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It’s 9:45 pm, as I start typing this and I’m not at home. Instead, I will be spending most of the next two days at my sister’s while I take care of one of my nephews. As the clock struck midnight to signal 2020, as expected, it was a ho-hum affair. The dream of counting down the final 10 seconds with friends and loved ones still continues, but all my friends are typically with their own families for that. At least my neighbors typically put on one heck of a fireworks display every year, and this morning I could’ve sworn someone was singing in the street around 7:30 am. Even though I usually wake up around that time, I was still frustrated for the disturbance for what could have been a longer nap.

As most people prepare to go back to work on the 2nd, or next week, I continue pondering my next step. Hence, the “research” part of the title. Being at home can be distracting at times, and tonight a hyper 3 year old provided another. But now that he sleeps, along with everyone else, I lay here in the living room all alone with this laptop. Finally, I have time to work. This must be how my parents, and any other parent, felt when attending school later in life. Taking care of everything else before finally getting to do your work late at night; very tired knowing progress must be made. With my resume already completed, all that remains is the darn cover letters. Ugh, I hope one day we somehow modify that and some jobs quit requesting transcripts from schools. I have some jobs opened up on my tabs, however I feel slight resistance.

Obviously, right now it’s a “take whatever job you can get” kind of feel from others talking to me. And finding the answer doesn’t happen overnight, nor does finding the perfect job. Yet as I lay here, I can’t help but think I’m missing something. You might think travel factor, but it’s not that. I am willing to remain close to home, as long as it pays enough to afford me the travel plans. That’s the other thing, as I also have abroad tabs open that I’ve been thinking about. As I continue researching, I see lists of “top places to work abroad” and try to imagine myself there while also considering what skills I bring. Of course, home countries will first look from within before bringing in the international.

I’ve looked at Australia and New Zealand (can be expensive). I’ve looked across Europe (potential but the job market depends). Again, based on my industry, experience and reading other’s stories, I get this inclination that other countries will not look at me first or look hard at what I can bring. I could move over there and risk it, but I got no money. I could also decide to start off with something else, like bartending, as I try to make it there. But will that sustain me long? Will it affect my happiness of being someplace new? I said I have tabs open for abroad, but more of them are for volunteering experiences.

No matter where you want to work, it’s all about getting your foot in the door. Unless you have friends, or family, in high places then most of us will be at this part of the career path. Whether I go abroad, or take a slightly different career path, it’s all about getting the job that leads to the job. As for the volunteer chances, these are for about a week or more, so I feel those might be great first starts. If nothing else, it’s experience and provides that opportunity to finally use my passport. And while I still look for work close to home, I also keep open the door for places like Chicago and Colorado. Two different, yet reflective places to who I am.

As for the apartment, I will continue searching to see what else is up there but more than likely I will have to break the lease early and move home. I will miss that independence, however if I can get a job back here then the door quickly re-opens on travel; perhaps travel even more frequently. The searching and the waiting will not be fun, but it does allow me to get back into other interests like writing. And yes, I haven’t forgotten the podcast among other things. I will need to talk with my friend about that tomorrow. The excitement is still there as to what I will do next, but that excitement has no direction to aim it at. And that’s where I feel lost; searching and waiting. However, I know many of you out there are also looking towards what your next chapter will be. It may not even be about jobs, as it could be about finding yourself or love. Who knows, but this new year lets try to find those answers together. . .

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