Looking for a Job

Life: I took a weekend roadtrip with my bf a few weeks ago and flew to Texas last weekend. I’m also looking forward to two friends flying in from Texas over Memorial Day weekend! 😀
– I flew to Texas to celebrate my best friend graduating with a Masters this past weekend. A mutual friend from our college also attended and it was really nice catching up with them.
– My boyfriend’s parents are visiting for a couple months so I hardly get to see him once a week. Needless to say I really miss him and it’s highlighted the need for me to move and be geographically closer to him. The San Francisco Bay Area is a huge metropolitan region spanning 9 counties and maybe 100 miles north to south depending on how you’re measuring. My boyfriend and I live 45 miles and 2 counties away so it’s definitely a trek to see each other. It’s time to change this.
– I’m reaching out to a lot of friends, classmates and colleagues asking them to refer me to the companies where they work. It’s at this point that I’m thankful that I’m on good terms with so many people in my industry and area. I referred quite a few of them to my company when they were looking for a job and they are giving me lots of advice and resources going into my job search. The most valuable advice is coming from friends who attended interviewing bootcamps as these friends know how to structure and manage time and companies.

Health & wellness: I worked out 13 times in April, so actually stayed pretty even with March numbers. But definitely dropping drastically in May.

Financial:
– I got my state tax return, this definitely helps with my cash flow situation.
– I’m so glad for having cash on hand right now. I have $6K in my checking account on top of about $6K in cash I’m holding in my brokerage account. This amount is counted in “Stocks” but I’m currently thinking of it as an emergency fund I can transfer to checking if necessary. This will tide me through at least 3 months of unemployment, though I’m hoping for under 1 month without a salary. I’m also planning to sell recently vested RSUs as usual but I may keep the proceeds in cash until I find a new job rather than reinvesting them immediately.
– I cancelled my ESPP contribution and I’m doubling my 401K contribution for the remainder of my employment because I don’t think my new company will have such a generous matching policy as my current company.

Career:
– I am searching for a new job, both because I came to grips with reality in my current job as well as to move closer to my boyfriend. I feel like I’ve been walking a tightrope for the past 6 months. Either I do things with an eye for the long term and blow through deadlines or I hit deadlines and ignore any work that’s not absolutely essential to the task at hand. I prefer doing the former while my manager prefers me doing the latter. Both of us finally lost patience with the ensuing disappointment, and I officially resigned yesterday. My last day is around mid-June so I have time to line up what I’m doing next.
– I’m giving a lot of thought to where I want to be next. There’s many aspects of my work that I enjoy like my teammates and the technologies, but engineering here is very much run by committee which gets frustrating. I work at a tech behemoth so I’m looking to join a small or mid-sized company now. I also want to keep making a similar amount of money which is hard because I’m very much stuck here with golden handcuffs. I think this is something I’ll figure out as I interview at more places and talk to more people.
– I’m in a good spot in terms of interview prep. Prepping for software engineering roles involves a lot of studying data structures, algorithms, and system design. I started practicing data structures and algorithms on leetcode.com in February and have solved 80 questions so far including a few hard ones. My interview prep on the side may even have correlated with my unintentionally slacking at work over the past few months, I’m not sure. I took a break from interview prep in April in a last ditch effort to salvage my job and I’m glad I did so, but it didn’t work so now I made a plan to get the most well-rounded practice from my prep time. The take-away here being: Trust my gut and dive in immediately and whole-heartedly when it says I need a change.

Making Space for Career

I’m trying out a new format. Let me know how you like it!

Life: I stayed local in February but I am considering making the trip to a friend’s graduation in May.
– Highlight of my month: Going to the Exploratorium on Valentine’s Day. It was open in the evening for adults-only, plus they had special chocolate-themed exhibits. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of their adults-only evenings.
– I went to a Cal Performances show in Berkeley with an old colleague. The show itself was overpriced; I’ll only go again if a show -really- intrigues me. But my friend and I chatted for hours afterwards over food and coffee. I super enjoyed catching up since I hadn’t seen her since last year!
– Finally, I made my boyfriend watch a couple episodes of Marie Kondo and he hated it. He couldn’t understand why she was so happy and squealed with joy whenever she entered the home. He understood why I felt vindicated by her philosophy of tidy tho. For years I’ve wanted him to assign a designated place for his household things. Haha!

Health & wellness: I worked out 12 times in February.
– I went to the optometrist and used up last and this years’ FSA funds for a year of contacts. I spent $70 on top of insurance and FSA: $10 in copay, $30 for a special test to check for blood flow, etc. which was healthy, $30 to express my Meibomian gland since the optometrist said it was clogged and causing the dryness in my right eye. Afterwards I watched videos about it and will use a warm towel on my eyes if I notice a clog going forward. Now that I’ve tried them, I won’t do the special test or gland expression again.
– I got a hair trim. Yay no more split ends!

Financial:
– I converted my Traditional IRA to Roth.
– I started taxes around President’s Day and plan to file by next week. I’ll need to pay a lot in federal taxes since I didn’t have enough withheld and I’ll get a state tax refund. I’m pooling together extra cash to pay the IRS next month.
– I scheduled an appointment with a Grove financial planner in mid-March for me and my boyfriend. It cost me the early bird price of $600 since I got on the wait list last year; their regular price is $900 annually. We connected all our accounts before scheduling the appointment and the planner asked me to fill out a spreadsheet with our cash flow, earnings, etc. before our appointment.

Career:
– I think I spend less time keeping up with media now. I worry less about coordinating my schedule with my boyfriend’s too. I’m spending that time doing Leetcode a few hours a week instead. I’ve solved 21 questions so far.
– At my boyfriend’s recommendation, I’m trying out Pomotodo to track my time at work. I like it so far but often forget to start tracking when I start working on something.