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.
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:
-Cool tech support job at a government agency in DC
-$80–90k annual pay with decent benefits
‑Secret security clearance
-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
-long-term contract tech support role in the Bay Area
-$80–85k pay with decent benefits
‑interview but no serious offer
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.
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!)