Seeking Out Me

Unemployment Freedom Feels like Retirement

Gosh, I have not posted here in a very long while. Why? Well, I’ve been busy. I’ve been busy tweeting, blogging on other networks, finishing up my book, doing research for my next book, working on a documentary, freelance writing, running a nonprofit, helping other nonprofits with social media and looking for a job. I’m doing lunches, dinners, coffees and I’m now working out so I’m no longer getting fat from all of that social networking. In fact, I’ve lost 5 pounds with my new regimen. Woohoo!

Well, I’m happy to report that I have 3 job irons in the fire and they are very very hot. I am confident that I will be working very soon. All 3 are very cool companies, but all very different, each one touching oneĀ  of my inner passions. I realized a few months ago that landing a job is important, but landing a job that is enjoyable is even more important to me. I’d much rather hold out for the right gig, rather than just take a job just to get paid.

I have finished my experimental blog on 99 Days on FarmVille. And I’m amazed at how popular it was (22,000 hits and still going). Just insane. You can read my last blog post which was my assessment of the game and some recommendations for Mark Pincus and his Zynga team. I am glad that is over because the game and the blog were a huge time suck.

My time off has been extremely rewarding. It almost feels like retirement. I’ve been able to work out more, eat healthier, be less stressed because I am no longer making a 75 minute commute each way every day and get back in touch with so many people, it’s been great. Oh, and my house is super organized. I’ve also discovered a new passion for “dates” the fruit. They truly are nature’s candy.

Could I get used to being unemployed? Probably not. I like to keep busy which is why I’m dabbling in a bunch of things right now that are my passions. It is so rewarding to work with people that are aligned with your same goals and interests.

But as I get closer to finding a job, I realize that my time off is about to come to an end. So I better go schedule some pampering for myself. Some last cathartic indulgence. šŸ˜‰

Follow me on Twitter @tracysestili
Like me on my Facebook writer page
Subscribe to my SF Examiner Career Coach RSS feed

Some articles and blogs I have written in case you missed them:
Foursquare: A have for criminals – a MUST read for all of you suckers on 4Square
Matruism, KFC’s new mantra – more pink washing
Work-life balance programs, social responsibility or competitive edge?
My favorite pop song from back in the day: Escape (Pina Colada song)
The Race is On: The Tortoise and the Hare – my rant on people who are always in such a freakin’ hurry.
How to transition to a different career – I was inspired after rewriting someone’s resume and realized people don’t know how to do this well
Conflict can have a positive outcome

Cheers,
Tracy

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Day 125

Posted in discounts, Examiner, FarmVille, San Francisco, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 30, 2010

I cannot BELIEVE that my FarmVille blog has had over 10,000+ hits in just 58 days. I am just beside myself.Ā  It’s unfortunate that it will go away once my experiment is over in 41 days. But it has been quite an experience, nonetheless.

This week on the Examiner, I am writing articles about work-life balance. I have found that this is the most important thing you can do for yourself and definitely what I need and am searching for in my next employer.

By the way, if you subscribe to my Examiner feed, I actually get paid for it. It’s not much, but it helps. I don’t even care if you filter it to trash. Go to one of my articles above and click on thisĀ  button

Yesterday was an awesome day because I and 3 friends are working together to do a documentary. This might, in fact, be one of the best projects I have ever worked on simply because everyone is so passionate about the topic and is willing to do their share of the work involved to make it happen. But more about that a little later.

My job search is still the same as it was a few days ago, although I think I’ve applied for about 110 jobs by now, and a few more this morning. I did find a new website yesterday called Restaurant.com where you can get $25 restaurant gift certificates for as low as $2. Quite a bargain!

Need to get ready for a workout and lunch.

Day 121

Posted in Examiner, FarmVille, life, Project Management by Tracy on March 26, 2010

Today started off great with 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga. Then a quick call with a friend to discuss putting together a documentary. Very exciting!!!! Three of us are meeting next week to kick it off. Did I say, VERY EXCITING!!!! Okay, I’ll try to relax about it.

