I’m a month into my new role, but while I was taking time off I made a promise to myself that I would finish this series about the transitioning in my life. I hope you don’t mind me picking up where we left off. :) Growing up, our parents were known to be in their jobs for pretty much their whole lives. It wasn’t common for them to changes roles every couple of years. In Silicon Valley, it is becoming less of a faux pas for you to change jobs every year. Whatever the case, it’s likely that you won’t be at your job for the rest of your life in this day and age.
One of the most common questions I received from my peers when I made my announcement was “Why?” followed by “When did you know?” I don’t want to get too into depth about my answers, but what I will tell you is that you don’t wake up one morning and decide that you’re going to leave. It starts with curiosity. You might stumble upon an interesting article about a company or meet someone while you’re out that works elsewhere or you catch up with someone that recently left the company that you’re at. It could be one of these things or none of these things. Maybe you’re just fed up with something or there’s some drama; or you think about something completely out of left field. It’s different for everyone. Where it’s the same though is that you have that lingering thought. It’s the same thought that everyone else before you has had and over time the thought comes to the forefront. It starts to get bigger until you can’t put it in the back of your head anymore. For me, that first thought was June 2016, then August, then December, which led to my leaving in January.
Whatever it is that makes you want to leave; do your best to leave when you’re still happy and not when you are angry or upset. Why? Because you don’t want to leave out of desperation. It will cause you to make rash decisions that are not well out and when it comes to determining your next job, it’s not something you want to take lightly. Secondly, the attitude that you have on your company when you are looking to leave will come to light in your interviews and that’s not what you want to come across.
I had been at my previous company for years so when it came time to look for my next move, I didn’t have a plan and that’s when Manan advised me that that was the first step. The funny thing is, I work in this space so I should be very aware of knowing what to do, but because it had been so long I just didn’t. He advised me:
It sounds simple enough, but you and I both know that applying to jobs is a full time job in itself. I wasn’t a perfect interviewer and I had a lot of challenges at the beginning. I wasn’t prepared when I started and maybe I was overconfident that I could wing it. The second and third time, I made a list of all the questions I thought I would be asked and started to craft “my story.” Everyone has one and an employer wants to know how you got to your last job, what you did there, and what’s next for you. I received some rejections – completely normal and also a humbling experience in its own. Every time I got a rejection, I found one more company to apply to that same day.
If there’s anything I wish I had done sooner than when I got to this experience, it would be a few things. I wish I would have taken info chats sooner regardless of whether or not I was looking for a position just to build those relationships and utilize my network. I had a number of info chats when I was searching and these chats (as casual as they were) spun into interviews and opportunities that I didn’t originally envision for myself. I also believe that it’s helpful to take calls with recruiters when opportunities comes up to understand your worth in the market. I’ve actually been advising many of my peers to do this recently especially because there’s been previous data around women not negotiating and this is something that helps you when you get to that stage in the interview process.
In addition to Manan’s steps, here are mine:
I was going to include in this post a deeper thought about doing some soul searching when you’re in this stage of your life and what non-negotiables I had, but I think I’ll save that for the next post. :)
Sundays are always for my Asian comfort food days and today we are craving Udon Noodle Soup! Just when we thought that spring was headed our way in the Bay Area, it starts to rain and get gloomy again. It’s starting to feel a lot like Seattle up in here and we don’t hate it. In fact, I spent most of the weekend watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. Is anyone else watching it? I’d love to hear your hot takes on it! I can’t make Udon Noodle Soup myself – well scratch that, I could make it, but I choose not to so the only times when I ever do get to have it is when I return home and luckily Moms has already promised me that it’ll be my first meal waiting for me next Friday. Shhh we’re going home for a little bit, but keeping mum about it. :(
I haven’t actually tried this recipe yet so please don’t shoot the messenger! I just thought I’d be really nice and if you felt like having it here’s a recipe for you that I did not vet out nor did I see any reviews on.
Bless my parents for never taking me to get a photo with the Easter bunny because this is terrifying. How that girl is still smiling is beyond me. Even as an adult and looking at this photo, I feel like I’m anticipating my own nightmares. With that said, Happy Easter! We never celebrated really so I don’t know what to wish you all, but I guess… a happy Sunday! I hope you have a fantastic brunch and a great last day before the work week.
