so it begins.

I started working at my company almost one year ago. It was September 16, 2013, to be precise.

At the time, I was just looking for a way to earn money while I studied for the Bar and figured out what I really wanted to do with myself.

But then something surprising happened. I fell in love with insurance and insurance defense law. Something in me just sort of woke up one day and said "oh, this is where I'm supposed to be". I had loved torts in law school. They just clicked and they got me excited. But when you think personal injury law, you think ambulance chaser. And I was not about ambulance chasing.

Time went by and I began to look more heavily at my options to move up within this wonderful new insurance company. After a lot of research, I decided a position in claims was the next best step for me so I set up a search query on the internal job board for claims jobs in the United States.

After a few months I noticed a disturbing trend.

7 out of 10 jobs that I was interested in were located in New York, NY.

The last place I ever wanted to live was New York, NY. Chicago? Absolutely. DC? Definitely. But New York? Never.

It was noisy. It was crowded. It was dirty. I wasn't about that either.

I would wrinkle my nose at the mere suggestion of moving to NYC. The best it ever got was "I guess if I absolutely had to, I would live in New York. But not unless I had to".

Slowly I began to realize that I was more than likely going to have to move to New York. So I took a trip up there. I took a long weekend the week of my swearing in & visited my sister in New York. I wanted to see what she saw in the city. I wanted to see the city itself and not just the tourists' version of the city.

I loved it.

As we walked through downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights I fell in love. As we wandered around SoHo waiting for our table at a delicious little breakfast spot with 6 tables and a 2-3 hour wait I fell in love. As we looked from the roof of the Met out into the park I fell in love.

I was surprised at how comfortable I felt there. Truly, genuinely surprised.

I talked to my sister, made sure she was okay with me potentially moving up there. She was. She was thrilled and immediately launched into different areas that she thought I would enjoy living in.

When I got back to Atlanta, I started applying for jobs. I had been sending out sporadic applications here and there but now I was serious. Now I was ready. I was a barred attorney now and I was ready to move into the next phase of my life. While most of my applications were concentrated in New York, I didn't limit myself to the big apple. Applications went to Atlanta. They went to Portland & Seattle. They went to Dallas & Houston. They even went to Singapore & Copenhagen.

We took a family vacation to Siesta Key.

We came home. I had two phone voicemails on my work phone.

A claims office in Atlanta wanted to interview me. So did one in New York.

I called both HR people back immediately to accept. Unfortunately it was 7 AM here in Atlanta & they worked 9-6 out of our Las Vegas office.

I never heard back from the Atlanta one.

But I did hear about the New York one. They set up an interview later that week. They wanted a Skype interview on a day I was scheduled to work from home. Then a few days later they changed their minds: they wanted to do it by phone instead. I breathed a sigh of relief--no need to get dressed that day. The morning of the interview came.

I had a cold.

I was devastated but determined to power through. At 10:00 AM they would call. By 10:30 I'd be done. I just had to hang in until then.

10:30 came and went and no one ever called.

I called HR. We rescheduled.

The day of the second interview I woke up with food poisoning.

This was not going well.

I pulled myself together again, put mind over matter and got ready.

Once again, the phone never rang.

So I called HR. Again. I asked if they were actually interested. She said they were very interested. She apologized a lot. It wasn't her fault so I couldn't be mad at her.

Finally, 3 days after the second missed interview I was feeling normal. The phone actually rang. The interview actually happened.

It went terribly.

There were awkward pauses & the conversation lurched along. They didn't seem to like my answers.

I wasn't hopeful.

A week later I contacted HR to find out if they'd said anything yet. No word from them.

But there was another group that wanted to interview me for an analyst position in New York.

This one was a grade level higher. Already I wanted it more.

This one called me two minutes early.

This one went beautifully. We chatted easily and comfortably. He really seemed to like me. He asked about my salary, whether I was sure I wanted to move to New York. He ended the phone call with "I really hope I get to talk to you soon". I said I did too.

Not quite a week later I reached out to HR again. She said that there was a second manager for my second interview that wanted to talk to me. I said yes.

He called early too.

This one went beautifully too.

He told me that essentially the other manager had already decided to hire me. He just wanted to confirm that this was a good idea. He did. He told me about the salary, the benefits. He gave me his phone number to call if I had any questions about the process. He made a verbal offer. I accepted. He told me they would talk to HR and get things moving.

I did the happiest of happy dances.

Not only was this a higher paid position, it was in an area that I was more interested in.

Just like that, all the pieces clicked into place.

I told my family. They got really excited. My sister and I skyped and talked about areas and what moving to New York would be like.

So I'm off on my next great adventure.

And what an adventure it will be.


  1. Hi Courtney, I'm in your mom's bible study and my daughter moved to NYC for 4 years. She loved every minute of it and it was such a great opportunity in every way. I am excited for you and what you lies ahead. There is nothing like experiencing NYC when you are not a tourist!!! Shelly Martin

  2. Hi Courtney. I was in your mom's bible study for years. My daughter moved to NYC for four years and loved every minute of it. I am so excited for what lies ahead. There is nothing like experiencing NYC when you aren't a tourist!!! Shelly Martin