An Unexpected Career Path

Hope. Defeat. A break-through. Highs and lows. An unexpected twist. And fate.

That pretty much sums the last 5-months for me. To say I’ve been through a process is an understatement. I’ve been through hell.. job hunting hell. Upon returning home from a year of travel, I knew I had two options: I was hoping to pick up right where I left off or, I would not mind starting over. Needless to say, it’s been one emotional and mentally exhausting roller coaster.

A break-through.

I was confident when I came home that I would get back on my feet in a month’s time. But as I mentioned before, things didn’t work out with Company A. Two months went by and after countless efforts of networking and resume-forwarding, checking my phone and refreshing my inbox every 5-minutes, I finally had a break-through. 13 resumes, 7 networking connections and 3 cold calls later, I got the call from a recruiter.

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As I leave the office of Company B, I daydreamed what it would be like to be working in the city again. I have mixed feelings. I love San Francisco, it’s one of my favorite places in the world. But it’s far and expensive. I was not thrilled at the idea of 5am wake up calls to catch the hour long train ride there and back. Just then, my daydreaming came to a halt when my phone rang with an unknown number. It’s the recruiter. We exchanged a few casual greetings before I catch her say,

We’d like to move forward with you.

At that moment, I literally felt a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and smiled to myself. Well, I guess I’m heading back into the city.

The waiting game.

I had gotten a verbal, but not the written offer. I still needed to wait for the CEO to sign off. A week went by and not so much as a call or email. I started to get nervous. By week 2, I find the CEO hasn’t signed off because she’s on vacation. Great. It’s now week 3. Meanwhile, I turned down one interview and am contemplating going on another. It’s like Company A déjà vu  all over again.

Just then I received a surprised email from a different company, Company C, one that I’ve actually considered long ago but that I couldn’t get my resume through for the life of me. My networking finally paid off. Here we are two months later and I have this funny feeling I should take the interview.

To Those Who Wait.

Company C threw me for a major loop. I already have a job offer, at least I think I still do at this point, but Company C is more in line with my long-term and career growth goals. I needed balance, security and something a little closer to home. Company C had all of that. The only downside is the position is a temporary step down. But all in all, I was willing to do that, to start from the ground up, in exchange for all of the above.

I took that interview with Company C and went through an intense interviewing process with 8 individuals over the span of 3-days.

And then the moment I dreaded happened. I got the official written offer from Company B. It’s great, it really is. I’m practically starting right where I left off. But I wasn’t willing to give up on Company C just yet. I was a stress case for days, bouncing back and forth. Company C was lagging and I’m running out of time. Just as I was about to bail out, rather than letting me go, they threw me a curve ball – suggest that I interview yet again for a new higher level position in a completely different department I had never considered before – Finance. Now.. my background is in Corporate Retail Planning and Merchandising, so I was a little confused and unsure what to make of it. But the Director likes my resume and interestingly enough, the job responsibilities isn’t as foreign to me as I initially thought it would be, so I figured, what the heck, let’s see where this goes.

11 interviews, 3 corporate visits, 2 phone calls, a PowerPoint presentation (and a partridge in a pear tree!) later, I am happy and relieved to report..

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I accepted a new and exciting opportunity with Company C!


Turns out I had a third option. I would have never imagined when I decided to quit the job I love to travel the world for one year that I’d be coming back to essentially a promotion and a new and exciting career closer to home. I remember telling myself when I quit my job that I will look back at my career break and know it was the best decision I made not just for myself, but for my career as well. I’m glad I was right. I got the best of both worlds.

Thank You.

I was the Queen of networking. Words cannot express my gratitude for those who went out of their way to help out a friend. Even people I barely knew or worked with before, were more than willing to help pass my resume along and put in a good word for me. Past managers and colleagues kind enough to write in referrals not once but twice. And to those who gave me advice and support. Without you – managers, colleagues, friends and family – I would have never gotten this far. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

They say good things come to those who wait. I don’t know that I had much of a choice on the waiting part, but it sure does feel good right about now.

