altarflame: (deluge)
The two main themes of my life these days are that child rearing can be harrowing, and politics. But that first topic is something I'm holding close, and the second one will enrage me to the point that I'll have to write 5,000 pages of vitriol, SO.

Theme #3: My Awkward Ascent Into Professionalism.

This really began late last year, when I had to figure out what exactly "business casual" actually means, for women, in Miami, and then sit down and construct a resume after more than a decade of stay at home parenting. These disheartening efforts were rewarded, though, with two different successful interviews, a training program, and a lot of invaluable experiences. Then, my Bachelor's degree arrived in the mail, screaming LEGITIMACY and honestly terrifying me because I have a fear of success that's hard to explain to people. It was followed a couple of months later by my grad school acceptance letter.

Nevermind my 48 hours of constant anxiety as I tried to accept that I was truly going to graduate school. Nevermind that first night at the Switchboard when I didn't realize until I was leaving that I had a big, 3D, unblended CHUNK of makeup in the middle of my forehead, or the time months later when I hadn't gotten my parking validation due to a mixup and realized as I was due to leave the garage that I had no way to pay and was therefore stuck arguing with a security guard at the gate. On the phones, I was doing good things! It was seriously meaningful and at times very moving. It was also sometimes horrific and I cried the whole (hour long) ride home more than once.

More recently, things have Gotten Real on new levels. In the last month I've done things like;

-Interview one on one for 45 minutes with the field coordinator at my school to talk about agency placements, and then head to the bathroom to see that I had a big, smeary, unidentifiable black smudge on my forehead the whole time.
-Rush out the door on my way to an evening presentation, dressed up but barefoot (carrying my shoes), and step right into a giant warm pile of cat puke on my front porch. This led to me wasting precious minutes shrieking and leaping around my wet, dark front yard grass trying to clean my foot.
-Leave my house bright and early for an agency interview, and then realize my GPS was leading me to the wrong place, and then realize I didn't understand the parking setup or facility gate system, so I had to call a secretary no less than FOUR TIMES and arrive almost half an hour late. She was very nice about how confusing their set up is, and how their official address is not really accurate except for mail, and how frequently people have these problems, and I really think the interview ended up going well, EXCEPT JUST FOR FUN ON THE WAY OUT -
-I got told they'll need "a reliable phone number" for me, and realized when I inquired about what the problem is with my cell number that I sent them a resume with a switched digit in the number... that they've been trying to call *headdesk*
-Later, I saw the emails from the guy I was interviewing with, inquiring about where I was and asking me to call his cell, that arrived while I was calling his secretary and driving in circles.

And again, the content driven parts, I am proud of. An older guy in a suit lead me into a big lobby area to sit side by side, and said, "Paint a picture of yourself for me," and I was able to be very honest and make it clear I was a good fit.

But man. The transition from long term stay at home parenting to being professional is, at times, a bumpy road. I feel simultaneously silly and proud when I look back on how many logistical things I've had to gradually get the hang of since I went back to school... like, gee, if you are gonna be gone for 6 solid hours, you are really screwed if you forget to put on deodorant before you head out, or don't plan ahead for how you'll eat. WHAT ADVANCED CONCEPTS.

Something about having a bunch of kids to tote supplies for trains you to feel like if it's just you, you're basically a free agent who needs nothing and can get by on zero prep.

Phone number typo aside, it's encouraging how much more I have to write on a resume now vs this time last year. Then it was, "almost have a bachelors" - now it's "working on my MSW." The Switchboard experience is a great thing for the kinds of places I'm applying, too. It's still a bare bones single sheet with room to spare, but it's more substantive than it was.

My current epiphany/conundrum is that I realized my one acceptable, flattering, "business casual" outfit may be fine for presentations and interviews, but is not gonna cut it when I'm interning 3 days per week for a whole semester. So, uh, I guess I have to go shopping.

May 2017

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