A New Perspective

I’ve always con­sid­ered myself pret­ty short. It seems every­one I know tow­ers over me. The aver­age Amer­i­can woman is 5′4″ so I was lit­er­al­ly of aver­age height.

I say “was” because it appears I have grown an inch some­where along the line and I now check in at 5′ 5″ tall. I have longed to be taller ever since I hit my first major growth spurt as a kid. An extra inch isn’t much, but it’s enough to view the world from a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent angle in more ways than one.

It appears my last growth spurt was 2003–2004

I’m not sure if I’m feel­ing more intro­spec­tive because of where I’m at phys­i­cal­ly (back in my parent’s home­town in their base­ment), where I’m at emo­tion­al­ly (kin­da down with the breakup) or job wise (on the hunt for a new job).

Being back in my parent’s house and in my home­town as an adult is weird. I don’t have the fond­est of mem­o­ries from my time here in the past. Every­thing is so famil­iar, but dif­fer­ent as well. Every­thing is dif­fer­ent, but the same. The roads I once knew by heart are still there, but inter­sec­tions have changed with new stop signs, new stop­lights, or even new round­abouts. My old favorite restau­rants are most­ly still here, but now I can drink. I even still have some friends here, but their lives have changed as well with new babies or new respon­si­bil­i­ties.

I haven’t been writ­ing much because I find it incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to moti­vate myself to be cre­ative. I real­ly appre­ci­ate all the won­der­ful emails I’ve received the last few weeks. The encour­age­ment of peo­ple I don’t even know has helped me feel so much less alone and I will be for­ev­er grate­ful.

I’ve also appre­ci­at­ed the offers of refer­rals to the com­pa­nies y’all work at. You work at some seri­ous­ly COOL places and I def­i­nite­ly took some of you up on your offers. I’ve been job hunt­ing semi-seri­ous­ly since July when it became clear the free­lanc­ing thing wasn’t going to work out but since I’m back in my parent’s base­ment, I’ve ratch­eted up the search by about 200%.

I have a few seri­ous leads I’m pur­su­ing. From where it stands right now, I have 3 options ahead of me:

Option 1:

-Cool tech sup­port job at a gov­ern­ment agency in DC
-cen­tral­ly locat­ed
-$80–90k annu­al pay with decent ben­e­fits
-Secret secu­ri­ty clear­ance
-ver­bal offer

Option 2:

-Man­ag­er lev­el tech sup­port role with a gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor
-Fur­ther out from DC
-$90–100k annu­al pay with decent ben­e­fits
-TS/SCI secu­ri­ty clear­ance
-a few emails, but no inter­view or offer

Option 3:

-long-term con­tract tech sup­port role in the Bay Area
-$80–85k pay with decent ben­e­fits
-no clear­ance
-inter­view but no seri­ous offer

A new nor­mal for me in DC

I would real­ly love to take Option 2, but the red tape of the hir­ing process and Thanks­giv­ing are slow­ing down the process immense­ly. I’ve exchanged a few emails with the HR rep, but have yet to sched­ule an inter­view with them. It’s pret­ty much ide­al — I’d get a slight pay raise from my last cor­po­rate posi­tion, I’d take a step up the lad­der to a man­ag­er posi­tion, and I’d get a Top Secret secu­ri­ty clear­ance. A few years at that job and I could pret­ty much write my tick­et to any job I want­ed.

How­ev­er, they have yet to call and sched­ule an inter­view, so I’m forced to con­tin­ue on the path to Option 1. I like the job, the loca­tion, and the clear­ance. It fits well with my back­ground and I could see me being very hap­py with the job. I had an in-per­son inter­view in DC last week and felt real­ly com­fort­able in the area. They liked me as well and extend­ed a ver­bal offer to me the next busi­ness day which felt great!

The only thing that is stop­ping me from get­ting an offer let­ter is my lack of a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This job requires I have a Comp­TIA Secu­ri­ty+ cer­tifi­cate before I can be hired. I have a Comp­TIA A+ cer­tifi­cate from my time in the Air Force, but it’s a lev­el low­er and can’t be sub­sti­tut­ed.

So, for the next week, I’m in seri­ous study mode to get this cer­tifi­cate and get hired. I’m tak­ing the test Fri­day the 30th. They’ll start the paper­work to get me hired as soon as I let them know I passed the test and could start work­ing in DC as soon as the 10th of Decem­ber.

Con­sid­er­ing this is the lat­ter part of Novem­ber, they’re oper­at­ing on a very short time­line. I’m not sure what I’ll do for hous­ing, but I’ve joined sev­er­al groups on Face­book that put peo­ple who are look­ing to rent a place and peo­ple who are look­ing to rent out a place in touch with each oth­er.

I’m slight­ly con­cerned about mov­ing to DC from a cost stand­point. DC is one of the most expen­sive cities to live in and I wouldn’t be get­ting much of a raise from my last salary in the Mid­west. How­ev­er, the cost of liv­ing would sky­rock­et. I’ve been find­ing one-room apart­ments in the area for around $1600–2000 or rooms in a shared hous­ing arrange­ment for any­where from $700‑1200 a month. That’s a far cry from the new 2 bed/2 bath with fire­place and vault­ed ceil­ing for $1100 a month apart­ment I had in Des Moines.

I will also prob­a­bly need to look into get­ting a new car. Vir­ginia has very strict rules and reg­u­la­tions when it comes to cars and I’m pret­ty sure my 13-year-old Pon­ti­ac Vibe isn’t going to pass. I might be able to get away with­out a car with Option 1 since it’s so con­ve­nient­ly locat­ed but it depends on how often I’d have to trav­el to the oth­er sites they sup­port.

No mat­ter where I go, this guy will be with me <3

Giv­en all that, I still think it’s worth it to move out to DC. I love the city, there’s so much to do, and they have a big air­port which makes it easy to fly to oth­er places. Not to men­tion it’s on the East Coast and there­fore eas­i­er to trav­el to places like Boston and NYC. There’s a thriv­ing FIRE com­mu­ni­ty there and Fin­Con will be there in 2019. Iron­i­cal­ly enough, I’ve found it’s eas­i­er to opti­mize your costs in an HCOL area like DC or Min­neapo­lis than it is to opti­mize costs in an LCOL area like where I lived and worked pre­vi­ous­ly. There are so many free events to go to in a big city and many ways to get around. I got used to walk­ing and bik­ing every­where in Min­neapo­lis and it’s been lit­er­al­ly dri­ving me crazy to take the car when­ev­er I need to leave the house.

So.… I promise I’m not giv­ing up on this whole blog­ging thing just yet! I just require a lot more effort to write a post nowa­days. Thank you for hang­ing in there with me and stay tuned for the next excit­ing episode!

I hope every­one has a hap­py, mer­ry, and ful­fill­ing Thanks­giv­ing! I’m going to go to vis­it rel­a­tives and stuff my face full of Tryp­to­phan. Do you have excit­ing plans for the hol­i­day week­end? Sound off in the com­ments below! (I might actu­al­ly man­age to answer them too!)

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