Saturday, December 1, 2007

Looking for Work

Lately I've been looking on the internet for a new job. I've been successfully self employed for 13 years up until I suffered the loss of my retail store in 2004. I've spent the last 3 years working with the insurance company and lawyers, and working on two outstanding Interior Design projects. I've recently completed a commercial project and am now wrapping up my last large residential project.

Rather than start all over, get out and network, take on lots of small projects to rebuild a business, I think I'd prefer to go to work for someone else.

I know that I am a really good designer, I know that I'm a good mentor for other designers, I work really well with clients and have a strong business background. Yet, while I'm searching the classifieds, I feel inadequate, out of date, and insignificant.

I find myself applying for work that I'm overqualified for and, although I'm applying, feeling intimidated by the positions that I'm interested in. I recognize that my computer skills are out of date, and that there are many new computer programs that Interior Designers are using that I'm not familiar with. I recognize that employers are wanting experience in Auto Cad, and my only experience is self taught. I know enough CAD to put together my clients drawings, and do presentations, but am not familiar with the complete program as it could be used.

Additionally, I lost my portfolio in the store flood and didn't bother to replace it. I would need to return to clients that I haven't worked with in years to get some photographs. I stopped taking on new clients after the flood, primarily because I was overwhelmed by the incredible amounts of information required by the insurance company, having to relocate and downsize my company, and, by the fact that I was anemic and unable to perform my job at full capacity.

Anyway, it feels depressing and discouraged. I don't know whether I should start my business all over again, or seek employment that I don't feel equipped to do, or secure employment that I'm overqualified for. I'm very uncomfortable being in a position of not knowing what to do next. I'm certainly an action oriented person, but, when I don't know what action to take I feel stuck.

In the meantime, I've updated my resume and am submitting it those companies I feel intimidated by. I've also updated my business cards and will purchase the products I'm needing to have them printed. And, since some action is better than no action, I will begin by handing a stack of my cards to each of the clients that I am in the process of completing, letting them know that I am looking for new clients. Finally, I am going to act as if I am rebuilding my business and if God sees otherwise for me, I will be happy to take whatever path he shows me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Whirlwind of Activity

Its been three weeks now since my husband and I signed on with a realtor to either sell or lease our home. Fortunately, we were able to find a tenant within ten days and they were prepared to move in by the first of December. This gave us two weeks to pack, reduce our belongings from 4,000 square feet to 1,000, move, and prepare the house for rental.

We've began packing our bags, scheduled an estate sale, and moved into our (much!) smaller home. We scheduled inspections with the city, contacted an organization to remove most of the items which didn't sell at our estate sale, packed items we decided to keep after they didn't sell at the estate sale, and moved them into our (much!) smaller home.

We had decided that if the living room furnishings didn't sell we would keep it and put it in our new home. Its larger scale than I prefer, but, it saves us the cost of buying new. Even as I write this last statement, I realize how absurd that can sound. I'm a designer, and, thus, an absolute perfectionist about my home, its layout, color, proportions, etc. This furniture is extremely high end, and, I would not be able to purchase anything even remotely as nice (see photo). Anyway, the living room furniture didn't sell, so, I hired two men and a truck to help us move it.

Finally, the inspector didn't show up for his meeting on Wednesday, but showed up Thursday afternoon, creating a lot of drama and stress for today. He determined that all of the gfi's need to be replaced, and all of the outlets need to be changed over to 2 wire because we don't have a ground wire for the 3 prong. That's 44 outlets needing to be changed over! Additionally, we don't have a ground for the gfi in the master bathroom and will need to remove some tiles in order to tie it in with the cold water pipe. This project requires an electrical permit to be pulled and everything replaced - by today! We called our electrician and he immediately came over to help, he pulled the permit this morning and the inspector agreed to come back by the end of today and approve the electrical work if it was done. Hopefully, and incredibly, it appears that we are going to be able to make the deadline in order for the tenants to move in tomorrow morning. Whew!

While my husband oversees the remaining cleaning, painting, and electrical work today, I am at our new home unpacking, organizing, and locating furniture.

This past week our unexpected expenses included auto repairs of $500, electrical work of $500 plus, furnace repairs of $700 plus, and moving company expenses of $350. Amazingly we had this money available due to the estate sale!

As I sit here writing this post I wonder if others can see how quickly God helped us to (literally) move in our lives. When we became entirely ready to whatever it took to help us get out of debt, and took the first step, God supported our decision. One month ago neither my husband nor I had any intention of moving to our condo, yet, the moment we became ready to take action, and opened our minds to the changes we were shown to take, God immediately supported us in our decision and made sure that we had everything available to make the changes, and meet the demands that came up along the way. Thank you God!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Getting Settled

My husband and I are still in the process of moving our things to our condo. We began sleeping at our condo on Wednesday evening and have been unpacking boxes daily.

We held the estate sale this weekend, Saturday and Sunday and were able to sell most of the large furnishings and a lot of the smaller miscellaneous items. The sale grossed $8500. After paying the estate company we made $5300.

Earlier this week a client of mine decided to purchase a piece of artwork for $5600. I don't want to get my hopes up too high though until I see the check.

Additionally my husband has been booked to do a lot more performances than he would normally do, so he is bringing in additional acting income.

It seems like all avenues have been opened up for our prosperity. Our plan is to get ourselves financially prepared for me to have my surgery and take six to eight weeks off of work, and to reduce our debts.

Our move won't be complete until the end of this week when we've moved the remaining furnishings out of of home, donated the smaller items still in the house, prepared the home for the renters, and moved a few pieces of furniture to our new condo.

Our renters are moving in this coming Saturday. Fortunately, they attended the estate sale and purchased our bedroom furniture, office furniture and one of our twin beds. In other words, these items won't need to be moved.

I'm really looking forward for things to start calming down a bit and getting settled into our new home, and beginning to collect rent to help us reduce our bills.