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  • http://expatedna.com/ Edna

    haha “and a partridge in a pear tree” sounds about right. I know sitting on offers is the worst feeling when you don’t know if you should settle or hold off for something better and everyone keeps flip-flopping and keeping you waiting! CONGRATULATIONS on everything working out!!

  • http://expatedna.com/ Edna

    haha “and a partridge in a pear tree” sounds about right. I know sitting on offers is the worst feeling when you don’t know if you should settle or hold off for something better and everyone keeps flip-flopping and keeping you waiting! CONGRATULATIONS on everything working out!!

  • natasha pricilia

    Congratulations! I hope even though now G & Q both having a steady job, it doesn’t mean the blog’s over. I really still wanted to read more of you two :,)

  • natasha pricilia

    Congratulations! I hope even though now G & Q both having a steady job, it doesn’t mean the blog’s over. I really still wanted to read more of you two :,)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.figueroa.56 Ian Figueroa

    Congrats Kieu on your new job! Following this blog website truly is inspirational and the thought of leaving a career to pursue a dream of traveling around the world and getting back to reality sound rather daunting, if not scary. But it’s not impossible. Not a lot of people have a chance to do what you guys did. I want to do the same hopefully January next year 🙂

  • Ian

    Congrats Kieu on your new job! Following this blog website truly is inspirational and the thought of leaving a career to pursue a dream of traveling around the world and getting back to reality sound rather daunting, if not scary. But it’s not impossible. Not a lot of people have a chance to do what you guys did. I want to do the same hopefully January next year 🙂

  • http://www.quixoticroad.com/ Heather- Quixotic Road

    That’s so wonderul Q! Congratulations!

  • http://www.quixoticroad.com/ Heather- Quixotic Road

    That’s so wonderul Q! Congratulations!

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/ Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    yes! that’s so exciting. congratulations girl.

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/ Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    yes! that’s so exciting. congratulations girl.

  • JacknJillTravel

    Congratulation!! Looking for a job and going through interviews is tough… I’m glad you got the job and here’s hoping it’s going to be an awesome one!

  • JacknJillTravel

    Congratulation!! Looking for a job and going through interviews is tough… I’m glad you got the job and here’s hoping it’s going to be an awesome one!

  • http://twitter.com/mrsoaroundworld Ana Silva O’Reilly

    So pleased for you! Glad it all worked out at the end! Good luck on your new job!

  • @mrsoaroundworld

    So pleased for you! Glad it all worked out at the end! Good luck on your new job!

  • http://profiles.google.com/reclaimingmyfuture Toni White

    Congratulations lovely! It really sounds like everything is falling into place for you! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

  • Toni White

    Congratulations lovely! It really sounds like everything is falling into place for you! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

  • Uncle BB

    Yayyy! Congrats, QQ!!!

  • Uncle BB

    Yayyy! Congrats, QQ!!!

  • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ Anita Mac

    Yay and congratulations! That is so exciting for you! When I was job searching years ago, in the same boat as you, I was told “the universe will provide” – sometimes you just have to wait! But, it looks like it is all paying off! Congrats again!

  • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ Anita Mac

    Yay and congratulations! That is so exciting for you! When I was job searching years ago, in the same boat as you, I was told “the universe will provide” – sometimes you just have to wait! But, it looks like it is all paying off! Congrats again!

  • idelish

    Woohoo!!! Congrats! You appreciate a destination more when the journey is not as straightforward as you think 🙂

  • idelish

    Woohoo!!! Congrats! You appreciate a destination more when the journey is not as straightforward as you think 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/WanderLoz Lauren Nicholl ?

    Congrats, Q! So stoked for you. I can totally relate. It’s hard to have faith sometimes, but these things happen for a reason. I look forward to hearing your updates!

  • Lauren Nicholl ?

    Congrats, Q! So stoked for you. I can totally relate. It’s hard to have faith sometimes, but these things happen for a reason. I look forward to hearing your updates!

  • http://www.cubiclethrowdown.blogspot.com/ Rika at Cubicle Throwdown

    Congrats!! I have to admit, I scrolled quickly to see who it was. I was hoping for Company C 🙂 Good luck!!