Heading out to pick up brochures for the nonprofit. Hope to get petitions signed at the Ferry Building tomorrow morning from 9-12 for American Heart, American Lung and American Cancer Society to increase the tobacco sales tax in CA for the first time in 20 years to $1 per pack.

Made brownies and guacamole for my friend’s pity party tonight. She’s stressed out and we’re all going over there for moral support, mexican and of course to drink wine.

Two possible job prospects and a third in the works. I’m excited about all 3 companies so we’ll see how it pans out. All 3 are referrals so hopefully that will at least get my foot in the door.

It’s been a good week for Examiner articles and if you know me well then you probably got a kick out of the article I wrote this week on “Career Limiting Move ā€“ Saying the wrong thing at work and how to recover” What can I say except that it was long overdue. If I only I practiced what I preach. LOL!

Life in FarmVille is as boring as ever and I cannot wait to write my synopsis on the whole stupid game. Too bad I can’t post that to the Examiner. Well, maybe I’ll figure out a way. Either way, I’ll post that link here when I write it. But I have about 40 more days, ugh! But last night I checked that blog and it has had over 2000 hits to it. Insane!! I think people really liked my WTF is up with the Foal and the Stallion piece. What can I say except that I crack myself up sometimes.

I don’t feel lost anymore about what I want to do. I feel like I have figured it out. I want to do something creative. I like exercising that part of my brain. It feeds my spirit and maybe that’s why I liked project management so much. It allows me to be creative and solve problems. That’s also probably why I am so energized about doing this documentary with my friends Shanan and Stacey. I definitely want to go back to school for my Masters. But I need to get a job first and then go part-time. And I’m still writing like crazy for many different avenues. Still working on the second book on the nonprofit industry.

Busy, busy, busy, but enjoying myself. Might have something to do with working out again.

Happy Friday!

Day 114 – An awesome day!

Posted in FarmVille, life, Project Management, San Francisco, Uncategorized, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 19, 2010

Today was fantastic because I was productive and social. I love it when those two things come together. I got up bright and early, applied for a couple of jobs and was showered and out of the house before 10am. I picked up a new friend, Laurel and we headed to a new writer’s group in San Mateo to meet our friends Carol and Cheri at Specialty’s Bakery which has some of the best sandwiches, not to mention cookies. Did I mention cookies??

Unlike the disastrous writer’s group I attended a few weeks ago where it ended in flaming emails, this group seems to be a good group of easy going, yet serious writers and they make me laugh. Who could ask for more?

Driving back into the city I noticed the temperature gauge on the dashboard reading eighty degrees! In San Francisco? That’s practically unheard of, but oh so welcomed! Time to shave the legs, put on the skirt and head to the roof top deck and pop open a bottle of ice cold champagne. But before all that, I had to run a few errands. A local cobbler promised he could bring back to life my Athena Alexander’s (and I tell you that I could walk 10 miles in these heels and not get a blister). The dry cleaner promised to have my husband’s shirts back by mid next week and I finished tending my farm in FarmVille for my other blog. So, to the roof I go! And then, meeting up with friends at Tony’s Neopolitano. If you haven’t read my food review on Foodie Fool of this place and you live in San Francisco, you need to read it. For the first time ever in San Francisco history, I think Californian’s are finally getting a taste of what real pizza tastes like (spoken like a true East Coaster).

Ciao for now.

Day 108 – A leisurely life

Posted in FarmVille, life, Rob Pattinson, Writer by Tracy on March 13, 2010

Today is one of those gray rainy days where I normally would resign to staying in my pajamas all day. But instead, I have been both productive and yet leisurely. I did all of my nonprofit stuff last night and this morning. My to-do list is complete.Ā  Then I treated myself to the movies. I went to see Remember Me – the new Rob Pattinson film and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how above average it was. The ending was a surprise and the overall movie was just good writing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend you see it. Also Rob Pattinson was also co-executive producer. Who knew? Plus the previews before the movie were Eclipse (June 30th) , The Runaways (TBD) and Iron Man 2 (May 7th)- looking forward to all of those as well!

