Another update

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

Well, my dad's office is really slow right now so I thought I would take this time to blog instead of incessantly looking for jobs like I usually do.

I read a US News and World Report article recently that named planning as one of the "Best Careers" of 2009. I found it interesting since one of the criteria was based on pay... and it's pretty well known to all planners that this field is one of the worst in the country for pay in terms of educational attainment required.

Anyway.. it can be a really great field. However, I'm finding, based on the comments from the article and other friend's experiences, that it's a field that sucks during a recession and can be really frustrating in the early years. The hardest part is getting in, since the market seems to always be oversaturated with qualified candidates. Anyway, my strategy now is to do as many in-person meetings as possible and to just apply online for the jobs that look most promising (since many of the public sector jobs could potentially be unattainable due to the fact that they're legally required to be posted).

That makes me still a little limited geographically. SC is not a great state for planning. I think I'm going to work my economic development and politics angle as much as possible.. and just pray something works out.

Until then, I'm having a blast babysitting. I get to keep the cutest kids, namely, Ouita (4 months), Gus (15 months) and Miles (3 years). They are all relatively very well behaved and happy kids. I really enjoyed rocking Ouita to sleep in the swing a couple days ago while watching a storm blow in. The family lives out in the woods about 15 minutes away from my house. The property and house are so beautiful. It reminds me a lot of my house with more trees.. since this family also lives next door to grandparents on a pretty lake.

I'm also really enjoying these storms. Though, I wasn't too happy about the cracking thunder right after I put Ouita down for her nap. Thankfully she's not a normal baby and seemed to sleep straight through it.

We've been getting daily storms for a couple of weeks now. I started to miss them about a month ago when we went about 10 days without rain. I'm also finding that I like the storms a lot more in the comfort of my home, since I was legitimately scared of my car flooding last Wednesday as I was trying to get home from downtown around midnight. Thankfully my brother lives close enough that I was able to park in a shopping center parking lot and walk to his apartment (entrance was completely flooded). I've really never seen Columbia like that.

I had a blast in Savannah and Gainesville with my girls and had a hard time leaving. You never know how much you have it made in college getting to live with your very best friends. I've had some great roommates since then (and some crazies as well), but it will never be the same again. It really felt like a family atmosphere after a while.. and I'm not sure that everyone gets to have that same experience. Anyway, I'm thankful to have the internet and so many other ways to stay in touch. It's definitely been comforting to be in the state right now and only a couple hours away from everyone. If I could find a good job here, preferably in the Upstate :), I would be happy.

Finally getting to go camping this weekend with some of my favorite Clemson people! Should be a really fun time. Hopefully there will be some pretty pictures to follow.

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jack of all trades

>> Monday, July 20, 2009

Early this morning I got a message on facebook from a girl in Columbia asking if I am a photographer and if I do engagement photos. She must have seen the album I posted yesterday of one of my best friends and her fiance out at the Columbia Riverwalk.

I couldn't help but get a little excited that someone recognized me as potentially professional. Truth is I had so much fun with the photo shoot the other day that I wondered if I haven't given enough thought to a career in photography. A couple of years ago I tried to dabble here and there, but never wanted to seriously consider becoming more invested in the hobby. The practical side of me wanted to get grad school out of the way in hopes to eventually start working in a secure 9-5 job.

Now I'm wondering which career is more reliable: photography or planning? This week has been frustrating on the job search front. I noticed the first entry/ mid-level planning position in Greenville since I've started looking a couple months ago. It was mostly transportation related but I figure at this point I just need to apply for whatever I can get. After working on the application for a few hours I noticed it was filled on another job search site.

I was really bummed but decided to do a statewide search for "urban planning" anyways.. and learned there are only 2 jobs (senior level) available in the state right now. I tried to wrap my brain around the possibility of there only being 2 teaching/engineering/nursing/etc. jobs available. I'm assuming at that point the state would just fall apart.

I'm trying to not get discouraged.. but it's hard not to. I'm starting to feel like my field is "flaky".. at least in SC.. and it makes me wonder what future I have staying in this field. Last night I was joking around with a friend and asked if he would like to buy a Servpro franchise so that I could help manage it. The idea wasn't completely farfetched.. I know pretty well that there's a lot of job security in my dad's business.

