Graduating marked a turning point for me: professionally and personally. It was the impetus for a lot of wonderful changes in my life.
Today I wanted to take some time to review all the changes that have happened since I became a college graduate. Changes, I'd like to add, that were made possible through goal-setting.
Before GraduationMy post-graduate journey though goal-setting actually began about 2 months prior. In March, my boyfriend (Jared) was awarded a fantastic opportunity to open up a new branch of his organization in Miami. Our original post-graduation plan was for me to move in with him in NYC where he was currently working and where I actually had a job lined up.
However, we agreed this was an opportunity that he could not pass up. The question of whether or not I would join him was still the issue.
Without exaggeration, this was the hardest decision I ever had to make (complete with tears and sleepless nights). My dream had ALWAYS been to "make it" in NYC.
Thankfully circumstances changed, opportunities presented themselves, and in April we decided to commit to the move to the "Latin Manhattan" in September.
As a goal-driven person, my goals for the next few months were to (1) spend time with family before the move, (2) build my résumé to be more "hireable," (3) find a place to live in Miami, and (4) find a job before the end of the year, preferably in classical music.
May thru Early September
I affectionately call this period "the family months." Here is a list of all of the wonderful memories we made before the big move.
- Immediately after graduation, my Mom, Dad, brother, and I went to last Vegas for a week. That was a crazy trip! Glad I remember so much of it ;)
- We spent July 4th with my godfather - who we haven't seen in quite a while. We all had a great time reconnecting and reminiscing.
- In early July, we spent a week in OCMD with Jared's side of the family. I always enjoy spending time with his family, and this trip was particularly fun! To top it off, his baby sister Maria was born early into the trip!
- After a weekend trip in mid-July to Miami to get to know neighborhoods, Jared and I found a stunning apartment to stay in for the first 6 weeks of our move. We still didn't know enough about the city to make an informed decision on a permanent apartment - but this was a great start! Goal #3 was part-way complete.
- At the end of July, Jared and I spent a week in Wildwood, NJ with my entire family. I always love this week - it really brings us all close together.
- In early August, Jared and I spent his birthday weekend in Boston. It was a romantic and adventure-filled weekend. Boston remains one of my favorite US cities.
- Later in August, Jared's sister announced she was having a baby! (Note: he was born early this month and I can't wait to meet him next weekend!)
- In mid-August we moved out of our Brooklyn apartment. Phew - that was an undertaking. Our few weeks of packing up our stuff and putting it into storage was complete with hilarious memories we won't soon forget. After this, I moved home for a month while Jared flew to Brazil for a business trip.
- Finally, Jared and I said "goodbye" to our entire family at our going-away party.
As you can see, Goal #1 was accomplished... and then some. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the time I was able to spend with the people that are most important to me.
During all of this memory-making, I also applied for over a dozen positions, posted my résumé on countless job sites, volunteered for the production team of a few music industry conferences, maintained this blog, and took on many Graphic Design and Social Media clients (Goal #2 was off to a good start).
Unfortunately, no company wants to hire someone who currently lives a thousand miles away. I was eventually told to wait until after the move to apply for positions. Goal #4 would have to wait.
September 18 - Moving DayOf course a simply trip on the Auto-Train wouldn't THAT easy. My 17-year-old car's battery died along the way, and we had to get our car jumped TWICE before making it to the Auto-Train in Virginia (and once again when we arrived in Florida). But even then, the hard work hadn't even started.
September 19 - October 24Moving is freaking hard! In this 5-week period, Jared and I had quite the to-do list.
- We had to find a PERMANENT place to live. As every one of our family members can attest, this wasn't easy at all (some neighborhoods in Miami are SKETCHY and many are way out of our price range!!). After a dozen apartment visits and countless hours on the Internet, we finally signed the lease for our current apartment in mid-October and moved in the first week of November. Goal #3 - DONE!
- Jared needed to find a car. Miami is a commuter city, and one car was NOT going to cut it. Thankfully this was relatively quick and painless!
- Car registrations, voter registrations, license applications, leases... I felt like there were a solid three weeks where our spare time was filled with paperwork!
- Most importantly - I needed a freaking job! During this time frame, I applied for jobs daily and went on at least two interviews a week. However (as my generation can attest) finding your first real job in this economy is really, really hard.
After several weeks of disappointment, I either had to (1) settle for a job I really didn't want or (2) find a different way to find a job. I chose option 2.
November 2013I accepted a Marketing Internship position at the Florida Grand Opera. Originally I took the position to meet the professionals and learn the ins-and-outs of the industry I ultimately wanted to end up with. It turned out to offer so much more than that.
December 2013 - PresentAt the end of 2013, I was offered a full-time, salaried position for a position that was made for me - Marketing & Development Associate. Goal #4 was complete!
|My old "office"|
Although we were able to celebrate this accomplishment over the Christmas holiday, the next few months were quite the whirlwind:
- 30 opera performances
- 15 donor events
- Learning how to deal with Miami traffic
- Experiencing the joys and convenience of a crock pot dinner
- Half a dozen trips home to see family and friends
- Friends getting engaged and married
- Trying to learn Spanish
- Babies being born (not ours, FYI!!)
- The loss of a pet and the welcoming of a new one
- Half a dozen art fairs corresponding business trips to those countries
- Student loan payments
- Researching the proper thread count for sheets
I'd like to close this post by saying that, looking back on the past 12 months, it's really satisfying to look back and see all that we accomplished. I highly recommend you do the same!
Setting goals and following through with them has made the past year one of the best in my entire life. Can't wait to see what the next year brings!
Wishing you all the best with your goal fulfillment.