Utilizing My Skills

My new job is great. I’m entering my fifth week and still learning the ropes of everything: company policies, numbers and contacts to remember, deadlines to meet, just wish I had a company Blackberry, but I’m very thankful. On the side, helping out at church is going well, too. I created a flier (and though the image is blurry) it makes me proud to know I’m doing what I like to do: writing and designing. Would love to do some strategic planning, but in time. Want to see the flier? Here it is. Meanwhile, the weekend is going to be 84 degrees Fahrenheit and I’m looking forward to enjoying it.

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My Year in Review

It’s the Christmas weekend and I’m amazed at how fast it’s come.

A lot happened to me this year, which I’ll briefly recap:

  • January – left my job to pursue a career interest
  • February – couldn’t get unemployment benefits b/c of my voluntary leave, so I had to depend on savings.
  • March – Began my first interview with an Advertising Agency, but something told me to move on.
  • April through July – Got couple more interviews but either I was rejected or I didn’t like what I observed.
  • July and August – Babysat and kept job searching.
  • September – I celebrate another year of life, but no birthday party : (
  • October – landed a job! YEAH!
  • November – Counted my blessings and enjoyed the food for Thanksgiving. (I usually end up washing the dishes.)
  • December – Got accepted into OT School, but am considering Law School instead. I even earned a volunteer opportunity with a wonderful PR team at a hospital.

Now, that 2011 is a few days away, I’m not sure I’m ready for it. 2010 has left me going through so many disappointments and frustrations I feel like 2011 might be just the same. There were times throughout this year I didn’t know how I’d pull through it all BUT my faith in God kept me going. Any time I hear people say, “I hate my job!” or “Is it Friday already?” I’m like, “Don’t you people know how blessed you are to have a job?” STOP COMPLAINING! I’ve been through unemployment for a few months and have been blessed to find something and KEEP IT!

This Christmas holiday is another reminder of how blessed we are to have jobs, families, and the necessary things that keep us holding on to life. If you’re reading and don’t have a job right now, one advice I’ll give you is DON’T GIVE UP! It’s easy to become complacent and give up after rejection, after rejection, but believe me when I say “keep trying” – you’re bound to find something.

Thank you again to Jesus, to my family, to my friends, and esp. my blog readers. As I write this, I just wanted to share this: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Cherish each day you have going into 2011 and beyond and I pray that many successes and blessings come upon you.

NOTE: As I was writing, my pent up frustrations (esp. in the first paragraph) began to be expressed. If there’s anything you got from this piece, which will be my last for 2010, you can be sure to expect more in 2011—real, expressive blog pieces : ).

Nine Months Later…

I have been unemployed, yet kept hoping for possibilities.

On October 13, I watched the tv as it became inundated with the story of the Chilean miners trapped for 69 days since August 4. I compared my life to theirs. I too felt trapped in a deep hole with no way out except for outsiders to dig me out. The only light I had was the encouragement from family and friends and reading the Bible. I began to hold one verse in particular very dear to me, which read, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).” [Hebrews 10:23 KJV]

The week prior to the good news of the Chilean miners, I went on two interviews. Company #1 was the interview I had written about in an earlier post and company #2 was another one, which I discovered online and applied to a week later. I felt good about interviewing with Company #1, but after two weeks passing, my gut told me I might not have been the selected candidate. Company #1 told me that I would’ve been notified the following week whether or not I was to go on for a second interview; however, when that following week approached I heard nothing. I decided to call the HR manager to find out the status only to get voicemail. After leaving a message, within a few minutes, I received an e-mail that company #1 was still interviewing and would let me know of the status the week after. The week after came, but I never heard anything. (At this time, my gut told me to apply elsewhere, so I did.)

While waiting to hear back from company #1, I got a phone call from another company for an interview. This is company #2.  I met with company #2 and interviewed with the HR manager, who felt I was SO overqualified for the position, yet felt I would be a better fit for another position the company had opened. They had me interview right after them with the person whom the selected candidate would work with. After about an hour all together, I was told I am on the top of the list. Company #2 said they would contact me the next week on the Wednesday (which is Oct. 13, the day the Chilean miners were rescued).

So, fast-forward to Wednesday, October 13 and I’m engulfed with the good news of the rescue efforts in Chile. By this time, I still had not heard from company #1 neither did I hear from company #2. I decided to keep faith and kept praying. One thing I grew up believing is that prayer works.

Friday comes and I still had not heard from company #1 or #2. I’ll be honest and admit that I felt disappointed, dismayed, and a bit frustrated, but I assured myself that if it’s God’s will He’ll show me the place I need to work in His appointed time. By around 5:30 p.m. that afternoon, I get a phone call from…company #2. The conversation went something like this:

Company #2: Hello, may I speak with Kimi-Roux?
Me: Yes, speaking.
Company #2: Hi, Kimi-Roux. This is company #2 and this is a follow-up to our meeting with you. We really liked your personality and think you’d make a good fit with our company. We’d like to extend an offer for a job opportunity with us. Do you accept?
Me: OMG! Of course! I can’t believe it! I’ve been praying for this moment! When do I start?

