Step Two: Little Money, No Job, Social Life…TBD.

You just never know how a new city might turn out. Will the people like you? Will you like the city? Will you find a barista that knows your coffee order? Will you find a group of friends similar to the group you had back home? Where will you work? What do you want to do while you work towards the dream? A lot of questions, right?

When I finally made my arrival to “America’s Finest City”(I’ll leave that up for debate.), it was the first time that I was out of Texas with one friend.  That’s it. That’s all I had. The job hunt was on…I figured if my beat up old Ford Explorer made it this far then I would find a job within the first month of living in the city.

Raise your hand if you hate the job hunt process – some job applications were meh, others I just didn’t finish…it was like this for an entire month.  It was right before Labor Day Weekend and finally, I had an interview. It was quick, it wasn’t what I wanted but I had no time to be picky.  Note to self and to you all: don’t settle unless you’re down to your last dollar.

Whew.  The money situation was taken care of so by a twist of fate, it was a night out in North Park. There I was in an uncomfortable position and by uncomfortable, I mean it was a social setting where I knew one person and, I had to be there. It was just me…and, I am not the most socially savvy person. I never know what to say plus there’s that whole self-conscious vibe I give off.  haha. I really wanted people to like me but at the same time, I was still trying to mentally recover from the drive and everything else going on.

It was a good introduction to San Diego – very chill, dress code was laid back (goodbye grey jeans. miss you), drinks were strong, and beer selection was extensive.  A few other lessons I took away:

1. Read the room, say your hi’s, and smile. The people in the room are probably just a little self-conscious…the only difference is that they might have a few more folks on their side.

2. Dressing up is better than dressing down. People pay attention but don’t let that take a shot at your confidence.

3. Work will always feel like that first day at school – you’ll be nervous and excited. Just know it’ll be okay. The right people will eventually gravitate towards you.

4. Always trust your instincts when it comes to people. You might be in a new city but people can smell the desperation from a mile away.  Chill out!

5. Dress code for work in San Diego is way different than Texas.  Hello jeans and t-shirts! Goodbye slacks and button-ups!

6. Budgeting will be your best friend. The sooner you do it, the better it is for your pockets. Sigh. I am looking at you, credit card bills. Lesson fully learned.

7. Don’t settle for any kind of job. I settled and hated the job for nine months. It’s the shortest tenure on my resume for a reason.

8. Phone calls to home will keep your spirits up as you try to adjust to the new environment.

9. Learning how to cook is…interesting. I had that fire alarm going off one too many times. I still do. what?! cooking is hard…and so is reading instructions.

10. Your co-workers are not always meant to be your friends.  As much as you want friends, don’t force the interactions. It gets messy especially with the ones that spread rumors.

Well, a job is good except for the whole part about being broke because of rent.  I wish schools taught about money management instead of the Pythagorean theorem but whatevs. The biggest hiccup still awaited me…homesickness.  I’ll save that for step trois.

Til next time!
-A.

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