After the movie I had to stop home to tend to my farm in FarmVille, blog about it and gather my petitions for tomorrow’s volunteer work at the Farmer’s Market ( I really hope it is not raining tomorrow because that will suck). But in about an hour I am headed to Press Club to meet a friend for drinks and then dinner followed by girls night out at: Point Break Live! Woohoo!

Day 106

Posted in 80's, embarassing moments, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Red Room, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 10, 2010

Yesterday I gave my first chapter of my memoir to my husband to read. Was I crazy? Actually, it wasn’t that bad. But he’s bias and he knows the story well. He did have some good feedback though. I also received some good feedback from my writer friend Amy Lamphere.

Speaking of writing, I am still doing that experimental blog on FarmVille “99 days on FarmVille” and I’ll admit, it’s a time suck. But I only have 27 more ribbons to get and I will be finished with that nonsense. My plan for today is to write an article for either Divine Caroline, Red Room or the Examiner. Red Room’sĀ  article submission is on your most embarrassing moment in high school. So many to pick from, but I did manage to narrow it down. I also want to edit my first chapter of the memoir again and to do a DVD workout. That seems like a lot to do in four hours since I have a fund-raising call at 3pm and have to pickĀ  my husband up at 4pm to go celebrate my niece’s 14th birthday.Ā  Happy Birthday Lia!

Alas, I finally did a workout DVD yesterday. It was called Dance with Julianne by Julianne Hough from “Dancing with the Stars”. I didn’t love it. She’s a good dancer, but not a good teacher.The one I have from Crunch Fitness called Latin Rhythms is way better. Perhaps I’ll do that one today.Exercising and being productive does seem to get me out of a slump when I am in one.

But on Friday, I will definitely get out my slump because I am going to see Point Break Live with friends. What is it? A live performance where the movie is acted out. Comes with ponchos for the big tsunami storm and is not an event for the fair at heart. They even pick someone from the audience to play Keanu Reeves! Cannot wait.

Day 94

Posted in Damages, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Lost, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 25, 2010

Interview in person next week and a phone interview, making progress. Got a rejection yesterday but it was really a stretch for me anyway.

Just posted to my FarmVille blog that the rumors about Zynga charging subscription fees is false.

I’ve also been writing a lot for Divine Caroline, here’s my page. Yesterday I posted about my experience with speed dating.

Today I posted a new article at the Examiner.com and just finished baking my friend’s tasty kona banana bread. Now I am going to hunker down to finish the layout of my memoir before shipping it off to the editor. I hope I can finish it before my leadership council meeting tonight.

Oh, and although DAMAGES is the best TV show on television right now, I am also hooked on an old HBO series called The Wire. Just finished season 1 last night. And if I don’t start actually getting answers on LOST, I am going to be pissed! That’s all I will say on that in case you haven’t caught up to real time yet with your DVR.

Day 93

Posted in Certifications, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Project Management, recruiter, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 24, 2010

I am starting to really enjoy my time off. Yesterday I had lunch with a friend and former co-worker at one of my favorite dive sushi places in San Carlos. And next week I am going to lunch with another former co-worker and my former mentor.

I have 3 irons in the fire right now with possible job prospects. Two are in the city and one is just outside the city. So let’s keep our fingers crossed. I have finally broken through the “in person” interview barrier and gotten past the phone interview with one company so far.

But one thing came up during my phone interviews that I’d like to touch on. Certifications. I’ve been asked a few times if I have a certification in project management because it doesn’t seem to be listed on my resume. Well, I don’t have one. I have 15 years of project management, product management and partner program management experience. I told one recruiter that I believe that certifications are for people who have no experience in something. I’m not sure how well that went over, but it’s true when you think about it.

