I haven’t updated here in quite some time, and a lot has gone on in 6 months.
I’m a classical musician by training, but as most people are aware, it’s hard to keep up with your bills without a side gig. I studied for my real estate license last spring, and have been working at a great agency in uptown Manhattan doing apartment rentals and sales. I love my co-workers, but the pace of the job has been difficult to sustain. I was hit by a car last year, and have two herniated discs that make walking for extended periods very painful. No one likes climbing up to 5th floor apartments, but a steady diet of 800mg ibuprofen tablets is unsustainable for the long term.
I’m a self-starter with a lot to offer the right company, but I’ve struggled to find a place where I would fit in. I’m craving the stability of a team I love to work with. At the same time, I need a flexible schedule, and to work remotely from my apartment. (I’d also like to make a rate that can sustain the cost of living in NYC!) In real estate, this is what we call a unicorn.
Spending hours and hours on job sites, filling out applications, and getting to the third round of interviews only to be told “we’re not moving forward with your application” gets exhausting. It’s kind of like dating; you can’t call too often or you look desperate. But if you stop trying, you’ll never find the right match.
I’ve come very close to finding the right fit several times, but for some (generally undisclosed) reason I never quite make it to the final step. I try not to take it personally, but it can be hard not to after weeks of promising phone interviews, emails, and “moving forward”! I never thought I’d cry over a lost job opportunity for a financial services company, but I really thought I found my unicorn.
I think it’s important to be honest about the struggle to find your place in the working world. People are duped into believing their friends’ Facebook feeds, when in reality those carefully curated images are just a highlight reel. My Facebook page shows a lot of the fun and exciting experiences I have, but it doesn’t show when I overdraft my checking account, or when I have no gigs booked for a few weeks. My negative net worth is not listed on my profile, thankfully. Being a musician is unpredictable and difficult, and finding the right combination of income to sustain your life without making you miserable can often feel impossible. How do you balance a salaried job with having flexibility to take a week-long orchestra gig? It’s hard to find employers who want employees to have significant interests and dual careers. They exist, but competition is fierce.
I’ve always lived by two mottos: Adapt and overcome, and endeavor to persevere. As kids if we complained about something getting too hard, my dad would dramatically say “They shot my horse and he surrendered, but I, I will NEVER surrender! I will endeavor to persevere!” I’ve been trying to find this balance for over two years, and through various pursuits still haven’t gotten there.
So even though this totally sucks, I will never surrender. I will endeavor to persevere.