Expectations for 2015

IMG_0073Happy New Year, America!

Every year, I set out to make expectations as opposed to resolutions. Expectations are things I expect to see happen without setting concrete benchmarks whereas resolutions tend to be predicated on unrealistic and ambitious goals that get quickly abandoned.

If you’ve read my posts throughout 2014, you’ll know I continued to experience professional and personal challenges that have now dragged on into its third year. I genuinely hope 2015 will finally be the year when my life turns around. I made the same predictions about 2014 and was later proven to be badly mistaken. I’ll be damned if I’m wrong about 2015 too but we’ll see.

With that, here are my expectations for 2015.

Getting my career back on track – After being out of work for 15 months, a terribly long and dismal streak finally ended two months ago when I landed some kind of temporary employment through a staffing agency.

This year, the focus shifts from searching for any kind of work to finding opportunities relevant to my background and career aspirations — transportation and public affairs / community relations.

I’m currently under consideration for a career opportunity in the Bay Area that involves public communication for a transportation agency. I hope I emerge victorious in this particular opportunity due to the great potential that awaits in this position. I’ll find out within the next few months where it all goes.

If not, I still hope to find some kind of work along these lines in the region. I miss working on transportation projects and the outreach side of things. It combines two great passions of mine that are vital to finding out what moves people. It’s been more than two years since I was last in this kind of position and I’m still looking for the next new entity that will give me that chance.

Strengthening family relationships – Generally speaking, relations with my family have remained fairly stable in recent years. More recently, the personal and professional challenges I have experienced has chipped away at some of the bonds and good graces I have established with my relatives.

I sure hope that this is the last year for a very long time where my career troubles remain an issue. As much as I attempted to separate my professional challenges from my personal life, the dam that kept the two issues at bay breached last year, causing some of the tensions and consternations that affected my familial relationships.

My focus is to strengthen and rebuild some of the bonds diminished over the past year. Even though I have no relatives in the Bay Area, maintaining reasonably regular contact with relatives across the country and checking on their well-being must remain a priority of mine. These are people most important to me and I can’t afford to lose them because of problems of my own.

Although it remains a long shot, building a relationship with my biological mother in South Korea is still an ongoing effort. The challenges that impede such progress include the wide geographic distance that separates us, her 14-year absence from my life as a child — which she is not at fault for — and existing language barriers — she’s not able to speak English while I’m not able to speak Korean. As for whether any substantive progress will ever materialize from this effort remains a question of its own. We’ll see where it all goes.

Travel – Although my financial situation is the most constrained in eight years, I remain hopeful that my financial outlook improves enough over the course of the year to partake in more travels.

Last year, I took only one major trip — Nebraska and Colorado in June. That’s in stark contrast to 2011, 2012 and 2013 where I was used to visiting several new cities throughout the United States each year. I hope to fully get back into the thick of things this year.

My next new cities to visit will likely be Kansas City and St. Louis. I also hope to visit Dallas, where I recently had a cousin move out there with her family as well as a friend who’s been living in the city for many years. Other potential new cities to visit include Salt Lake City, New Orleans and Houston. Potential cities for revisits include Anchorage, Portland, Ore., Boston, New York City and Philadelphia (my former stomping grounds from August 2012 to November 2013).

As for what will happen this year…

Graduate school – I am now into my first year of graduate school at San Jose State University.

I’m still pursuing a Master of Science in Transportation Management degree, hoping to take on a management role in transportation down the road as a public information officer or a community relations manager. The program also will allow me to branch out into other lines of work within transportation including, but not limited to, operations and public policy. The possibilities are endless…after graduation in June 2016, that is.

PRSA New Professionals Committee – For the second year in a row, I’m serving on this national leadership body for young public relations professionals.

Last year, I served as diversity liaison on the committee. This year, I’m a newsletter co-chair alongside Hanna Porterfield of New York City. We are both in charge of putting together a bi-monthly newsletter for the new professional section of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). I came from a background that involved extensively working on newsletters so this should be right up my alley. I also look forward to working with Hanna to producing and delivering a high-quality publication for new professionals by new professionals.

What are your expectations for 2015? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.

I’ll leave you with this from Fleetwood Mac.

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2 thoughts on “Expectations for 2015

  1. Here’s hoping for an amazing year ahead, Simon! I like the idea of “expectations” instead of resolutions, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself 🙂

    • Thanks, Jess. It’s hard not to be bitter when I’ve had many reasons to be over the last three years. I hope the kindness aspect makes a comeback this year.

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