So.. for now I'll keep looking and maybe consider something drastic in 6 months if nothing changes. The good news is I have more babysitting jobs than I can manage right now. Between babysitting and my dad's office I have more than a full time job. Perhaps I should use some of my saved money to take a photography class at some point.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the photo shoot. Enjoy!









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mid-summer update

>> Monday, July 13, 2009

After having a really nice lunch with Kristin, Kelly and Kristin's parents, I returned home and opened my car door to a deep haze. Turns out the humidity was so great my contacts clouded up and the only way to fix it was to take them out and wash them in solution. I'm really not sure if that's ever happened to me before... considering the last time I lived in Columbia in the summer time was before I was wearing contacts.

Despite the humidity and the heat (which is really only mildly inconvenient), the "summertime" has been really great. I think I'm happiest when I can roll out of bed, throw on a sun dress and flip flops and be out the house into the sunshine in less than 15 minutes. I especially love these lazy mornings when I can sit out on the porch with Rylynn and enjoy my coffee. She's starting to learn that we don't always want to play frisbee with her and will back down after only a few times of pushing the frisbee into my leg (which I think she's figured out gets to me the most). You have to love her, though. She's a little attention needy.. but I'm sort of the same way these days so we make a good match :)

This month has been a little crazy with all of the weddings, wedding planning, family trips, emails, cover letters, etc. I was doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my 3 mile a day running routine until I spent a week in DC. Definitely didn't get any exercise in while I was there (and probably ate 1 too many unhealthy meals). It was nice nonetheless. I loved seeing some of my old friends.. including Peter and his girlfriend, Andrea... and managed to somehow not even step foot into Old Town. I visited Capitol Hill twice and met with my old boss. He instructed me to get my resume to his economic development director in Hilton Head.. so I'll be heading down there next week with my dear friend, Sarah, to meet with him. We're going to also head to Savannah for the night and down to see Kristin for the weekend in Gainesville. I can't believe this will be my first beach trip of the year! I really don't think I've ever gone this long in the summer without heading to the coast.

In other news, Taylor and I have been playing a little bit of tennis. I can honestly say that playing tennis in a skirt makes me more competitive. I'm not sure why. I'm so glad he's here.. it's been so much fun.

I've started going to my parents church and have run into several people from high school and college. All are married couples... which is not shocking. I actually don't have one friend in Columbia that isn't married or engaged. I began attending their sunday school class and I can't tell you how long it's been since I've done that. I'd like to say that I've been pleasantly surprised with how much I can relate to most of the people in my class. Maybe the Methodist church is a good fit for me.

Overall I feel like God is trying to bring me back down to earth. I've done a great job up until this point of going after what I want and seeing it through... but I'm finding that the days of being able to micromanage my life are slowly coming to an end. Maybe He's trying to prepare me for the crazy unpredictability that comes with a marriage and a family... who knows. It's easy to feel like a failure if you've overcome so many hurdles just to find that you may need to take an entry level job and pay that you could have easily earned right out of college. I've had scary thoughts recently that my "career" may have peaked at the age of 23 when I was working on Capitol Hill.. I actually have a couple friends in the same boat right now with the same thoughts. Honestly, I just want to go with the flow.. realize that I may have to take a job that I'm overqualified for and just make the most of the situation... though it's easier said than done. Now I'm going to have to learn to be content with my blessings.. which are the amazing family and friends I have been lucky enough to have in my life.

So.. we'll see what happens. For now I'm helping my dad in the office and babysitting. I've found a few jobs in Colorado recently that I'm going to apply for. I'm also going to begin focusing on the Southeastern coast since it's supposed to be consistently developing. I'm learning that it could be really nice to stick around here and be able to stay close to my family and friends.

We'll see....

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About Me

My photo
Tia Nicole Photography has launched this summer after many practice photo sessions and the encouragement of some dear friends and family ("Life Through Tia's Lens" was a recommendation of my good friend, Kristin, who has been an avid supporter the whole way through!). This blog has documented the process from the beginning and also dates back to some older rantings during grad school and football seasons. Feel free to get to know me and my work. I like to focus primarily on natural shots, true emotions and beautiful landscapes. I also absolutely adore kids and pets so you will find a good bit of my work in these areas. Feel free to contact me anytime! I love blog comments!

My pup, Rylynn!

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