Moving to San Francisco

July 23, 2017

It was the same company. It was a different company. It was a familiar place. It was a new place. Nothing had changed. Everything had changed.

The Work had Changed

On paper, I am now an employee of NerdWallet and live in San Francisco. That had all happened before, from September to December of 2016 I had done the same thing.

Except this time it was different. Having recently graduated from the University of Waterloo, I am now a full-time employee of the company. I’ve migrated from the J1 training visa to a full-fledged TN visa and I have the passport stamp to prove it.

Into my lap falls the duties of a full-time employee, a set of social, technical and managerial responsibilities that I have only grappled with from the lens of an intern. As an intern, when I did my job as competently as any other employee, there was a sense of pride from myself and recognition from my team. As a full-timer, that’s the new expectation.

Forget intern projects, unknown expectations, and that I can’t believe it’s not a real employee pat on the back. Things are real now. Failure isn’t a below average internship assessment, it’s unemployment.

The company itself had changed, NerdWallet has restructured, both in terms of its direction as a company and its physical location, which is now at 10th and Market instead of 5th. The goals of the company will have changed from last I was there and I have plenty of catching up to do.

The Home had Changed

Back to San Francisco! My previous home down in temperate California where I had escaped the Ontario winter. While my ZIP code is about the same, my personal life is completely different. Last Fall I had lived with my fellow co-ops and Waterloo roommates in Height Ashbury.

This time I did not have a place lined up for the day I arrived, and am instead staying at an Airbnb in the short-term while I find a place.

My former roommates and I are no longer close. There are many reasons for why that is and lots of them are because of mistakes I have made.

All of this means that I am house searching, which for me means looking at small and affordable co-living spaces. I want to save money while I am here and meet new people. I recently interviewed for a spot at a tech focused co-living accommodation. I’ve interviewed for jobs and school before, but never for where I was going to live.

I didn’t know I was being assessed going in; I had toured to a similar co-living space earlier in the day but it didn’t have the entrepeneurial and tech focus that this one did. Walking out of there I felt like I had been weighed and measured and that I was found wanting.

I have to Change

Smart and driven tech entrepeneurs are everywhere in San Francisco and I have chosen to compete for their residences as well as their jobs. The past couple of months I had not developed professionaly very much. I had spent time with my family, traveled to Europe with friends, and played games with my brother.

I thought about staying with my friends and family back home, but in the end I chose to come here and while I’m here I cannot remain stagnant. I need to work hard to become better at my job, at being an adult and at being a positive influence on the community.

Among other things, I know that I need to be better at the following:

I chose to make these large changes to my life and follow up on a new opportunity in an unfamiliar place with different people. I need to make sure that I change along with them and change for the better. Here it goes!