Tuesday, July 15, 2014
It's been a really busy time in my life lately. I'm still studying for the bar exam (which is 2 weeks from today!) and working and trying to get myself ready for my move in 2 months. So much going on!
Over 4th of July Weekend, we had a 4 day weekend here at work, which was nice. I did some running, quilting, and studying, but by Monday I was pretty bored with myself. I think that was too much time off just hanging out at my house alone. I did have dinner with my new co-worker and his wife that Saturday, though, so that was something at least. I made a lot of progress on studying and on the quilt I am currently making for my aunt.
Then last week from Tuesday-Friday (and again this Monday) I attended the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class, which is a federally mandated program for all military members who are separating or retiring. I have to say that I was mostly unimpressed and a lot of it felt like a waste of time. Now, I have a bachelor's degree and a law degree. For my three years of law school, networking / interviewing / resumes etc were forced down my throat. So nothing that was discussed during the first three days of classes was anything I hadnt heard a million times before. I can see how it would be really helpful for someone who didnt have formal schooling or hadnt had to go through the process of applying for jobs before, etc., but it felt like a huge waste of time for me. Especially since the previous week I had already sent out my resumes for jobs I was applying to and I had two interviews this past week (more on that later). Plus, the guy who was teaching the first three days was really condescending to everyone in the room. He also basically told everyone that they would start out in entry level meaningless jobs because most employers dont like military. Obviously not the positive, uplifting, encouraging message you want to hear as you are getting ready for a major life change! So that was pretty awful. The fourth day was probably the best day of the entire week because it was all about veteran's benefits. I was very excited to hear about the all of the benefits available to veterans, including free health care through the VA (not that the VA is the greatest, but it's nice to know I have that option in the future). So Friday was a really good day.
Then yesterday was our last day of the class. The morning was great with a session on budgeting and understanding that losing some of our tax-free benefits can and should affect how we view salaries from potential employers and whether we can lead a comparable lifestyle. And the afternoon session was about filing VA claims, which was also helpful. I really could have done without everything else, though. At least the class is over now.
So, jobs. Right before 4th of July I sent out 10 resumes and cover letters. I applied to 9 county prosecutors offices in NJ and the NJ public defender's office. Of course by Tuesday I was freaking out - why hasnt anyone called me?! Because giving them less than a week to do that makes sense, especially since I snail-mailed them. But on Wednesday morning I got an email from the NJ Public Defender's office (which is the #1 place I want to work) asking that I call to discuss working there. I figured they would want to schedule an interview, so since I was in that class, I called during my lunch break and they actually wanted to do the initial interview over the phone, so we did it right then and there! It went well and the interviewer asked if I would be interested in coming in for a second interview while I am in town, so I now have a second interview with them scheduled for next Thursday! They gave me a hypothetical case that I will have to be able to walk through during the interview and then give a closing argument. I am excited!!
Last week I also had scheduled an interview for a National Guard position at the Atlantic City Air National Guard base. I had emailed the person in charge of the legal office there back in early June to find out information about working there and he had called me and said he might be interested in hiring me for his deputy position and he would get in touch with me. So we scheduled a phone interviewer for last Thursday with him and the Vice Wing Commander for the base. That interview went really well too! The next morning, he called and said they were very impressed by my interview and were 99% sure they would offer me the deputy position (so long as the current deputy leaves like he is planning to). I should know in about a month! It would be a normal Guard position - one weekend a month and two weeks per year. But I can continue to serve, and I get paid for it, and I get my medical benefits, too.
So that has been exciting stuff! I received two letters in the mail yesterday from two prosecutors offices - one said they currently have no open positions but would hold my resume for 12 months. The other said they were very impressed by my credentials and experience, and they would be appropriate for a position there but the county is in a hiring freeze and they cannot hire anyone at this time - they will hold my resume for 12 months, too.
So I've heard from 3/10 places I applied to. Hopefully I'll hear from more, too.
On the fitness front, I started marathon training two weeks ago. The first week went well, with a long run of 8 miles that weekend. Last week I was all out of sorts because of that class I was taking. I skipped my two mid-week runs, but I started PiYo last week and did all of those workouts. I am not a yoga/pilates fan, but I REALLYy like PiYo!! I attempted a 6 mile run this weekend but I only did 2 miles. From wearing heeled shoes last week (I had to wear civilian business clothes to class all week) I had blisters on my feet which made running painful and I kept trying to compensate which was screwing up my form. So week 2 wasnt so great. But I am planning to go to the gym after work today and get back on track!
I didnt really do much studying at all last week so I am feeling really behind. I studied for 5 hours last night and I think this week will be a lot of the same.
My friend Melissa came to visit this past weekend and we went to a quilting expo! I bought a bunch of stuff that I am really excited about, but the reality is that I probably wont get to play with any of it until after I move at the end of September. I go on leave next Tuesday for 2 weeks. I am spending time in NJ, going to Philly to take the bar exam, and then going to Maryland with my college girl friends for a girls' weekend. I am looking forward to it. When I get back, its going to be a lot of last minute things to get my house ready to rent, get a property manager, and start going through all of my stuff figuring out what I dont need, what I can ship back early, and what will end up in storage. *sigh* SO MUCH TO DO!