Marathon Life

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soul Searching at a Crossroads

These past few weeks have certainly been trying for me. I have been in a funk - a pretty major funk. I have thought about quitting my job at least 100 times. Not a single day passes that I don't think about it, or I am least tempted by it. Also, I have thought about pulling the condo offer and just moving back to San Diego to rent a place once my lease ends on May 31. Then, I wouldn't have the responsibility of a mortgage, etc. I could just find a roommate and figure out my life for a while. Then I thought about that strategy. I wouldn't be able to take advantage of these historical low real estate prices and the first time home buyer's tax credit of $8000 if the condo closes by June 30. This is probably the only time of my life that I could afford property in San Diego. I have to take advantage of it.

I suppose I could still quit my job even if I owned the condo. So that is my plan. I'm going to hold on to my job until I legally own the condo and have a roommate lined up. Then I will resign and be free. I think that's the best plan for me. I realize others may think it's an absolutely ridiculous strategy. I happen to have savings I could utilize for living expenses until I figure something out. There is no sense in prolonging my anguish. I absolutely need to do something different and desperately need to reevaluate my life. I can't do this with a job that is keeping me inside of the box. I have to break this box apart. I need to tear it open and never, ever, look back. I am so tired of having regrets. I have to follow my passion. My passion is certainly not in OC and it's not doing marketing for a tech company. I'm not being true to myself. I feel like a fake half the time. Actually I feel like a fake ALL THE TIME when I am at work.

One of my regrets was not taking enough time during the time I was laid off last year to really find something I was passionate about, something I truly enjoyed. I didn't take full advantage. I had the security of a nice 4 month severance package and unemployment funds that would have lasted 9 months to a year. What did I do? I took the first offer that came along because I was scared. I was scared that I wasn't going to find anything in San Diego. I up and left one of my favorite places in this country. I left my home. I know I'm not that far away now, but I feel so distant. This condo purchase is my attempt to get my life back and become closer to what makes me a happier person.

Since I had to travel to FL for work this week, I was able to get some reading done on the plane. I'm halfway through Andre Agassi's biography "Open". The book really made me miss tennis. After reading the thoughts that went through his head during some of the most important matches of his life made me think about my past obsessions with tennis. From the age of 15-23 I pretty much ate, slept and breathed tennis. I spent hours practicing, I paid for my own tennis lessons and camp.  I recall the day that Agassi won Wimbledon (his first grand slam tournament) in 1992. Everyone at camp was so excited, some were crying. It was such an emotional and inspiring day. He wasn't supposed to win but he did. He defied the odds.

Reading Agassi's book made me realize just how interested I was in tennis and still am. Although I don't play competitively anymore, I still watch as much as I can on TV (well, when I had a DVR. I read every article I find. I thought to myself, why am I not working for some kind of tennis-related organization? I could totally do PR or write articles for tennis-related sites. I could organize events or do some other marketing related activities. I would love to just travel around the world for different tournaments. This is a dream and not a reality. I just get so discouraged. At 34 I feel like it's too late to attempt to have a career working within the tennis world.  I feel like I should have embraced it at the time I was so involved. Now, due to the industry I have worked in (technology) for so many year, I feel stuck.

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posted by Anthony at 11:19 PM 0 comments

Friday, April 02, 2010

The search continues

Wow, it's already April 1. Time is certainly flying by. My real estate agent called me on Monday to tell me that they are escalating the short sale since he knows that I want to be in there by late May. They are going to work with the negotiator at the bank to get it approved. He thinks we have a good shot at the approval soon. Let's hope he's right. This whole idea of renting a room in Irvine and living in San Diego on the weekends (Thurs - Mon) is just not sitting right with me. I know I am going to get frustrated with it. But I have to look on the bright side. I have a job. It may not be what I want to do. It may not be my true passion in life. It may not be in the most ideal location for the life that I am trying to lead. I'm lucky to even have a job at this point. I know I have regrets and they haunt me daily. I wish I could rewind time and make different decisions. But I can't. I have to face reality. 

That leads me to the job search. So far I haven't really had any bites except for all those insurance companies who want me to sell life insurance policies. What is up with that? My resume that I have posted on numerous job search sites (Monster, Careerbuilder, etc) clearly states I have a marketing background, yet I continue to hear from companies who want me to do sales, and not the kind of sales most people aspire to do. It's always the case. Seriously, do these companies hire just anyone with a pulse? It seems they don't discriminate as to who they call. You have a college degree and professional experience? Oh, then you're a perfect fit to sell life insurance and annuities to old people. Sorry. I'm just not into it.

Then there's the company where I applied to 2 different marketing jobs. I get a call from them, but it's from a recruiter who wants me to consider an inside sales position. The total opposite of what I want. I already did the cold-calling inside sales job back in the internet bubble days of 2000. That's so over. I was miserable making 60+ calls a day, leaving mostly voice mails. She tried to use the "this is more of a customer service-oriented position". Yeah right! My friend Newell worked for this exact company. He told me all about it. It's following up on people who inquire about the online school programs. Being on the phone all day is not my idea of a decent job. Oh and she said he would email me the job description. I haven't seen it yet and it's been 2 days.

I asked about the marketing positions and she said he didn't recruit for those and they have already identified a candidate for each position. I told her I was actually very qualified for the jobs and asked why I didn't get called for that, as my background is very specific to those jobs. She said, "unfortunately with the millions of people looking for work right now, we can't get to everyone." So basically my resume was never read. She also said that she was calling me since my background "fits well" with her sales position. Does it? Obviously she is trying to make a quota and didn't really read my resume. If the job market is so tight, why hasn't she found someone with more sales experience for this job? It's because they are desperate for a breathing person to take this job. No one wants it and they are grasping at straws.

The market is extremely tough right now. That's a non-brainer with a 9.7% unemployment rate and within California, we're at 12.2%.  I've applied to about 30-40 jobs and only have received one response so far. I've never had such trouble. The response is for a one-person company. It's actually for a a guy who has started a small company that sells olive oil and spices. I would love to be involved but there's hardly an infrastructure. It's too much of a risk to jump ship now, especially during my condo approval process. I need to get the condo and loan first, then I can consider it.

I even redid my resume last weekend. Hopefully the updated version will land me some interviews. I am going to try to do some in-person networking, but it's difficult since I cannot go to events in San Diego during the week. 

I need to do something different. I would love to open a bakery franchise. I had been looking at the Great Harvest Bread Company for a while. It's a major financial commitment. Something I could do now, but with the condo purchase, it's too much financial risk. Maybe in 5 years. Why put it off though? If I am that eager for a change, why not go for it now? I'll get a roommate in San Diego. Once that is covered, my expenses will not be so bad. I could possibly afford to do the franchise. It's a lot of hard work in the first few years of owning and operating a food service business. I fully expect to be working 70, 80 hours a week. But the payoff will be nice. I could take pride in ownership.

I already love the brand and bread. I already believe in it. I have the spirit and determination to succeed.  I just need to go through with the application, the site visits, the research, etc. I have done some research. I know it could be very successful in the right location in San Diego. I am sitting on this for some time. After I get the condo, I will apply. There's no harm in applying. It doesn't mean I will go through with it.
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posted by Anthony at 12:37 AM 0 comments

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