Career Changes and a Meetup Planned for FTU Advanced this Weekend

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Career Changes and a Meetup Planned for FTU Advanced this Weekend

I debated whether or not to write the first half of this post.  I went back and forth, trying to figure out what to do.  In the end, I decided to share my story and ask for some help.  My yearlong position as a product marketing intern at a large in-flight entertainment company is coming to an end in a few weeks.  For the record, it is a paid internship, I work 40 hours per week, and I graduated 2 years ago from Cal State Fullerton, so the term “internship” is a bit misleading.  I’ve done everything possible to stay, but alas, I have run out of options.  I am debating whether I should apply for other companies in the same industry (only a few other companies in this niche industry) or whether I should look for positions in another industry.  Honestly, it would be amazing if I could work in a marketing department of a large credit card company (Chase I’m looking at you), but anything that involves marketing, traveling, and creativity would be perfect.  I would love to stay in Orange County, but I think it is time for a change of scenery and weather.  I wish I could say that my blog generates enough revenue to live off of, but that would be a lie.  At least for now… 

Here is my resume (PDF download), if you know anyone looking for a bright, young, energetic, enthusiastic, creative, and good looking (according to my mom) employee, please share my resume with them.  I know this is totally bizarre, but everything in life happens for a reason, so we will see what happens…

Please add me on LinkedIn as well so I can grow my network.  Thank you everyone!

FTU Advanced Chicago

In other news, this weekend is FTU Advanced in Chicago!  I will be there and I hope to see a few of you there as well.  I will be wearing my patented trademarked blog shirt, you can’t miss me. If you see me, please stop by and introduce yourself.  I love meeting blog readers and chatting about miles and points.

The event officially starts on Friday evening with happy hour, but my flight doesn’t land until 11:55pm Friday night.  Therefore, I will probably head straight to my hotel room and get some sleep so I will be well rested for Saturday morning.  The full FTU Advanced schedule can be found here.

I’m sure the sessions will be good, but the best part of going to miles/points conferences is meeting and talking to fellow miles/points aficionados.  With that said, I want to set up a casual meetup for Saturday night.  Saturday’s sessions end at 5pm, so let’s meet up in the Marriott O’Hare lobby around 5:30-6pm.  I will do some research regarding nearby restaurants and pick a good place to eat (any suggestions would be greatly appreciated).  At previous events, we requested a few Uber cars to/from the restaurant #travelhacking.  If you are planning on going to the meetup, please join Uber (if you haven’t already) with this sign up link.  You will get $30 toward your first ride and I will get $30 off my next ride.  There will be some major carpooling Uber-pooling going on this weekend!

Uber Marriott Chicago O'Hare

Please let me know if you will be attending FTU Advanced and Saturday’s meetup.

If you have any questions about FTU Advanced or Saturday’s meetup, please leave a comment below.  The dress code is casual, so just wear whatever feels comfortable (please no Marriott bath robes).

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39 thoughts on “Career Changes and a Meetup Planned for FTU Advanced this Weekend

  1. Jacob reaves

    Denver- tiaa-cref licensed phone rep. noticed your insurance background. I think its starts around 50k.

    Good Luck finding something you like!

    Why aren’t you selling on eBay amazon full time?

    1. Grant

      Thank you Jacob. My stint in the life insurance / annuities business was very difficult for me, I am trying to stay away from finance/investment type positions.

      I suppose I could sell more items on Ebay, but I am not a huge fan of reselling items on Ebay, even though it is probably pretty easy. I mostly just sell items for friends/relatives to make some extra cash.

  2. De5tin4

    I do not know anyone looking for a position as noted in your blog however I will keep in mind. You already specified what your amazing job looks like so go for it and do not stop until you land that position. Your blog is great so I doubt it will be long before you do land a job. For marketing why not look into LA, SF, or NY? :) good luck!

    1. Grant

      Thank you for the advice, De5tin4. I know there are a ton of positions out there, I just don’t know where to start looking. Sometimes I feel lost and confused about what I should be doing. I’ll take your advice and look in those markets in the morning.

  3. Laura

    I’ve always enjoyed the enthusiasm, energy, and excellent research that is evident in your blog posts. Any employer in the travel industry would probably find you to be an asset. Have you thought of looking for a job at a travel startup? That could combine your knowledge of tech & the travel industry & marketing. I receive Skift’s newsletters and they have a daily travel startup watch that you may want to follow ( I have no relationship with Skift, but I find them to be one of the best travel news & data companies out there. Another thing you may want to do is invite your readers to connect to you via LinkedIn. You never know if someone in their network may be just the person you want to speak with. Best of luck and I hope you continue writing your blog. With regards to cities, NYC is a happening place. My family and I just moved from Brooklyn to L.A. I found NY to be very energizing, although at 40 and with a small child, it was also draining. But it’s a great place to be when you’re young (caveat: it’s super expensive, so you’ll have to get used to smaller living spaces, but on the other hand you’ll have experiences you would never have if you never left the West Coast). Please let your readers know what happens! :)

    1. Grant

      Thank you Laura, I am a big fan of Skift and read their articles almost daily. I think I have a very similar writing style to theirs, so I will send them an email. I am pretty close to Seth (Wandering Aramean) and he has lots of contacts in the industry. I’ll also add my LinkedIn link to this post. Thank you for the great ideas.

  4. Prafull

    Grant, with as much talent and enthusiasm that you have, it is unlikely that you will have to wait for long to land your dream position.

    One area you may add to your blog service may be this. For the couple of times I have tried to use those “Booking Services” that offer to match up your points with your travel plans, I was sorely disappointed. They could not come up even with a single offer, in spite of my having ton of miles/points in various airlines/banks. If your time and interest allows you to offer an efficient and affordable booking service, that may open up another sideline for you,

    Finally, good luck for whatever you do.

