Between January 2012 and this past April, I saw myself living through the longest personal and professional slump ever — largely centered around difficulties finding stable and relevant career opportunities. It was truly an agonizing period that took a tremendous toll in almost every aspect of my life.
With my career finally back on track, I feel a renewed sense of hope and optimism. It’ll still take some time before I fully recover from the last three years although things are already starting to look up.
Here are some of those ways as we look back at the month that was and look ahead to the start of summer.
New job – I’m already a month and a half in to my new job as a marketing coordinator at Mark Thomas & Company (MTCo), a civil engineering firm in San Jose.
In this role, I primarily work with engineers, planners and surveyors within our company to position ourselves for public works projects throughout the state of California. I do this by creating proposals when public agencies issue Request for Proposals (RFP) to consulting firms interested in being considered for contracts to work on projects. I also manage the company’s social media accounts with the rest of the marketing team, highlighting the company’s accomplishments and other noteworthy events.
I still enjoy my new job. It’s a terrific work environment, I maintain good relations with all of my colleagues and I feel I have a good grasp of the work at hand with an excellent support system to guide me through it all. I’m still grateful MTCo has given me the opportunity to return to the business of transportation and marketing / public relations. Now, my ongoing focus is to continue developing and succeeding in this new role.
Grad school – I’m finished with Spring Semester 2015 in the Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) program at San Jose State University. I’m back into the swing of things in early August for Fall Semester 2015.
At this point, I completed six classes out of the 10 total in the MSTM program, administered by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI). I still have four more classes to go including the culminating capstone class, putting me on track for a June 2016 graduation date — a year from now.
As I enrolled in the program in January 2014, some have asked if I will remain in the program after landing my new job. I’m still in it until the very end. Most other students also maintain full-time jobs and attend classes one night a week. This is better for me as I feel more productive than ever before — taking on graduate-level courses and a full-time job.
Memorial Day weekend – In lieu of cancelled plans to spend the weekend in San Diego, I took a day trip with a coworker to Santa Cruz — a coastal city about 30 miles south of San Jose here in the Bay Area.
I have never visited Santa Cruz before although I have always wanted to visit. We lucked out as the weather was perfect that Saturday of the holiday weekend. We stopped for lunch at a Thai restaurant, grabbed some ice cream cookie sandwiches at the Pacific Cookie Company (I need to go there again!) and checked out some of the coastal hotspots including the Lighthouse Field State Beach.
I need to go back there sometime for a weekend stay — a stay-cation of sorts. When I do, I definitely need to get some more of those delightful cookies from Pacific Cookie Company!
Bingo – On Friday night, I visited a bingo hall in Santa Clara with a coworker who regularly plays there. This is the first time I played bingo at this kind of venue as I’ve often played this game online and only just for fun. Although I didn’t win anything, I still enjoyed playing and it gave me something productive to do on an otherwise dull Friday night.
- MTI convocation ceremony – Hoping to finding out if I can attend the ceremony later this month. It’ll serve as a preview of what I can expect when it’s my turn to graduate next year. In the meantime, it’ll be an opportunity for me to cheer on my fellow classmates graduating this year.
- Summer activities – With a little more free time outside of my regular work hours, I plan on embarking on some fun new activities — yoga and volunteering work are just some of them. Watch this space.
How did the month of May play out for you? What are your plans for the summer? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.