At this time, we had negotiated pay and the date I begin, and hung up the phone. I was filled with so much positive emotion and overwhelmed at receiving the good news that I had to cry afterwards. It kept ringing in my mind that I had just been offered a job and after nine months of unemployment, I knew God was listening and answered. The first person I told was my aunt who cried with me, because she knew of how long I was trying to find something, and then we prayed together. I called my family members, told a few friends and am still amazed at what just happened over the last few days. I felt connected to the Chilean miners, in a metaphoric way. I had been rescued like they were from a dark hole, never knowing how long I would remain in that hole, but thank God He rescued me.

In two weeks, I begin work and am happy to say after nine months, it feels pretty good to be one less statistic off the unemployment list.

 Thank you to my blog readers and friends who’ve prayed for me over the course of those nine months. Your words of encouragement and support have helped me get through this time. You don’t know how much it truly meant to me. Those past nine months were a test of my faith, but I am a living testament that God is real and prayers do get answered, if it is to be. Thanks again to all!

SIDE NOTE: Company #1 eventually got back to me by sending me a letter saying how impressed they were with my resume, yet another more qualified individual was selected and that they wished me luck on my job search.



Babysitting Not for the Faint of Heart

“Don’t do that!”

“Because I said so.”

“No more juice, try water.”

For the past few days, I wore the shoes of babysitter and began to know what it’s like being a mom. I don’t have kids of my own, but my advice is if you want to know what it’s like, go babysitting–the more kids you sit for, the better you learn how to deal with them. I took the opportunity recently and have been sitting for four kids. That’s right, f-o-u-r. A 2-years-old, a 3-years-old, a 5-years-old, and a 6-years-old. I thought I knew all about multi-tasking, until then.

The mother and father work odd jobs trying to make ends meet, and had posted a classified ad on the Web to secure help. I found the posting, applied, and met with the mother and father. “Don’t you have any relatives to help you?” I asked the mom. “Yes, but they are elderly and don’t have a lot of energy to keep up with the kids.” During this interview, all four kids surrounded us and were “checking me out”. I could tell they were curious as to who I was, but I kept my focus on mom. After I pondered the distance to travel back and forth to the home (approximately 37 minutes from me) and the pay (which barely covered for two kids alone at day-care), I let my heart rule my mind and decided to take the job. Was I in for it.

For the first few days, my sitting job began at 8 a.m. till 6 p.m. I didn’t have to cook for the kids, since mom or dad would have already provided the meals. I just had to share them out. In case I had to cook, I was given a list of each child’s allergies. I learned that toddlers could be allergic to anything, but one of the toddlers I sat for was allergic to soy, mango, and egg and liked to eat whatever their bigger sister or brother had (which meant getting used to saying the word, “No”.)

I also saw a distinct difference when mom and dad left the house. When mom was departing, all kids would run to the front door behind her, especially with the youngest one clamoring to her leg with amazing resoluteness of not letting go. Once mom got him off her leg and ran quickly out the door, the little one cried and cried. Each minute he cried louder. Now, from my earlier days I knew that when a kid is crying after he doesn’t get what he wants, he cries and if his wants are not met, he cries louder…a word to the wise, don’t give the kid attention…ultimately, he’ll stop crying. Now, when dad left home, the kids would run to the door, and the littlest one would wave “buh-bye” and head back inside. “Wow,” I thought, “Mom, must really be loved” (isn’t that how it is though?) *I’m smiling*

Since I didn’t have the car seats in my car, I wasn’t allowed to take them outside or even to the playground just a few blocks away. The farthest I could take them was in the backyard to play. Other than that, we were stuck inside. So, I reverted to games or books or even homework. The oldest child was in day school for an hour and sometimes had homework to do, but getting her do it was the hard part. I found that when I started reading or offered an incentive, the girl would acquiesce.  But as much as I disliked it, I had the kids watch T.V., one of their favorites: NICK Jr. I don’t know what it is about that channel, but miraculously all the kids would place themselves on the couch and watch the shows with such devotion, it allowed time to run by. I sat with them and even began liking the shows. Shows like: Yo Gabba Gabba, Kai-Lan, Dora the Explorer, Max & Ruby, Team Umizoomi…I was being entertained and so were the kids, and they were actually learning, which was great. (The sad part was, when I got back to my home, I would tune into these shows to watch them.) At this time the kids were getting used to me and when I said “No” they obeyed and even the littlest one started calling me, “Mommy.” I, of course, had to correct the kid and politely reminded him who his mom was.

After about two weeks of babysitting the four children, I had gotten another opportunity to babysit elsewhere that was closer to home and ended my job with the family of six. (They were able to find someone.) My last day was a half-day and before I left out the door, the littlest one, who was the most mischievous, wanted to give me a kiss on the cheek. Do I dare say I wanted to shed a tear? It might have happened, I can’t tell you, but I truly enjoyed watching those kids. They were a handful, but truly a life lesson in disguise.  I promised to visit them and bring them all brownies (hopefully one that is made without egg).