Posts Tagged ‘What Color is My Parachute’

Back in SF

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

After 3 weeks in Hawaii visiting my family, I have returned to San Francisco.  It’s cold, and I miss my family and dogs.  Other than that, I am excited to be back in the city as I can REALLY begin to attack my goals.

To start things off on the right foot, I’m going to continue with goal setting.  One are of my life that I absolutely must get handled is career/work.  I had a lot of time to reflect in Hawaii about how I have spent the past year of my life.  One year ago, I had just moved to SF and was in a total state of disarray.  I had just gotten out of a serious relationship, quit my job, and essentially packed my bags and ran away to California.  I’m not sure this was the best way to deal with things, but it was how I dealt with it at the time.  I literally flew away from Hawaii on Christmas day of 2009.  It was a confusing and rough period of my life.  Looking back, I do not think decisions or actions of this size should be made on the basis of fear.  I was afraid at the time, so I ran.

Now I am one year older and again I return to San Francisco.  This time around, I’d like to start the year off on in a productive manner.  The reason I am in San Francisco is to build a life that is not available to me in Hawaii.  Hawaii has a limited job market, and there are very few companies doing really really cool things.  There are also less young people, and the social scene is a lot smaller.  I am in SF to capitalize on the abundance of opportunities available to me.  Let’s set some goals.

Current state of mastery:
I give myself a 3 in this area of my life.  I do pickup freelance film jobs on occasion, but honestly, I’m not making ends meet.  Moreover, I’m not fulfilled with this type of work and I’d like to be doing something else.  My job searching skills seem pretty sub-par, and I haven’t precisely nailed down what I want to do with my life.  It’s time to put up or shut up.  Change or die.

Desired outcome:
At the end of this year, I will have complete certainty over my career path.  I will either be fully enrolled in graduate school and taking classes towards a specific emphasis, or employed full-time in a job that I am fired up about.  My life has structure and balance, and when someone asks me the question, “What do you do,” I have an answer I am excited to share.

I am fully committed to creating this for myself.  I cannot stand to live jobless for another day, let alone a month or a year.  I am willing to go to great extents to make this a reality, even if it means leaving San Francisco.

Resources that are available to me to help achieve mastery:
Temp agencies, job search websites, personal networks, What Color is My Parachute, Personal Power, library, Graduate Schools, USAF officers school.

Mentors or coaches that are available to me to help achieve mastery:

  • Friends
  • college counselors
  • career counselors
  • Tony Robbins
  • Job Search groups

What actions or rituals do I need to establish so that I have daily discipline to follow through and create results:

  • Get a part-time job to pay essential bills and keep mind and body in “work mode”
  • Finish reading What Color is My Parachute
  • Make daily To-Do lists for job searching
  • Deadlines and exit plans

The last item on this list entails something I am inserting into my life in San Francisco this time around that I didn’t a year ago.  When I arrived a year ago, I had no end date if things didn’t work out.  While, I am one to advocate persistence, I also know there is reality to face as well.  Sometimes things don’t work out.  That’s life.  Sometimes you bang your head against the wall and claw your nails across the floor and the only result you get is a sore head and broken nails.  It’s a hard lesson for me to learn, but on occasion, we don’t succeed at our original goals.

The good news is, we don’t have to succeed at every goal we create for ourselves.  The reason being, goals can change.  While my overall goal is fixed.  I must be employed.  The route in which I take to get there is variable.  In fact, the obstacles are only in my mind.  In moving to SF last year, I never made a promise to myself I couldn’t leave SF to create the life I desired.  No, rather I was just too stubborn to let go of the life I currently had.

In reflecting upon my life in Hawaii, I realize this is a foolish way to live.  It is one thing to be passionate and determined.  It is another thing to go beyond your means and become delusional.  Realistically, I cannot afford to keep on living in San Francisco unless I am employed.  Additionally, I cannot emotionally invest myself in a dead end job for the entirety of the year.  I am willing to pickup a filler job to keep myself in SF, but if that doesn’t lead to real, fulfilling, and progressive employment, it’s time to try something new.

In the words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways to not make a light bulb,” or something to that effect.

Here are my hard line conditions:

  • I must be employed full-time 3 months from now.  Whether at one job, or split between two or three.
  • At this 3 month mark, I must be net earning 2500, or similar with benefits. (This I consider my bare minimum)
  • If neither of these conditions are met by April 10th, 2011.  I leave San Francisco.
  • At the 6 month mark, I must continue to be fully employed but earning a minimum of 4000 a month, or similar with benefits
  • On the condition that I am earning less than 4000 a month, but I really love my job, or my job has high probability of career development or pay raise in the next 6 months, I can consider staying.
  • Otherwise, if these conditions are not met, I leave San Francisco on July 10th, 2011.

I also want to mention I am not leaving myself limited to one option for the next 3 or 6 months.  That option being working in San Francisco.  Although I am committed to making things happen here, I am also preparing myself for other options.  I am currently applying to a couple MBA programs, the Peace Corps, and speaking with a recruiter for the USAF (as an officer).

I once held a belief that I had no good options.  This is entirely untrue.  We always have options.  Sometimes we have to go beyond what we think is possible or reasonable.  If I have to join the military to create the life I desire, so be it.  All things considered, entering the Air Force as an officer is pretty damn sweet.  They start you off at 2800 a month.  You get free housing or housing allowance, as well as clothing allowance, food allowance, and health care.  Also, you get one month paid vacation a year.  Not to mention the high possibility I get to live in another country for a year or two.  I will say I do not want to see combat.  Not even in the slightest.  I’m quite certain I could not kill a man.  I won’t even intentionally kill a bug.  I’m serious.  In Hawaii, my bedroom has a lava rock wall and giant, flying roaches come through at night.  I catch them in a net and put them outside.

Anyway, back to the goals.

What specific measurable goals am I going to accomplish by the end of this year:

  • Full-time employment or full-time education
  • Complete clarity towards my career path
  • Minimum pay of 4000 a month or one semester of graduate school done
  • 3 additional SOLID career/professional references that are passionate about recommending me for jobs
  • Improved resume that displays direction
  • A professional life I am proud of and excited about

I know I’ll update this more and more over the next couple months.  Right now all of my focus is on my MBA apps, one of which is due tomorrow.  That being said, I need to get some sleep so I can crush it tomorrow.