It will be months before I get to go anywhere. There’s a lot of groundwork to be done (applications, vaccinations, fund raising, budgeting, etc.) between now and September, my preferred departure month. Starting this blog and finding a place to volunteer is the first step, followed by finding money to live on for the duration of my time in where ever it is I’m heading. I don’t have a set preference for the region I want to work in so much as I have a preference for what kind of work I’d be signing up for. I worked at the IRC‘s Dallas Regional Office back in the summer of 2008, assisting refugees with acclimating to life in the United States and getting basic essentials set up for them (i.e. resume development, applying for utility services, food stamps and social security cards, and at times, just lending an ear.)
The biggest obstacle is money. Isn’t money a such a pain to worry about? I’m not rich, and I don’t have a benefactor/sugar daddy to bankroll my expenses, so I have to find a way to finance living abroad for several months. The most obvious way would be to get a job somewhere, but the problem with that is that I’m apparently under-qualified for part-time receptionist positions and overqualified for Starbucks. How hard is it to make a latte? Do you not trust me to successfully make a $6 cup of coffee for someone? If I spill something, I can just mop it up with my degree! 😀 But, I digress.
The closest I came to having a job was when I was contacted by a private equity firm about a part-time executive assistant position earlier this month. I went in for my interview, thinking I was going to spend thirty minutes fidgeting nervously as the interviewer stared at me, silently disapproving of my interpretation of “business casual” and incoherent answers before sending me on my way and ripping up my resume before my feet hit the marble lobby. This interview was different. I spent almost the entire day with the current executive assistant, riding around Dallas on a “working interview”, for which I would be paid. (Woo!) I had two more “working interviews” with them the following week, during which one of the other staff members referred to me as “the new person” more than once. Thinking I’d gotten the job and the tryout days were nothing more than a mere formality, I went home on the second day confident that I’d been hired, only to not hear from them again. Until today. Apparently, I can temp for an ill assistant for a few days as they continue the search for a permanent executive assistant. Ouch. Such is life, right? Money is money, permanent or not, and I certainly need it. I will rock at this temp position until they no longer need me.
To be totally honest, the money thing is a bit of a downer. I’d like to have a full-time job and benefits to match, but I don’t. It could be worse, so I won’t complain (much). I could be whining about how I haven’t had a job in nearly two years and have to depend on my family for help, but that gets me nowhere. I see my perpetual lack of a job as a sign, or perhaps, an opportunity to do something I’ve been longing to do for years.
On the upside of things, I did get hired by Demand Studios (eHow.com) back in November, but haven’t really done anything with it. I plan to write a few articles this weekend, along with searching for travel grant opportunities to apply for. If I actually get to go abroad, I could continue to write, earning a little money from writing articles on how to bathe your cat or watch a video on YouTube. One day, I’ll look back on this period in my life and laugh my ass off. I hope.