That time has come; it is beginning to get very challenging for me to blog every night after work. Sometimes when I come home now, I just leave my laptop closed and sit and reflect – sort of like the way I reflect on my hour long commute to work into the city. That being said, I’m enjoying this new stage in my life. It feels exciting and stimulating to me and for the first time in a long time I get to combine the career I’ve had for the last 4 years along with my creative passions from high school through college. We’re dedicating our Saturday to Yow Yow! today so just stick with us and please do continue to let me know via email what kind of content you’d like to see on the blog!
The theme of this collection is minimalism. Before I left my last job, my life was very noisy. My mind was constantly racing with a million thoughts. I wasn’t always able to communicate my feelings articulately. I was stressed with needing to be two places at once, and in general my home – my sanctuary felt cluttered. The time off that I had from working made me feel well again. I felt like I could take care of myself the way I needed to and get that clear head that I was seeking. I couldn’t remember a time where I was THAT happy! And that’s why it was also challenging to get back to work after that… but more on that later. This post is a collection of things that just feel simple to me. There’s not a lot of noise in them and as you’ll notice in these photos, more space than usual. Enjoy!
When a former colleague of mine told me that a coffee + a nap was more productive than having just one or the other, I didn’t believe her. In college, I was the queen of testing every hack I needed to in order to stay productive through the night when I was pulling all nighters and never once did I hear about this trick. However, since I was traveling so much this past fall and spending a lot of time on planes, I thought this might be a good time to actually test this out. Before a recent flight, I picked up a coffee at Starbucks like I always do, but this time I made sure that before we even took off, my eyes were closed and I was trying to unwind down to my sleep state. Instead of setting an alarm like this Vox video advises, I instead made sure my headphones weren’t in and that I awoke naturally to the sound of the flight attendants letting us know that we could now use our electronics. It’s not much time to take a nap, but it did the trick for a west coast to east coast flight and after that nap, I was awake the whole rest of the way and working from the air.
Growing up, I didn’t have too many options to choose from when it came to exercising or participating in a sport. If you were a kid, you could either do soccer, softball, or basketball. Well, I sort of gave each one a shot, but nothing ever felt stuck or rather, I never felt like I belonged. I was a petite girl (still am today!) and I didn’t enjoy running – something that is involved in almost every sport every kid my age was in. As an adult, staying healthy and being active is important to me. It’s not in my top 5 priorities, but I am very aware that I’m not going to have my metabolism forever and the work I put into my health and wellness now will serve me better as I age.
In the fall, Sandy asked a few of us if we’d be interested in trying a Lyra class with her. I hadn’t ever done it, but looked it up before I headed to the class and thought because of how tiny I was that it would be doable. I had been going indoor rock climbing on/off for the last few years and knew I had some upper body strength. Well, when I say I had been going indoor rock climbing, what I really mean is that that was the last form of exercise I had done and I probably hadn’t gone back in a year so that upper body strength I thought I was equipped with? Gone.
First off, please excuse for the not so high quality photos. I know it looks like I’m making it seem easy in these photographs, but the girls I went with all know how much I struggled. It was hard for me to even push myself off the ground let alone get into the hoop and balance myself. These two poses were done at the very end of the class and even then I had little hope that I would be able to pull them off! Lyra isn’t about endurance, but more so strength and a whole lot of patience, which I realized I clearly didn’t have at the end of the session. Would I try Lyra again? Potentially! However, now as an adult, there are so many different classes you can take – many options that I didn’t have when I was a kid and I’m really excited that I get to choose from them all.
In the last few years, some of my favorite content on Yow Yow! has been through some of my own experiences. Typically, when something happens, Instagram will get the exclusive first in that moment, but Yow Yow! will get the deep dive into it all maybe just a few months later. This past fall, two of my favorite girls – Ashley and Jennie – got engaged! You may know them as the women I am always referencing in “Wedding Mondays” post. Both of them got engaged while I was traveling on the East Coast for work and when I got the infamous texts with the photos of their respective rings, I was fast asleep as I was always three hours ahead. Obviously, I was excited for my girls, but I experienced a lot of FOMO as well and it was sort of a reality check that I was away from people that I cared about and have been for a few years now!
