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 one¬† 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. ūüėČ

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

Day 164 ‚Äď When it rains, it pours

Posted in contest, job search, life, San Francisco, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on May 10, 2010

When it rains, it pours and it is literally pouring not only rain here, but opportunities for me as well. A few, both freelance and regular, job interviews in the pipeline this week and next, but I’m not going to get too excited just yet. What will be, shall be.

I know it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy. Amazing how time flies when you are not employed. I gave my first webinar last week to 18 nonprofits and it went really well. I did the first one for free. A few things that need to be polished, but otherwise, I’m pretty satisfied with it and the feedback was positive overall. I’m now even more stoked about presenting at the Center for Nonprofit Success’s seminar on Social Media: Tips and tools for using social media to build support for your mission.

Still keeping busy with writing for the Examiner, RedRoom and some freelance gigs. Had our 4th documentary meeting and it’s coming together. It will really come together if we get accepted for the Pepsi Refresh Project grant.

And I have to share this book that I am reading right now, because it is so damn funny. I think I am especially enjoying it because I love food. It’s called Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. It’s a compilation of essays from authors who confess their own stories of what they eat while dining alone (in or out). It is not only hilarious, but it includes a few recipes too. With each story they intertwine little one liners that will have you laughing out loud. From one chick’s recollection of Halloween being¬† like a “Beggar’s Banquet” to another guy’s curious question of why the Jews didn’t think they were persecuted enough to still be eating brisket and gifelte fish in modern times.It’s available on Amazon.

And now, in keeping with my latest tradition, I am off to the gym to get a workout in. I’m only eating fruit, vegetables and protein. No bread, no pasta, limited rice, no cake, no cookies, no ice cream (and you know I’ve been known to eat right out of the half gallon container of Breyers).Why the madness? My clothes were starting to feel uncomfortable again. Plus, all of this research for the documentary has got me eating my way to a¬† healthier life.

Later in the week, I hope to enlighten you all to cooking with coconut oil. A friend just introduced me to it last week and it was phenomenal and apparently there are health benefits too. A win-win.

Ciao for now.

Follow me on Twitter@tracysestili
Become a Fan on Facebook

Day 151 – Naked Lunch

Posted in job search, Living in the moment, Lunch, San Francisco, unemployed by Tracy on April 27, 2010

Okay, so today I was a little silly when I posted in my Facebook status that I “just had Naked Lunch with my hubby” and told them to read about it at FoodieFool.com. But, in all of this free time, I sometimes need to amuse myself.

Yesterday, an author friend of mine did a blog post on telling someone you love them before you get cancer. In her blog post she posted a video from days before the 1906 earthquake. It was a silent film found on YouTube where people were just going about their business as if tomorrow was yet another day. The motivation behind her post was a segment she had seen on 60 Minutes that said that San Francisco’s next big quake was coming soon and they just hoped that the Bay Bridge reconstruction would be done in time before that happened. Scary and yet thought provoking.

Then a couple hours later, my phone rang. I thought it was my best friend whom I’ve known since the 9th grade, but instead it was her husband. He called to tell me that she was in the hospital. Something was wrong with her liver, but they didn’t know what it was. They ruled out cancer and hepatitis, but still no answer, just more testing.

All of this made me remember that back when I lost my mother, I already knew that life was short, but how short, I didn’t quite realize until then. Every once in a while, I get reminded again of how short life really is. All of this brought to mind a lyric from one of my favorite Fiona Apple songs, Criminal, “But I keep living this day like the next will never come,” which is why I went to Naked Lunch today. I decided that I can be worried about finding a job and spend all day looking for one on the computer. Or, I can enjoy my time off and when the right opportunity presents itself, I will welcome it, because I will have been well rested.

I started my day with a mani-pedi that I had scheduled for 10am – not too early, but early enough to give me a jump start on the day and get out of the house. Then I met my husband for lunch at Naked Lunch where I indulged in a decadent foie gras torchon sandwich. (You should read the review on FoodieFool).

Now, I’m hanging out and I’m going to read on my chaise lounge looking out on my beautiful view of the city. But I only have an hour because I’m going to Bikram Yoga this afternoon. So, I gotta run. But for now, my advice is to live in the moment, because you just never know. Oh, and if you’re religious, say a little prayer for my friend Heidi!

Day 147 – Lady who lunches

Posted in job search, life, Lost, Lunch, Project Management, San Francisco, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on April 23, 2010

Okay, seriously. I have previously stated that all I do is “lunch” with people to network to see if they can help me find a job. And while I love eating, this whole unemployment thing is making me fat! Yesterday I went to lunch with a former boss, he’s awesome. It was great. The food was delicious and the conversation was stimulating. He knew of an opportunity that he thought I would be good for so we’ll see.¬† When I told him that I had registered with The Ladders and with M Squared consulting, he found that interesting and said that most people don’t go about finding a job that way these days. Most people do what I am doing now, which is go to lunch and get jobs through people they know. Makes me want to totally re-think that whole MFA program thing, I tell ya.