  • http://www.cubiclethrowdown.com/ Rika – Cubicle Throwdown

    Congrats!! I have to admit, I scrolled quickly to see who it was. I was hoping for Company C 🙂 Good luck!!

  • http://twitter.com/20YH Tony K + Steph H

    Way to go! It’s been so great to read about your journey, not just on the road, but the one you’ve gone through since returning. It gives all of us who are currently out there drifting without any set plans for when we get back a bit of hope that we’ll manage to thrive as well. It’s pretty incredible that you wound up with a promotion and an exciting new career trajectory, and in reality, you likely never would have pursued this path at all if you had never left to travel!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    Way to go! It’s been so great to read about your journey, not just on the road, but the one you’ve gone through since returning. It gives all of us who are currently out there drifting without any set plans for when we get back a bit of hope that we’ll manage to thrive as well. It’s pretty incredible that you wound up with a promotion and an exciting new career trajectory, and in reality, you likely never would have pursued this path at all if you had never left to travel!

  • CaptainandClark

    Congrats Kieu! You deserve the best and we’re sure that any company would be lucky to have you on their team!

  • CaptainandClark

    Congrats Kieu! You deserve the best and we’re sure that any company would be lucky to have you on their team!

  • http://twitter.com/houseofannie Nate L

    Congratulations! You deserve it. Hope we get to meet up one day.

  • Gophur

    Congratulations! You deserve it. Hope we get to meet up one day.

  • http://travelingted.com/ Traveling Ted

    Congrats on navigating the bumpy, but ultimately successful road back from the RTW. You have inspired many on your trip and have showed that it is not an impediment to a career. Way to go!

  • http://travelingted.com/ Traveling Ted

    Congrats on navigating the bumpy, but ultimately successful road back from the RTW. You have inspired many on your trip and have showed that it is not an impediment to a career. Way to go!

  • http://twitter.com/LolaDiMarco Lauren DiMarco

    proud of you Q!! so looking forward to celebrating in June 🙂

  • lola

    proud of you Q!! so looking forward to celebrating in June 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/lazytravelers Lazy Travelers

    congrats, q!! the job search is NEVER easy and i know what a relief it can be when you finally get that call you’ve been waiting for. can’t wait to toast to you in june!! xo

  • Lazy Travelers

    congrats, q!! the job search is NEVER easy and i know what a relief it can be when you finally get that call you’ve been waiting for. can’t wait to toast to you in june!! xo

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    Congrats! Sometimes the road is a little foggy, but it always ends up lifting eventually!

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    Congrats! Sometimes the road is a little foggy, but it always ends up lifting eventually!

  • http://twitter.com/bruisedpassport Savi and Vid

    Q,

    That’s wonderful news. Congratulations. You deserve it 🙂 I am sure it will be difficult and exciting going back to work after 1 year of blissful travel ! Good luck

  • Savi and Vid

    Q,

    That’s wonderful news. Congratulations. You deserve it 🙂 I am sure it will be difficult and exciting going back to work after 1 year of blissful travel ! Good luck

  • http://twitter.com/L_e_a_h Leah Travels

    That’s great news. Fantastic, my friend.

  • Leah Travels

    That’s great news. Fantastic, my friend.

  • Oneika the Traveller

    Woot woot! You go girl!! Congrats!

  • Oneika the Traveller

    Woot woot! You go girl!! Congrats!

  • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

    First of all, congratulations! And this gives me hope! I am in the same boat, I swear we have the exact same tale. Mine should hopefully be resolved by the 1st week of June. Already had a hyperventilating panic attack, squeals of glee and pissed off rants. Can’t wait till I get the breakthrough, just like you. Thanks for the post!

  • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

    First of all, congratulations! And this gives me hope! I am in the same boat, I swear we have the exact same tale. Mine should hopefully be resolved by the 1st week of June. Already had a hyperventilating panic attack, squeals of glee and pissed off rants. Can’t wait till I get the breakthrough, just like you. Thanks for the post!

  • Pingback: This World Rocks The How-To Guide: How We Quit Our Jobs to Travel the World | This World Rocks

  • Pingback: This World Rocks How We Quit Our Jobs to Travel the World | This World Rocks

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