One Month Summary
April second marks one month since I returned to the US! I cannot BELIEVE how much has happened since I landed and ever since I hit the ground running despite the jet lag. Before officially returning, I wrote out an itemized checklist of what to do before leaving and after I arrived, such as:
- New car
- Job applications & interviewing
- Relocation options & expenses
At 18 years old, I bought my first car after a couple of years of saving. I got a 2003 Chevy Cavalier for $3,000.00. I named her Violet—V for short. While she had an insane amount of rust on the bottom, she got me through high school and college thanks to careful maintenance and babying the shit out of her. I didn’t take her too long distances and worked part-time on campus to save driving costs.
Before leaving Korea, I sold her for scrap because she was just too old to sell to someone else. The rust on the bottom was awful, and if I had stayed in the States, I would’ve had to replace her relatively quickly anyway.
In America, the prices for used cars shot up because parts for the newer models have been delayed due to COVID. Therefore, the demand increased in the used car market because of the lack of new cars. I knew I’d spend a decent amount of savings on a new car, and I wanted something good on gas that would last me a long time. I searched for car models while in Korea and set up a budget.
Thus, I introduce my new car: Roxy!
A 2011 Honda Civic!
I was lucky to get this car through my dad’s friend, who recently bought a newer Honda Civic model. He not only gave me a great deal versus the other prices on the market, but the mileage on it was ridiculously low (67,000 miles) since he doesn’t drive much. I got this car the weekend I came to America, which was the best-case scenario.
I managed to hit below my budget, get new plates and stickers, car insurance, take care of the taxes and title costs, and get her inspected and her oil changed.
In the meantime, I was interviewing and applying to several companies in Columbus and Cincinnati for jobs in communications, content writing, editing, and marketing. I wanted to take more of my savings to settle on the first month’s rent somewhere and get a job in my field in a nearby city because:
- I didn’t want to stay in my hometown for too long.
- Most of my positions are located in bigger cities.
I had a couple of interviews, but most turned me down due to either my lack of direct experience or my inability to relocate quickly enough. Of course, it doesn’t help that we’re in a mild recession, but though there are vacancies, the applicant volume is pretty competitive.
While in Korea, I was fortunate enough to have had a phone screening interview with a company. I was applying for jobs over a month before my flight. Shortly before arriving in America, one company requested an in-person interview at their office in Columbus and a phone screen with another job the day after I landed.
Who else has done a phone screen interview with intense jet lag?
The process was stressful (but welcome), and I gained a lot of additional interview and application experience. I wasn’t sure if I would get any of these jobs, but I planned to get a part-time job around my hometown and save additional money for a month before moving in with someone in either Columbus or Cincinnati. After moving, I’d continue my job search in the city to make things easier.
My New Role
I had two positions I was looking at in Columbus; unfortunately, one ghosted me despite the positive interview and one of the interviewers replying to my follow-up thank you e-mail.
Almost hilarious that we deal with ghosting on dating apps and now interviewers at some places.
Side note: I recommend sending a thank-you follow-up email sometime after your initial interview to show your level of interest in the position.
I received a notification request for a second in-person interview with the Communications Manager and Director of Communications, which went well despite my nerves. I can make a separate post about my interview experiences later!
Simultaneously, I’m researching apartments for pricing and asking about what areas are safe but relatively affordable in Columbus. For those who don’t live in Ohio, Columbus is the capital, and it’s booming, so rent in safer neighborhoods is increasing too.
I like to make back-up-back-up plans. I know there are plenty of other capable applicants (and job-seeking is always hard out here), so I always operate under the assumption that I didn’t get the job so that I could be somewhat prepared.
Remarkably, I received a call on March 27 from my now boss, offering me the Communications Assistant position.
Even now, I can barely contain my excitement and utter gratitude. I’m well aware that in these situations, each applicant’s success also means that another applicant is turned down. I know what it’s like to be on the other end, as it’s happened more times than I can count. I’m thankful that this is my time to succeed, but I hope the other applicants will gain success in their job-seeking journey soon.
Found on Pixabay.
Moving to Columbus
So, now I’m officially moving to Columbus this April! I can’t believe I’m turning 25 in two weeks. During that week, I’ll move into a new apartment before starting my new position on the 17th. I can’t believe I managed to make these strides within a month.
While I worked very hard, many people work just as much and take longer to see results. I’ve always prepared for a delay in plans and kept my expectations low, just in case. I narrowed down three places and will be touring apartments next week with my mother, signing the lease of the one I like best, and moving in by the following week.
I’m immensely grateful for the opportunities I got. Through hard work, pure luck, and supportive people around me, I managed to meet all the goals on my list. There’s still a lot to do, and not everything will be ideal. Life has many challenges awaiting me, but I’m happy that the next chapter in my life has started so positively.
As always, thank you for reading. 🙂 xoxo
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