Monday, November 22, 2010

The Job Hunt

*Disclaimer...I started this entry in November or December...with one line, I'm finishing it up as though I finished it when I started. Next blog post coming up will be my current thoughts on the subject.

It is FINALLY over! Oh my was that an interesting ride! I never expected it would be this difficult to find a job. I left two great jobs to move with my husband. The first of which I would be reaching my 10 year anniversary in August had I stayed. WOW! I am old enough to have worked for 10 years! Anyway...for those that are unaware, or I forgot to mention it in a previous post...we moved to Jacksonville, FL from Norfolk, VA on July 11, 2009. I had started the job search prior to moving by updating my search criteria on, and looking at what was here. About 2 months before moving I was getting weekly emails with dozens of job postings. Most of which wanted someone already living in Jacksonville and could start right away. About a month before moving down here I either stopped getting emails or there would be 1-3 job postings. YIKES!

Okay, so it is July, we move to Jacksonville and I start looking harder for jobs. I get in contact with a staffing agency specializing in accounting. I meet with a wonderful lady who starts working on finding me a job. August 18 rolls around...and WOOPS, I find out I'm pregnant! Aaron and I had discussed the possibility of having another child, but we had financial goals we wanted to accomplish before making a decision. Little did we know there was little person growing in my belly already. is still early I still continue on my job search. I am sent on several interviews through the staffing agency as well as a couple I found on my own (thank you and craigslist). All coming back to "someone internal" or "someone more qualified." BLAH Then 20 weeks gestation rolls around and I get a call from my recruiter "are you still looking for work?" My response..."um, well, kind of." And explain to her that I am pregnant and when I'm due. She seems genuinely happy for me (and as it turns out she had recently found out she was pregnant too :D). She tells me about a job, I tell her I'm interested. She says I'm already ahead of the game because every female they've placed with this company has gotten pregnant within a few months of being placed. Ha! So this was the one and only interview I went on where they knew ahead of time that I was pregnant. It was really nice not having to dress to "hide" my pregnant belly...but I still think it was a hindrance even if they don't say they won't hire me because I'm pregnant. ANYWAY...after that interview I didn't try as hard...knowing that I would have a baby in just a few short months I knew it would be unlikely to get a job while I was pregnant...especially if I couldn't find one otherwise. So while I still looked and applied for jobs that may be perfect (Hello Dr. Pepper!! I seriously applied for a job working for Dr. sweet would that have been!). I may have had one or two more interviews, but that was it.

Now April is here...and my sweet, beautiful Abigail is born! She is awesome! But of course she a weed...and is soon 5 weeks old! Knowing it takes time to find a job, interview and get a job I started hitting the ground running at 5 weeks postpartum looking for a job. I applied anywhere and everywhere. I hooked up with a few more staffing agencies...none of which actually helped in getting interviews. We were coming to a braking point...we had no more "extra" money coming in and we were struggling to pay I started applying for "retail" jobs (shudder). I saw that a new Panera was opening near where we live, so I applied for the job. The next morning I had call for an interview, had an interview the next day that lasted all of 5 minutes. I had the job. Woot (I think LOL). I started working for Panera and it was miserable...I was making half as much as I could be making working in an accounting entry level accounting position at that! That only lasted a couple of months. And I was still looking for a "real" job. So finally one day in November I quit. My boss mumbled something about burning bridges...but I hope to never have to even put that job on my resume. I will casually mention it when a prospective employer asks me about my gap in employment...but the type of job I am looking for? I don't think they really care that I worked at Panera right?

About a week or two later I get called in for an interview for a staffing agency...only it is a direct hire position to their company! So the interview goes well and a couple days later I get called in for a 2nd interview...always a good sign! Except, well that interview didn't go as well as the first interview. The plus side was the manager I was interviewing with wouldn't be my manger as the manager for the position was out.

Well, I am pretty certain it was less than a week later that the first lady I interviewed with called me back to offer me the position! I had another interview in the meantime, however that one went horribly, horribly wrong! (I was late, couldn't call because I didn't have a number...and I'm sure she just did the interview as a courtesy since I was already there) So of course I accepted the position!! I am finally employed!


I know many of my internet friends who use Swagbucks and have since convinced me to try :D. I signed up for Swagbucks in May 2010 and by July 2010 I had racked up enough "swag bucks" to earn a $10 gift card to Starbucks. I know what you may be thinking, that seems like a lot of work for $10, but it really isn't. Think about how many times you "Google" something, if you use Google at least once a day then you could benefit from Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a search engine, it functions the same way as Google or any other search engine. If I would normally run to Google for something, now I run to Swagbucks instead. You won't receive codes every time you search, but if you search the web as much as I do, you will benefit. Many (if not all) of my friends use their swag bucks to get and stock up on $5 Amazon gift cards. This seems to be the best deal as it takes very little time to earn the swag bucks needed and people tend to accumulate enough to get big(er) ticket items (like $45 - $50). I have my personal reasons as to why I won't redeem Amazon cards, so I set my sights on a $10 Starbucks gift card.

I do have to admit that when I first signed up I was a little be more aggressive trying to obtain swag bucks, my goal was that $10 Starbucks card. Since I earned that gift card I have slowed down on trying to earn those bucks. However now that we are in November I need just over 200 swag bucks to earn another $10 Starbucks card...or I could get a $10 Barnes & Noble card which would come in handy as I plan on getting a Nook after Christmas.

