career

Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

I don’t know what changed, but something did.

Well first, I got sick. It was something that was going around the office. Nasty virus that eventually turned into a sinus infection. Super fun. But then the ear infection started, and after three rounds of different antibiotics, nothing’s changed. I can hardly hear out of my right ear and although I was doing better with the virus, I’ve started getting worse again. My cough has come back, my nose will still be stuffy from time to time. It’s a nightmare. I’m headed to the ENT doctor tomorrow to see what can be done about my ear.

But that leads to my next big issue. Work. I work in a call center, which means I need to be able to hear and speak. Typing has never been a problem, but I need to hear and sometimes these people have us on speakerphone or are just very quiet. I haven’t been able to work. But it gave me time to realize that I just can’t stand working in the public sector anymore. I’ve hit a big bout of depression, akin to my very first time back during my sophomore year of college. No appetite, I sleep most of the day and when I’m awake, I’m still tired and lethargic. I have no interest in anything, don’t want to leave the house, and I’ve had at least one bad anxiety attack over the whole issue.

It’s not that I don’t want to work. Sure, I can be damned lazy when I want to be, but it’s not just that. Working in the public sector, especially retail and ESPECIALLY sales, makes me anxious and I’m so unhappy. There’s a level of unhappiness I can deal with in my job, but I dread going into work every day. Sure, I have friends there, but when you work in a call center, you hardly see them. I’m in ¬†my own little world for 10+ hours with no access to fun websites (all I ask is for Pinterest, really) and a book. That’s it. And trust me, I love reading, but not when I can hardly finish a page without another call coming in. Quite frustrating.

I want to write and do something that actually makes me happy. I need creativity, I need a freeflow environment. And without it, it’s stifling. So although Disney wasn’t super creative and I was dealing with people (sometimes very NASTY people), it did give me a bit of creativity and being surrounded by such magic helped keep me going every day. Sure, there were plenty of days that I didn’t want to work, but my crew was amazing and we all supported each other and had so much fun on our little boat ride. Star Tours I don’t miss as much (too hot, too crowded) but Living with the Land… I’d go back in a heartbeat. Though trust me, I don’t miss Florida ONE BIT.

Feeling like this for the past week is not only inherintly exhausting, but has drained me even further. I guess I didn’t even wake up to my alarm or Sean waking me up this morning. I got plenty of sleep, but mentally I’m so drained that my body is too.

I know people have it worse than me. Of course. And they’d love to have my job. Sure. But in my unique situation, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Every time I’ve changed jobs, I’ve told myself I would never do retail, and I definitely never thought I’d do sales. But here I am, at the bottom of my personal barrel, trying to find a way out.

So in short, depression and anxiety suck. I’m depressed because I can’t stand my job and I’m anxious because money is a constant worry for us. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. And I’m trying to find the best solution for me and for Sean, but it’s tough. The idea of moving back to Virginia near/with my parents has crossed both our minds, as has moving back to Florida so at least I can be close to Disney. I don’t think either are a proper solution, though I’ve entertained both ideas.

Right now it’s time to just get my mental health in order and then work from there. It might not happen tomorrow or next week or next month, but I’ll find something I love to do that can keep us afloat. And hopefully he’ll find a job that works better for him as well. Call center life doesn’t suit us.

katiesig

Adult Life Begins

Well, my future has changed yet again.

I no longer work for the Walt Disney World Resort. Today I turned in my blue ID and officially resigned. Reason? I start a full time job with Verizon on Monday. I was offered the job officially a few days ago and I’m so ready! This position means that I get benefits, better pay, lots of perks, etc. The big kicker was getting my own health insurance. I’m turning 24 this year and I really need to get my life together, which means getting out there on my own. So this is a big step for me.

I’m going to miss Disney a lot, but honestly, I was getting a bit burnt out from it all. Guests are so rude and sometimes the hours are just ridiculous. I do plan on getting an annual pass as soon as I can, probably by my second or third paycheck, that way I can still go to the parks whenever I want. But I’ll definitely miss the cast member holiday discount. Oh well. Time to be an adult, I guess.

katiesig

The Long Road Ahead

So much has happened in the last few months.

During my DCP, I was working at Living With the Land, a small boat ride in EPCOT right next to Soarin’ (a ride which I now both hate and love thanks to the constant questions regarding said ride). I love the people I worked with there and I’m gonna miss them when I finally move in two weeks.