    1. Grant

      Thank you Prafull, my small stint as an Award Booker did not end well. Since most people can book simple awards on their own, I would only get requests for very difficult awards that involved many hours of research. More often than not, I would spend several hours looking and end up not able to find the perfect award. Since I couldn’t find them their award, I did not make any money. I would spent a few hours researching award flights instead of working on my blog, so I decided the trade-off wasn’t worth it.

      As for matching up your points to your travel plans, do you mean figuring out which miles/points to use for various flights and sharing that info with you? That seems pretty simple, but I’m sure it gets more complicated.

  5. travelbloggerbuzz

    If you are going to need recommendations, tell them to call me.

    Try the job search engine U can zero in by location with it.

    Oh…Transamerica. I am sorry for that stint but you should have learned a lot there ;-)

    You can contact some of the Blogs in my Ignore list for writing gigs. And no I won’t use that in my blog :-)

    Keeping up the quality of your blog while working full time, along with your impeccable ethics, should be an asset to your next employer!

    Yeah, screw award booking, too labor intensive!

    1. Grant

      Thanks George, I learned a lot from Transamerica, but know that industry is not for me :/

      The quality if the blog should remain the same, I just hope the misting frequency will remain the same.

      Award booking is good money if you can make it work, but it is definitely hard work. Lots of competition as well :/

  6. Pingback: BlogBuzz:The Unbearable Tendency to Sell, Haters & Trolls, Dutch FTU, What IS "Free", Travel With Grant Gets TBB Recommendation!

  7. Matt from Saverocity (@Saverocity)

    Resume tough love:

    You’re falling into the college kid trap of putting down everything you ever do in order to look like you have a depth of experience, but in doing so you are missing the point.

    The resume needs to tell a stupid hiring manager that you are right for the job they have. You can expect that to come with keyword searches. After it is shortlisted by the machine, it will pop up in front of the manager.

    Nobody wants to see your eBay experience. Drop it.

    Next target the resume, IE you have two or more. In the one you are using for a Product Marketing job, relegate Travel With Grant to a single line, don’t talk about it but do disclose it. Owner/ Travel With Grant (website) or something.

    THEN list all the skills that you have from this: Built SEO strategy that increased awareness by X%, created social media campaigns that drove a surge in traffic by Y% etc etc.

    Trim World Financial Group/Liberty to 1, max 2 bullet points, they were 6 mth or less jobs.

    The meat and potatoes of your resume is Panasonic Aviation:

    Bullet 1 – Nobody outside of your world knows what ‘The Source’ is ergo it is irrelevant. If it is irrelevant people stop reading – change that line to:

    Managed company Intranet- responsible for updating blah blah.

    Bullet 2 – Same same – boring lead. Start with:

    Tradeshows – responsible for XYZ, process that were implemented resulted in an increase of Good% and a decrease of Bad%, scope included spreadsheet management, booth, blah..

    Bullet point 3,4.5
    I have no idea what you are talking about – neither would a hiring manager out of industry (that also might have a great job for you) if you think it has value to include then dumb it down, make X system it’s generic, and go from there. Whatever happens here you can tighten that up by cutting at least one bullet.

    Bullet 6 – would consider raising this towards the top:

    Created sales tool with for achieved what?

    Tighten the skills section up- a lot. You list Chrome/FF/IE as a skill?? Including more information doesn’t make you look like you know more, it makes it look like fluff and devalues your real skills. Keep it tight.

    Excel – Advanced.
    Internet – extensive experience of SEO, analytics, mulit-device systems.
    Social Media – expert(advanced?) level – successful campaigns delivered. (doesn’t matter where you delivered, but that you delivered – it is a skill.

    Good luck!

  8. William Charles

    Get in touch if you change your mind about the finance/investment type positions, there is a lot of really interesting work in this field that isn’t personal finance/investment banking which is what most people think of when they hear “finance”. OC isn’t really the best place to be based out of, but plenty of people make it work.


    1. Grant

      Thank you Will, I like looking at the money side of things, but not the hard-core investing/financial aspect. What type of positions did you have in mind?

      1. William Charles

        Depends on how open you are to moving, what type of salary you’re after and a host of other stuff. I’m working with a bunch of smaller companies at the moment and they all usually have positions that pop up that could be a good fit for somebody who is dynamic, that said I didn’t look through your resume/CV yet so not sure if they would be a good fit or not.

        Goodluck with it.

        1. Grant

          I need to update my resume with some of Matt’s suggestions. Please let me know if you come across any product marketing type positions. Thank you Will!

  9. Smith

    As someone who grew up in OC, I would say you’re definitely going to have to expand your work locations if you want to work at interesting companies/industries. I’ve been in LA, SF and now Seattle and all are much more dynamic than OC, unless you want to work at real estate firms (there are a lot and they may be hiring in different capacities, including marketing, given the upturn). If you really want to challenge yourself, consider other bigger cities. Since you run a travel blog, there has to be some itch to really want to experience another city aside from the superficial understanding you get from traveling for a few days.

    Good luck – it’s an exciting time for you!

    1. Grant

      Thank you Smith, it would be cool working up in Northern California. I’ll expand my job search and see what interesting companies I can find. What industry do you currently work in up in Seattle?

  10. Smith

    I work in tech here, but went to business school in LA so that could be an option for you as well (but you’ll probably need a couple more years of experience).

  11. Tarny Blackensmyth

    Keep your head up. If you bring the enthusiasm to your next job that you have on this website you should do fine. Focus on how you add value to others……go get ’em


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