At this rate in my career, I would never go back for a certification in anything. If I was going to invest time and energy in education of any kind it would be to get my Masters degree in something, but definitely not an MBA either. I don’t want an MBA because I don’t want a job in finance or business development. I know how a business runs and I’ve even created my own nonprofit which is why I definitely know I don’t want to go back for an MBA.

But as I mentioned before, I am now competing with many people who went back to school or who are going back to school. I’ve been wanting to get my Masters in something for 10 years now. I often think I should have just gone and done it after college. But I didn’t know what I wanted a degree in at that time and I certainly didn’t want to go back to school because I couldn’t wait to get out.

Only recently, right before my lay off,Ā  have I decided that I might want to go and get my M.F.A to help further pursue my writing career. If I ever get published, that will look good on my book jacket cover. But I can’t go back to school while collecting unemployment because that will cut of my benefits, plus I can’t really afford to do that right now. However, taking night classes once I get a job is looking like a possibility in my near future.

Two articles I recently published on Divine Caroline about Social networking 101 and the SF Examiner on emailing in the work place.

And don’t forget to check out my blog with my experiment on FarmVille.

Day 87

Posted in FarmVille, life, unemployed by Tracy on February 18, 2010

If someone was to ask me what I do all day with my time and if I am making a good use of it, well, I think that would be up for interpretation.

I get up every day between 8:30-9:00am. I stay in my pajamas until at least noon, sometimes until 3pm.Ā  I try to shower every day, but some days, what’s the point? I mean if no one is going to see me and I haven’t left the house then there really is no point. My stomach clock is way off. I eat lunch around 2pm or 3pm simply because you can’t burn a lot of calories sitting your ass all day in front of a computer.(By the way, I did find another loophole in FarmVille today).

That’s probably my biggest disappointment in myself. At least I could use this time to lose a few pounds and get healthy. I want to work out but between puncturing my foot last Thursday on a plug and my back still healing from the minor lipoma surgery, and getting the food poisoning, I’m just not feeling that up to par. Maybe I can squeeze in a little Wii Fit today.

The sky is gray today so it’s looking like a pajama day. I do have a phone interview tomorrow so looks like I need to do a bit of research on them today. Who knows, my pajama days could be coming to an end soon.

Oh and I sold the remainder of my stock today so I now have $ to get my memoir professionally edited. Woohoo!

Later gator.

Day #73

Posted in FarmVille, life, unemployed by Tracy on February 4, 2010

I’m recovering nicely from my minor surgery. It itches like a bitch which means it’s healing so that is good news.Yay!

Earlier this week there was a news story on TV about how YouTube is hiring a ton. But they are owned by Google, so my chances of getting in are slim to none. Why? Because to get in the front door at Google, you don’t just need to know someone, you need to have had a high GPA (think Dean’s list) and have gone to a good school (think America’s Top 100).Ā  It doesn’t matter if you have 20 years experience and are completely overqualified, you can’t get in because you are automatically judged in the first 10 seconds someone glances at your resume.

Personally, I don’t think I would want to work for a company that judges you on decisionsĀ  that I made when I was 18 years old. I mean, I almost failed out with a 1.8 GPA in my freshman year and wound up graduating with a 2.75. Do you know how hard that was to get my GPA up to even that high after I screwed it up so badly? Even after I pledged a sorority? Something should be said for that effort I think. But nope, I will never work at Google or any Google company unless acquired by Google and then I would have to hold my breath that they didn’t ask me for my transcript. Good grief. Too much pressure. Although Google is going to own the world soon so maybe there is no hope for me.

I was telling my husband the other day that having all of this time off would be more relaxing if I was retired. But the stress of having to find a job lingering in the background of my psyche, makes it hard to really “relax”.

Today, I have no agenda. My whole day is completely free. I plan on staying in my pajamas until at least noon doing nothing except tending my farm in FarmVille and surfing the net. All of this job hunting and networking is exhausting, I think I need a day off. I think I’ll pretend to be retired today just for the day.