As I wrap up my final days before summer vacation, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection. This year marks my second year as a professional and my first year working in Ohio.
I’ve been reflecting on where I was at this exact time last year. I was living in Lancaster, PA, and just finished up my first year there. I loved my job and my life, but something was definitely missing. That weekend, I went camping. It was the same weekend that Violet was born and later that week, I had a break-up which shook me to my core.
As a 26-year old woman, it was a difficult thing to take. First off, I was dating him for 5-years and living in Lancaster, PA, the land of the Amish. Lancaster is a beautiful city, but not for a single mid-twenties girl looking to find her place in life. If my family was close by, I would have stayed, but there was nothing anchoring me.
A few days after we broke up, and he started moving out, I made a decision to move back to Ohio as soon as possible. Luckily, this was during the summer which was prime time to look for a new job in education. Unfortunately, it was already late June and my chances of finding a position were slim. Many jobs were already posted and taken down, with many eager candidates applying for them. I felt lost and alone. I felt like it would never happen and I would be stuck in Lancaster, PA for another year (or more).
During this time, I had many, many conversations with my mother. My mom knows me sometimes better than I know myself. She gave me a wonderful piece of advice: Set yourself up for success.
What she meant was to set myself up for a move to Ohio, if that was my goal. This meant many things for me. First, I needed to apply for Ohio certification. If you know anything about being certified from state-to-state, you know that can be a long process with tons of paperwork. Getting a head start on this before I was offered a job was key. Next, I needed to figure out housing for if I stayed in Lancaster, and a way out if I moved to Ohio. For one thing, I was paying way too much money for one person. I was starving financially and needed out ASAP, especially since I was now on my own. I spoke to my landlord and we made a deal for them to let me out early. Check! Next, I found a housing solution that would allow me a month-to-month lease, just in case.
Slowly but surely, I was setting myself up for success and one by one, the interviews started. That summer, I made 5 trips to Ohio (that’s 5 hours back and forth) for interviews. I was set to start work in mid-August. Following the theme of “setting myself up for success,” I started a few days early just in case interviews would pop up and I could swap out my extended time. The day I started back at my job in Lancaster was the same day a certain school district called me.
It was a Monday and they wanted to interview me on Wednesday. Since my “official” first day wasn’t until Thursday, it was easy to confirm a Wednesday interview for a very quick out and back appointment in Ohio. It was a long, long day, but completely worth it.
On the way back to PA, the interview team called me wanting to schedule a second interview for Friday. They reassured me I could do it over the phone. During my lunch break on Friday, I had a second interview. Over the phone, I could hear the voices that would soon become my team and confidants in the next year. I was hired an hour later and by 2 pm, I put in my resignation at my current job (which was a fabulous job!).
You see? If I didn’t set myself up for success last summer, I’m not sure where I would be. I was able to transition to Ohio very smoothly just because I already had the leg work taken care of.
I have never, ever been happier than I am right now. I’m thankful for the people who encouraged and taught me to take leaps of faith. Things can happen for you if you really put your mind to it. By setting myself up for success, I was able to achieve my goal of moving back to Ohio.