Archive for category Moving

Managing the Move Home

Despite all of the articles that come out calling Gen Y’ers “boomerang kids” and insisting that we flock to our parent’s houses in droves, we know the truth:  we really don’t want to return to the nest.  In fact, we’re usually hell-bent on not doing so…even when heading home might be in our best interest.

If it looks as if you will be homeward bound, relax. Although there will be some bumpy moments, anyone can navigate their time at home if you maintain a clear focus.  In 2008,  I moved back in with my Dad in Tennessee.   At times it was an exercise in patience. But looking back, I think I benefited a lot. It was a difficult time for me professionally (didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do), so it was great to have the support of my family and friends as I searched for purpose in my life.

If it looks like moving back in with your parents might be in your future, fear not.  Keep these three things in mind:

Put an expiration date on it
Before you make the move home, decide exactly how long you will be there, if you can. Do you need a year to work out your finances? Or, perhaps a job opportunity will give you some experience that will help you do what you really want to do, somewhere else. Think about how long it will take you to achieve your goal, then hold yourself to that timeline.

Remember the reasons
There will be days when the “living at home thing” is kinda frustrating. Whether you are moving home to save money to start your own business, or you want to take some time to think about your next career move, always keep your reasons a thought away. Create a vision board which can serve as a physical reminder of the goals you will achieve.

Behave like an adult
Your parents may still you as the little kid they lovingly raised, but you can’t allow yourself to slip back into the role you used to play. Respect your parents rules, but try your best to have open and honest conversations with them during the rough moments. Remember, nothing screams “don’t take me seriously” more than slamming doors, and heavens forbid, pouting. Keep in mind, you are a different person now than you were the last time you lived at home.

Have any ideas to add to the list?

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Things I wish I Had Done When I Was Unemployed

Last year I moved to New York with only a dream for success and two suitcases.  I didn’t have a job lined up, or even any interviews to go to. I just kind of hopped on the plane and hoped for the best.

Well, it took a long time to get to the best. Almost a year to be specific. So what did I do until I became a full-time wage slave?  Not nearly as much as I should have. Sure, I worked a lot of odd jobs (telemarketer, waitress, temp), but I was not as constructive with my free time as I could have been.

I wish I’d had a little more fun, and worried a little less.  It wasn’t until much later that I learned taking the time to enjoy some activities that make you feel good about yourself and what you are doing with your time is a good thing. Here is what I wish I had done with my time:

Updated my skills by taking a class.
When money is tight I know it can seem like you shouldn’t spend it on anything that is not necessary(food, shelter, new underwear), but I would argue that taking a class to update your skills is a splurge of the good variety.

Learned something totally new  from a book or an online guru.
There are so many free resources available if you really search for them. These day you learn a variety of things without even leaving your bedroom. Want to know how to whip up roast chicken?  The One Pot Chef teaches you how. Or perhaps you want to learn web design-there are resources galore for that too.

Explored my city
I moved to NYC during the winter, so I really only got out when I needed too, but when it started to get warmer I wish I had gone out and wandered around more. I still haven’t been to the Bronx Zoo! Sure you need to spend a significant amount of time on your job search, but being a shut in isn’t healthy. Go outside and discover new things about the place you live.

Catch up on the classics.
Can you believe I have never read Romeo and Juliet? I know, I know, how did I bypass this one? Everyone has a list of books they have been meaning to read. Now is the perfect time!

And what I wish I had done most of all….

Spent more time celebrating me
It’s easy to start feeling  “woe is me” when you are unemployed. Even the strongest of job searchers have their bad days. When those moments strike, it’s okay to be upset. But it is also okay to seek out an activity you really enjoy. Dancing is my anti-drug.

Any ideas? Please share!


Strategic planning on the home front


I’m writing this while listening to Hall and Oats’ “I can’t go for that”. For some odd reason I love this song-and it always makes me feel a little giddy.  Hall and Oats aside, I just came back from visiting my home state (Tennessee) yesterday.  I try to go home about once every four months.  Besides catching up with my family and friends, and eating my way into oblivion (My BFF is like the Colonel, she does chicken right!), I like to go home because I find that this is the best place to think about my future.

I like to have strategy sessions with myself about my goals. I take notes on whatever comes to mind on a legal pad, then I run back through it and try to make sense of it all.  Engaging in one of my strategy sessions in my childhood bedroom is awesome for several reasons:

1. Sometimes you have to look back to move forward.

When I’m in my childhood bedroom, snuggled into my twin bed (don’t laugh!) I remember all of the dreams I had about my future when I was growing up. A child’s dreams are the purest of all. I remember the first career I ever wanted: to be a painter/artist. I’m not really good at drawing, but I still have a love of colors.  Thinking about all the things I loved as a child, helps me remember what is important to me in a career.

2. I remember who “Amber” is at the root of it all.

My environment has changed, but the values my parents taught me have not. When I go home and get some old school lessons (and an earful of Southern sayings) from the permanent people in my life, I remember who I am and what I stand for. I’ve found it’s always important to remember these things-especially when you live in the  city of selfishness- a la NYC.

3. My 12-year-old self would think I’m pretty cool

I read this article once that said when you feel down about your life, ask yourself: ” How would my 12-year-old self see me?”  At home I am totally intune with 12-year-old, Amber. And I think she would think I’m pretty cool. On the days when I feel like I’m not doing enough, I challenge myself to remember this. That 12-year old Amber would think 25-year old Amber rocks!

4. No anxiety

So, sometimes I get really anxious about my present, and my future. I hate that feeling, and it usually crops up when I am making strategic plans. But when I go home, I find I can tackle making an achievable plan.

Next time you get an opportunity to go home (wherever you consider the home of your heart to be) try thinking stategically about your future. It’s a safe space to let your mind wonder, and your dreams soar.

Hope this is helpful :)

And because I love to share:

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