portland as an infant, only to come back as a teen. Now I’m leaving in my twenties, I’m sure I’ll be back eventually.

My partner received an excellent job offer in Maui, and while it was definitely a tough decision, we decided to each pack two suitcases, sell and give away the rest of our belongings, and move to paradise! I’ve been here almost a month now, my car is here, we are moving into our beautiful beach-side condo tomorrow, and the hunt for a new job for me continues. I’m thinking I’m going to change my career path – where before it was obvious finance, I’m thinking hospitality is more in line with what I love to do. We’ll see. My finger’s are crossed, and I’ll make my own way here too. I’m optimistic and hopeful. So far the people have been extremely friendly and helpful, but as they say here: “Lucky live Hawai’i!” And I definitely feel lucky to be a part of this vibrant community.

Daily Prompt: Favorites

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  • What is your favorite word? Adventure.
  • What is your least favorite word? No.
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Intrigue. I want to be puzzled by something. I want to question, wonder why, how, what, etc. I don’t know everything, and I always want to learn more. I want to experience more, see more, learn more.
  • What turns you off? Boring, uninteresting, unadventurous.  Boring pictures, uninteresting words.
  • What is your favorite curse word? Fuck. It’s so satisfying to say.
  • What sound or noise do you love? Rainfall
  • What sound or noise do you hate? Church-bells. I don’t like the religious implications and I don’t like the implication of the passage of time.
  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Naval officer.
  • What profession would you not like to do? Law. I can’t see myself ever being an attorney or lawyer.
  • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Good job, you never lost yourself, you were always true to yourself”.

The pic is mine – it’s a view of Maui, Hawaii from an airplane.

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This week….

This was/is kinda a crazy week. Last weekend I wasn’t feeling the greatest physically or emotionally, work seemed drag. I’m part of a group at work that is going through a year-long leadership training class. It’s extremely hard to get into, but I finally racked up enough kudo points with the bosses to be accepted. There were days that being a part of that group is the only reason I showed up at work. Close to the ending of the program, the group gets to try to orchestrate a fundraiser. Let me tell you – trying to figure out a fundraiser, get it through the myriad of approvals for the twenty things you thought wouldn’t need to be thought of twice, much less a written proposal that has to be approved by someone 4 ranks up, is not an easy task. Add in then around the 7-8 other people that you have to get agree on the ideas and how to get it going… well, let’s just say that I adopted the position of event coordinator. I have enjoyed it, but it hasn’t been easy. The reason? An 8-day vacation I’ll be taking in Hawaii next week. 🙂 The anticipation has been building for the last 3 months – and for the last half the work day, I wasn’t as nearly productive as I normally was. But at least I feel really good about where I left my team with me being gone all next week. Then my mom decided to spring an impromptu trip into my town to do some shopping – and decided to bring 3 of my brothers. The two nights before we leave for Hawaii I’ll have company… Cluttered house and all, with no food because I haven’t bought any because it will spoil by the time we get back. So of course I told her it was fine for her and everyone else to stay with me. I’m going to be going to get my hair colored tomorrow (have to look good when I meet my boyfriend’s mom for the first time) and the little errands that seem to creep up right before a big trip… and I have my family in town, and my house is barely presentable, but you know what? Who cares! My brothers won’t notice the mess – they are too busy taunting my boyfriend as they race him playing a racing game at their first attempt on an XBox 360. My mom is appreciative because she won’t be paying mega-money booking a hotel, I get family time with my siblings that I see far too infrequently. Plus, since they are in, they attract the attention of my beloved grandparents who also want to see family, so I get to see even more precious family! So they will have to lock up my house when they leave because I’ll be halfway to Hawaii by the time they get up, these memories are priceless. The more I “grow up” the more I realize family is priceless, my work will “work” itself out. Life is meant to be lived, one day at a time, looking ahead, and trying to move ahead, while treasuring your family.