Shortly after her engagement, Ashley asked me to become one of her bridesmaids! You never know it’s going to be you until you actually get asked though so the arrival of said box above was the greatest package I had ever received. This is my first time being a bridesmaid for one of my friends and hopefully not the last. I’m taking this job very seriously though and though I don’t know what I’m doing, I will somehow be incredibly knowledgeable in being a great bridesmaid to Ash haha. We haven’t discussed any plans to document this wedding journey yet, but we’ve got a whole year to go so who knows what could happen.
I know it sounds silly, but every year, I used to like my birthday to be a little bit of a spectacle. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a celebration of some sort and during college (especially for my 21 run) I sometimes celebrated up to three times. It was excessive and even as I’m thinking about this now, I’m getting tired from it. This year, I’ve been preoccupied with so many things going on in my life that I forgot about my birthday until my parents had sent me an email the day before. With a new job, it’s hard to think about anything else.
Last night after a very low-key birthday dinner with Mandi, she asked me what my goals were for year 27. I felt so put on the spot! The thing is, I thought about this question every year and usually had a response – one that would end up on Yow Yow! but not this year. As I woke up in bed this morning, I spent some time reflecting on year 27. What am I actually trying to achieve this year that I haven’t yet achieved in other years and the first thing that came to mind was really quite simple: self-care. It’s a thought that bounces around in the back of my head from time to time, but during my recent time off, it was an idea that I stuck to. Because I had the time off work, I made a concentrated effort to take care of myself in more ways than one. I had close friends visit me from out of town. I spent time outdoors and getting out of my home to try new things. I flexed my creative muscles and spent more time writing on the blog than I ever have – probably since college. I treated myself to a lot of things – facials, boba, candles, food, sleeping in. I exercised regularly and came up with a healthy daily routine to take care of my mind and my body. In my last days of being 26, I was already doing this and now I want to keep it up going into 27.
As you’ve been following me, you’ve probably noticed a lot more weddings and bachelorette parties in my life. I could not be happier for all of my friends and their incredible news. G just announced recently that she was expecting – the first out of all my friends that I am closest with! The news is always overwhelming, but so full of joy and I can’t wait until I’m in their place and sharing that kind of news with my friends, family, and Yow Yow! I used to wonder as a kid and a teenager when all of these life changes would happen to me, but now at 27, I’m glad to just be having a job that I enjoy, great company in my life, and the ability to be able to stand on my own two feet right now. Everything else will fall into place when it needs to. <3
It’s the day before I start my new job and as you may have guessed, I definitely have those nervous feelings in the pit of my stomach. We probably won’t even be able to sleep tonight so to prepare myself, I was thinking about going to bed two hours earlier, but not before I posted this video. To this day, I still look at inspirational quotes and messages and they make me feel alright for a few seconds or so – isn’t that what “Sunday Words” on Yow Yow! is all about? This is actually sort of better than all of those things though especially if you’re someone that takes visual and video form better. It’s simple. It’s relatable and it’s pretty much ALL of us. It’s crazy to think that at some point in our lives someone has told us “you can’t.” Why do people have to be such jerks? It’s 2017 and I recently had a former colleague tell me to my face that they thought I wasn’t good enough to do something. I’m not even lying to you. I had to look around the room to make sure that I was the only one being spoken to and just because you say it with a grin doesn’t mean what you’re saying is right.
So 2017 is still full of jerks, but you know what? 2017 is also a time where you can really do whatever you want. There are so many creatives in this world – so many people like YOU who want to do good and make things happen. Daily, I get to read stories about people who have an idea and who just run with it without knowing the next step and without having a whole lot of experience. You just can’t quit.
The most common thing I hear is how you can do something while still having a full time job. Hi, I’m right here with you. Yow Yow! will probably forever be a side hustle for me. :) That thing that you love – that you want to pursue because you know it will bring you joy – that’s going to become your side hustle. When you’re not working your day job, throw everything you have into that one thing and someday if you keep working at it, that thing will just get better and better, I promise.