There are many other ways to earn Swagbucks, but I'll leave that up to you to discover based on your comfort level. However...I DO ask that if you are interested you sign up using my referral, as that is one of the ways you can earn Swag Bucks (from the looks of it, and I would have to verify this - when you earn Swag Bucks, I earn Swag Bucks).

I have posted a "Widget" to the right and there is a button to sign up, or you can use my referral link:

Friday, June 18, 2010

She's here!

Little Miss Abigail Lyn Johnson that is! My precious little surprise baby is here. She arrived at 11:22 am on Friday April 16 as I "laughed" her out. I spent all of 20 minutes pushing...and pushing is putting it mildly. When the doc checked me at 11:00 am he said I was only at station -2 but since I've already given birth before he would leave it up to the nurses whether or not I could try to push. We all agreed I would try...well there was no try after oh about 3 contraction with 2-3 pushes each I could feel the pressure of her head and I say "oh I can feel her down there" and I start laughing. The nurse looks down and then calmly looks at me and says "stop laughing" and then proceeds to yell for the doctor. He barely made it in the room and her head was out! One or two more pushes and we got her shoulders out and of course the rest is smooth as silk. I swear the placenta was longer and harder to deliver than my 8 lbs 9.2 oz little lady! Yes she was my biggest baby...and she is still so big!

She turned 2 months old on Wednesday June 16 and she had her check up. She weighed in at a whopping 12 lbs 5.5 oz, and measuring 23 1/2" long (they did not give me a measurement at her birth). She is doing great, and then had her 2 month immunizations. She did great, she of course cried when they put the needle in, but as soon as they were done and I picked her up she was back to being my happy baby.

She is smiling up a storm! She is mostly on a night time schedule that is AWSOME! She goes to bed around 10:00/10:30, and sleeps until 5:30. At 5:30 I give her a bottle and then we lay in bed and doze off until about 7:30 when big brother comes in to wake us up. It is at that point that I look at her and she is just smiling away. It is a pitty that my camera sucks, or that she stops smiling the moment I take that camera out. I did capture a smile this morning, but because of the setting I had to use to avoid the annoying orange light and flash makes the picture incredibly dark.

Class of 2010

Yep that's me! Or at least it will be at the end of this week!! I have one final due by Sunday and I will officaly be a college graduate!

I will say sure took me long enough! I am 31 years old and I just NOW have a 4 year degree! OUCH! Anyway, I am masters, no doctorate LOL I am done!

Okay so that may change...I am considering my five year plan to be me getting out of the accounting industry and learning how to be an ultrasound tech. But who knows where life will lead us next.

But YAY I am finally done with school! And hopefully I can find a new job that pays more than I was hoping for when we first moved to Florida.

Well Crap!

I just can't seem to get this going! I would like to schedule a time that I sit down and add to this blog, but my life is so unpredictable right now that I don't know when I could do that.

I have a couple ideas for a sem-"professional" blog...the first is to highlight some of the areas I've lived in, kind of for military families who are moving to a new area etc. I would try to take a collection of stories from other military families as well. This would just be a nice little blog so that someone can look at it and see if there is any "real life" stories on their new home.

The second idea is similar, but a collection of tips and tricks from moms...that one would probably just be for fun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Not much of a blogger am I?

Whoops! Anyway, I'm going to try working on this, as I am planning on doing a separate blog that may help me professionally if I decide to go into journalism (one of the two change in career ideas I have).

UPDATES on the Johnson family: back from deployment, well has been since March, then went to Field Medical training in Camp Lejune NC until July. The day he "graduated" and came "home" we loaded up our cars with what didn't go on the truck and headed down to Jacksonville FL where we purchased a brand spanking new home.

Michelle...I left a great job to relocate for my dear husband, and have yet to find a job here in Florida. I have had several interviews, and I work with a staffing agency from time to time. Buuuut, I also found out about a month after we moved here that I was pregnant with Johnson Monkey number 3. Turns out this happened the week we moved to Florida. So I have put on hold my job search, since I am due in just over 2 months. I am also still going to school persuing my Bachelor's degree in accounting. I will have two more terms after the current one I am in...this puts me with graduation around September. Life should be a little less hectic by then, so I plan to resume my job search then.

Aidan...holy moly this boy is growing, he will be FOUR in May! He is a smart little dude...and picking up everything and I mean EVERYTHING that Aaron says...good and bad! Yikes...I am anticipating lots of trips to the principal's office in my future. He loves his sister and seems excited that he will have another sister soon. He misses "school" (daycare) but luckily Florida has a program for kids his age and he should be starting pre-school in September. He is fully potty trained now so he is ready to go! little lady is not so little anymore! She will be TWO in just a few short weeks. I'm not sure where the time has gone! She loves to "pick on" her brother, she will take things from him she knows will make him upset. Her vocabulary grows on a daily basis and amazes me. She is now sleeping (well that's what we call it) in her big girl bed. Around New Year's day she figured out how to get out of her crib and we decided there was no point keeping her there. She is also my little escape artist...she runs away from me every chance she gets! This is proving to be complicating the further along I get in my pregnancy.

Well there you have it folks! A very short version of the last year. Not sure how I'm going to format this in the future as our life is not THAT exciting, but we'll just see how it goes. I will update on my new blog once I get it up and running.