Well, lunch was yummy and informative and I felt like I had a food baby in my belly. At the end of the day, my husband calls and says that I could convince him to go to the gym if I met him there. Hmm, although I didn’t feel like going, and had no plans to go, I decided it couldn’t hurt me. After all, I did have a food baby to work off.

Today I knew I was meeting a friend for a long overdue lunch at 1pm, so I had plans to either go to bikram yoga or the gym in the morning. That way it feels more justifiable eating a fabulous lunch at a place like Waterbar and drinking cocktails. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure that the lunch was going to involve cocktails but was fairly certain. When my friend wound up being twenty minutes late due to her job, I wound up ordering myself a glass of Sauvignon blanc (which I decided is way better than Chardonnay, but that’s just my opinion). When she arrived at 1:20 it turned into many glasses of champagne and splitting appetizers, entrees and dessert. The bill was steep. Over one hundred dollars and I’m unemployed – yikes!

Before I went to lunch my husband forwarded me a job he saw posted for a social media blogger/editor position at a gaming company. Well, if that isn’t right up my alley. However, the position clearly stated that the career level was “student’. So I applied anyway, because I decided that I would love to work for half of my value if it meant doing something that I loved, and I love blogging and social media. So I applied. I don’t know if I’ll even get a call or a response, but hell, what have I got to lose….um, nothing.

Day 146 – Contest, documentary and a lady who lunches

Posted in Consulting, contest, job search, Lost, Lunch, San Francisco, Writer by Tracy on April 21, 2010

Today, on the agenda is lunch with a former boss. I definitely feel like a lady who lunches and I need to start working out more often or I’m going to become a blimp with all of these lunches. For a person who is unemployed, I certainly eat well. Tomorrow I have yet another lunch, but it’s more of a social lunch rather than a networking lunch and will probably involve a cocktail or two. And on Friday, I am taking myself to lunch to eat at Naked Lunch – a new lunch place that is screaming my name when I heard the words ‘foie gras sandwich!’ Look for the review on FoodieFool.com late Friday.

I have started research on my documentary project with my friends which involves researching the history of the FDA. I’m reading Inside the FDA right now. Fascinating stuff. I’m also gathering research and interview candidates for my next book on the world of nonprofits. If you know of anyone who could add some value to my book on nonprofits, leave a comment to contact me or you can go to my website right now where I am hosting a contest. Tell me about your most disappointing nonprofit experience and you will be entered to win a book and a $25 gift card to the nonprofit of your choice. I am essentially looking for experiences that are good/or bad and expectations that were met/or not met.¬† Would be great if you can go on record, but if not, I can work around that.

I am also offering a webinar to nonprofits to teach them about social media. I am doing my first one on May 3rd and a second one by request on May 4th. If you know of any nonprofit that is interested, forward them my site. If they mention that they heard about it from this site (Seeking Out Me), I’ll take $20 off the fee for the class offered on May 3rd.

Number of resumes submitted to date: 127

Hoping a consulting gig comes around soon.

p.s. LOST is so disappointing this year. I need ANSWERS!

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.¬† 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 this¬† 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 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 110 – Point Break Live! in SF

Posted in Point Break, San Francisco by Tracy on March 15, 2010

Okay, it’s safe to admit that we were the oldest people there! Essentially it was a live performance of the movie Point Break (1991), but the twist is that they had people audition for Keanu Reeve’s part and it was very interactive with audience participation throughout.

A woman, that looked very much like Katherine Bigelow (played by Sharon Rylander) greeted us and held auditions for “Johnny Utah” on stage. A swarm of twenty-somethings rushed the stage to get their 15 minutes of fame and after 3 audition tests, one lucky guy, Chad, landed the role with his stellar line of “Are we gonna jump or jerk off” while doing jumping jacks. I have to say that Chad played a pretty good Keanu. Ironically, his interests were music, surfing and homo-erotic theater.¬†

It was not an outing for the average theater goer. At check-in the cast handed you a little baggie with a poncho and some fake money. If you were too proud to put on your poncho then you were an idiot because the first 4 rows got soaked with water, fake blood and other spooge. We were lucky enough to be sitting in the 5th row but we still got wet. There was a 15 minute intermission where all of the theater-goers got more alcohold to drink and munchies to satiate their reefer munchies.  All in all, a $28 experience worth seeing if you like live interactive theater.

The grossest ex-president bank robber extraordinaire was played by Ryan Verzaal (who played Grommet).  The most memorable performance was by James Cotner (who played Pappas). Not only did he sound like him, but he looked like a younger version of the real Pappas. And of course, Chad was awesome thanks to Cue Card Girl (played by Callie Rickey).

For more on the SF Cast: http://pointbreaklive.com/pointbreaklive-/SF_Cast.html

The show plays in L.A., S.F., and Chicago. Check it out if you can.http://pointbreaklive.com/pointbreaklive-/HOME.html