Aug 17, 2009

Everybody's going through this

So this past weekend, a couple of my friends from Texas came to Oregon to visit for the first time ever. (Hi, Will! Hi, Kim!) It was a super fun weekend. We ate at the Kennedy School in East Portland, hit a couple of brew pubs downtown, went to the Rose and Japanese Gardens, got some produce and BBQ at Sauvie Island, and then hung around downtown yesterday. I guess I'm getting pretty good at giving tours of Portland?

Saturday night, though, while we were sitting around in the Rogue downtown, we got to talking about jobs... I guess this is a big topic of conversation for most of us in our 20s. Will and Kim both do web design, and Kim also does a lot of web copy and journalism work (she just got her master's in journalism and public affairs). All of us seem to be in transitional jobs, jobs that are good for experience or for a paycheck or for building skills, but not necessarily the jobs we want to be in forever. It was so nice to talk to people who are going through the same things for a change. Sometimes, it feels really lonely being in a position where you aren't exactly satisfied with your current situation, and it seems like everyone else has got it figured out. Thank goodness I'm not the only one who's in this spot!

Will, at least, seems to be making some pretty serious inroads into starting his own company. I'm very impressed with how knowledgeable he is about running your own business, dealing with legal issues, and also, obviously, design. I think he'll be a good resource to have if I keep doing design. It was still a little frustrating, though, seeing someone my age who seems to have it so together. He knows what he wants, and he's really going after it, and I am so eager to be in the same position. I'm still not 100% what I want to be doing yet, though, and it's hard to go after something when you don't know what that something is.

This is something I've been thinking so much about. I keep going over these lists I make: things I can do, things I'm good at doing, things I like to do, things I would love to learn. I feel like I'm so close to figuring it all out. Just...need to keep working on it.

We also discussed how the recession is effecting people our age. I didn't realize how many people I knew back in Austin are currently unemployed. Or have taken pay cuts, while taking on heavier work loads to make up for layoffs. Or are working part-time because the full-time jobs just aren't there. Sometimes, because I have a job and most of the people I know up here have jobs, I forget that the recession is going on. Apparently it is, and boy, is it ever for people in their 20s. Makes me a little nervous about Kellen hunting for jobs right now... Keep your fingers crossed for him.

And, at the very least, I have a job to be very, very grateful for. Good luck to all of you out there still looking.


  1. Hi Katie, I'm not sure how appropriate this is, but sometimes I feel a pretty big dose of schedenfreude since I have a job (albeit not the one I want) while my friends who had been working in their chosen fields either lost their jobs or can't find jobs at all. Some of them still refuse to take on desk jobs (like mine) for lower pay and less field-relevant experience. So, I'm not using my Liberal Arts education, but at least I can pay the light bill. If this recession has done anything, it's made me feel better about my unexciting but steady job. It makes me feel guilty that I feel this way, but it's all that's keeping me going right now : P
    Do you think that's ok? haha

  2. Hi Katie - I found your blog by sheer luck while I was doing research for my own, and I'm very glad I found it. I am in a similar situation, only that I have a bit of a problem: I'm great at what I do, and I get paid well for it, but I don't like it and need a change. I just don't know what to change it TO. I'm going through that self discovery, and I'll let you and your readers know if anything works for me. Keep writing, love checking in.

  3. Katie, it was so good to see you this past weekend, but I'm still very much in the 'I-have-no-idea-what-the-hell-I'm-doing' group. I thought I was going to be a physician when I was about to graduate college a few years ago! I simply turned a hobby into a career. You've got a ton of potential for the Web, it just seems your current situation stifles that because they don't let you do what you're really good at and capable of! You're super smart and I know you'll do amazing things no matter what you decide to do! Let me know if there's anything I can to do help you out anytime!

  4. I totally hear you! I'm currently a journalism student who got OUT of elementary education who is now working in a preschool. Mainly, because there weren't any other options available to me that would also give me flexibility with school. And we've had family after family have to leave our school with parents losing jobs. It's really scary and sad. And I'm getting into a career field that's fledgling. It should be a fun adventure, to say the least!

  5. It's getting better! I got a raise, retroactively :P And a certain blond Steve got a job, started yesterday.