Monday, September 25, 2017

How Learning to Budget Helped Me Get a New Job

Those who follow me on Instagram and Twitter have already figured out the news. For those who prefer blog posts, I'm happy to share it here as well: I got a new job! 

It all started with my budget. No, really. As you're probably well aware because I never shut up about it, I began using YNAB in May 2016 to manage my money, slay my debt, and become a budgeting superstar. (Want a referral code? Here you go.) The YNAB method, in which you give every dollar a job and budget to zero, helped me understand how far my money actually went.

At first this was thrilling. In the past, managing my money amounted to putting out fires and occasionally getting scorched. With YNAB, I was able to make decisions about how to spend my money in advance, stockpiling kindling for a controlled burn. (And with that, I believe this 🔥 metaphor is finished. Thank goodness.) 

Once our immediate emergencies (like paying off $13K in credit card debt and learning to live on one income) were handled, we started to look ahead. And the future... well... it didn't look great. Sure, my husband was back in school with the hopes of eventually landing a lucrative career, but my earning potential had stalled out. To make up the difference, I picked up a lot of freelance work this past year. While the extra cash kept us from dipping into our savings, it wasn't sustainable - I was stressed out, overworked, and constantly juggling deadlines. Plus my own writing, which is incredibly important to me, suffered from lack of time and attention. A few months ago I realized that the side hustle lifestyle, despite the way it's glorified and celebrated, simply wasn't for me. I didn't want to hack my paycheck or monetize my free time. What I wanted was a job that paid enough, so I started looking for one.

Job hunting, as I'm sure you know, is not a pleasant process. Everyone says that it's easier to find a job when you already have one, but I beg to differ. When you're already working 40 hours a week it's really hard to find the time and the motivation to pick through job boards, rewrite your cover letter, schedule screening calls, attend interviews, and write sample articles. (I was applying for marketing and content writing jobs.) Needless to say, my job search was a long and slow process, with a lot of false starts and shattered hopes. And then a really good opportunity opened up right here in Wilmington. The company is growing by leaps and bounds, a bunch of my friends already work there, the benefits are AMAZING, and the job description sounded as if it was written just for me. I applied. I interviewed. And reader - I got the job.

Today is my first day as the Content and Social Media Specialist at a company that bills itself as the "worldwide leader in cloud banking." This position is in-house so, unlike the marketing agency where I previously worked, I only have one client to focus on. This will allow me to pitch more ambitious campaigns, all while taking a deep dive into the fintech world, carving out a niche for myself, and working for a company that truly values its employees.

I'm grateful today for a lot of reasons, not least of which is YNAB. Budgeting my money showed me its value, which in turn made me question my own. If I wasn't so in tune to my finances I might not have realized how much I was worth, or found the motivation to make more.

When was the last time you started a new job? Any tips for my first week? I don't love being the new person, but my company seems really good at onboarding new hires and preparing them for success. Another awesome bonus!