Where am I going, you ask? Star Tours! I am officially a part time employee of Walt Disney World Resort and am going to be working the most awesome galactic tour in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I start training on the 14th of June and couldn’t be any more excited. My inner geek is flippin’ out!

But I’m also moving physically. I have an apartment in Clermont that I’m moving into tomorrow with a wonderful girl named Meghan. We each get our own room and bathroom, so it’s much nicer than my stint at Vista, which ended up being one of the worst apartment experiences I’ve had, short of my freshman year of college.

Other big changes have happened in my life. Jon and I are no longer dating. We’re still very good friends and he’s flying down tomorrow night to start his own college program. I’m going to help him as best I can, but it doesn’t seem like our future is going to intertwine like we thought it would. But who knows what the future holds? Right now, I’m focusing on finding a second part-time job to help pay for rent and bills (and stupid student loans), working towards losing weight and toning up because I’m giving myself one year to get where I want to be physically so I can go for my personal trainer certification around this time 2016. After that, I’ll be able to move wherever I want to, preferably somewhere colder, so I can start planning for the future.

I’ll try and keep this more updated. It’s just been a very hectic year so far.

katiesig

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

I was recently approached about doing a piece about what the most marketable and and valuable skill one can have when diving headfirst into the real world, or as I like to call it, lack of adult supervision.

And y’know, I had to think about that one. Because there are a lot of those skills you can buy to get better at and there are some that you either have or you don’t. Everyone’s different. But there was one that stood out that absolutely everyone can do and was one of the best pieces of advice I read about.

Back in 2011 when I was applying to do my first internship at Walt Disney World for the Disney College Program, I scoured the internet looking for tips for the phone interview, questions that would help me prepare, anything I could get my hands on that would secure my position working for the most magical place on earth. There was one tip that stood out and what I tell everyone applying to Disney.

Smile.

It seems so simple and so easy, right? But you’d be surprised how often I see people going into job interviews, whether they’re in person or even on the phone, who look so bored with life. Even over the phone, a smile translates. It lightens your voice and makes you sound pleasant. When I interviewed for a recent job, I asked what my liklihood of getting hired was. The manager looked at me and told me he had made his decision when he first met me, when I first went in to ask about applying. He says my smile and personality lit up the room. And all I did was keep a smile on my face.

Working at Disney definitely helped, I’ll tell you that. Working there, no matter how many rude guests you come across, it’s hard to be without a smile for more than a few minutes in such a magical place. But you can create that wonderful atmosphere by smiling. It really is contagious!

You may not have all the necessary skills they ask for or be the person they’re looking for, but a company will always want someone personable who is willing to go the extra mile over those who might be qualified but look like they’d rather be somewhere else.

So always remember to smile, to let your personality shine through. Everything else will fall into place.

If you’d like to get some extra experience along the way, Webucator is¬†offering continual self-paced free Microsoft training courses at this link. I highly encourage everyone to take a look. Microsoft is kind of a big deal nowadays and it never hurts to have extra skills to put on a resume! Also be sure to check out Webucator on Twitter: @webucator

Good luck everyone in job hunting! And have a magical day!

katiesig

Adding Life Skills

Lately Jon and I have been marathoning the hit SyFy show Face Off. If you’ve never seen it, it’s basically a reality show contest for special effects makeup artists. And let me tell you, these people are amazing! Season 1 runner-up Tate Steinsiek was here in San Juan working on House of Phobia.

Anyways, the point being that what they do is really awesome and I’d love to learn to do what they do. Even if I never get as good as them, I’d love to learn their skill set. I started researching where I could go to learn how to do this. I don’t want to change careers, I still love English and linguistics, but it’d be so cool to pick up another skill set, something that’s just fun and interesting. Something I could do while I’m teaching.

So, I talked to my mom, assuring her this wasn’t a career change, and asked her to talk to Mrs. Marietta, my old high school’s cosmetology teacher, to get in contact with me. You see, Mrs. Marietta used to work as a makeup artist in Hollywood before she became a teacher and she’s the only person I could talk to about this. I want to pick her brain, ask her questions, and see her portfolio.

As a side note, Jon’s interest is blacksmithing. He’s already found a good place to learn not far from my house in VA. We’re both going to pursue our interests after college while teaching, just to have an interesting life skill. Because our philosophy is that you should never stop learning. Even though we may never get anywhere with these skills, it’d be pretty kickass to have parents who can outfit you to look like an authentic uruk-hai, don’t you think?

katiesig