When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons…

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

I’ve been on a roller coaster ride for the past few months…

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  • DOWN: I lost my job after 6 months working in NYC.
  • UP: I got a new job within 2 weeks.
  • UP UP: I got a new apartment in Midtown, NYC and moved in with my girlfriend.
  • DOWN: About a month later I lost this new job due to limited company resources, due to two of their main clients pushing back two months.
  • DOWN DOWN: I am now no longer allowed to work in the USA as I didn’t find another new job within the ever-so-gracious 10 day period that the US Government gives you to find a new job.
  • SWIRL: I now have to fly to Canada to reapply for a new Visa (E3). I use a consulting company as my sponsor. I get a short ‘vacation’ while waiting around for Visa Consulate meetings. While in Ottawa, I ironically stay in a jail converted hostel and literally sleep in a jail cell.
  • DOWN DOWN DOWN: I go for the E3 Visa appointment in Ottawa. After the fees, fingerprinting and interviews I am told the E3 Visa was declined. The reasoning was very vague, even the attorneys I was working with said so. I was “extremely unlucky” to be denied. Tell that to my pocket!
  • SWIRL: This left me with two options; I could either go back to the USA as a tourist for 3 months (VWP or B2) or fly back to Australia & try for a different Visa (J1). I tried the tourist option using the Visa Waiver Program but that was denied due to the E3 Visa being denied. I could have applied for a B2 Visa, but I thought the J1 option was the best option to get back into the USA & be able to work, so I decide to fly back to Australia.
  • DOWN… UNDER: So this brings me to today… I am just about to get back on the flight back to Sydney, Australia where I will stay for 4-8 weeks while I await the fate of the J1 Visa. The up side of flying back is that I get to see family and friends as well as get some time to focus on personal projects and freelance clients. I’ll also use my time to remotely look for a full time job in New York so I can work as soon as I arrive back in the USA. Fingers crossed that I get this J1 Visa!

So yeah, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade … or ask for salt & tequila.

Update: October 1st 2010

UP UP UP: I’ve now got a new J1 Visa and am heading back to New York to continue working for 12 months! Hurrah!

Update September 8th 2010: Over the past few months I’ve collected a number of bookmarks related to US Visa’s so if you plan on heading to the States, feel free to check them out or send me an email.

Photo: Shutterstock

61 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons…”

  1. WOW, what a roller coaster so far. I give you a lot of credit for enduring such a hectic and financially-draining time while keeping your head up. Best of luck to you Jacob.

  2. This is truly a test of your resolve. It’s tough enough to get a job in the current climate, let alone coming from another country. One day, you’ll look back at this and wonder how it all came together.

    Good luck my friend.

  3. Thank you all!

    Mike & Masey,
    I have an apartment plus girlfriend in New York plus I really love it there!

    Will do, thanks for all your help up to this point!

    No point putting your head down, it’s not going to get you anywhere!

    I hope so!

    Thanks Nick.

  4. An excellent story! Glad to hear that the lemonade tastes sweet after all of that 🙂

    The hostel in Ottawa is a GEM! Very cool that you got to stay there. I’ve stayed there and it was a treat!

    Would you consider working in Canada?

  5. Hello Jacob,
    I was checking your situation before- when you wrote here, that you got a new job now I see how many things changed. Well, I really understand you and your problems, I ve never been at that same situation but friend of mine was/still is. I m planning go to USA just for summer next year but with my VISA it is fine….I just wanted tell you GOOD LUCK and trust me, maybe this journey and these problems have some reasons, maybe you will meet some important people for your life. But don t give up!!!fingers crossed:)anyway you are doing great job!

    Btw tequila is great drink for stress:)but not too much!

  6. Welcome to America! How may we fuck you over today? 🙂

    Sorry to hear about all the troubles. Masey is right though, just skip America all together and head for Canada. People here (US) are just going to hate hate hate.

  7. Hi !

    Sorry to hear so much news in so few lines !

    Hoppe you will get a new Job + Visa IN US soon !

    Looking for a job is not quite easy all over the world.

    Good luck

    I always love reading your blog !


  8. Wow…it has indeed being a bumpy ride…but why not consider another US city? I know that NY is fantastic, but you never know what can be waiting you in another place

    Anyway good luck!


  9. I’m a new devoted fan of your work.Sorry to hear about all these issues! You’ve just made my day though,”…ask for salt and tequila!!” love it. And best of luck with the Visa stuff.

  10. Jacob. That’s quite the adventure and ride you’ve been on recently. Firms are always looking for talent, which you have to ton of. I’m sure we’ll see you back on this side of the pond soon enough. Best of luck with the J1, bud!

  11. Wow! I wish you kept me posted Jacob! This is alot! Wishing you luck on the J1. I think this will all work out soon!

  12. I am so sorry Jacob! I wish you the best luck with the new visa. You are very talented, so I guess you can be as known as now here, in Australia, United States or China.
    Cheer up!

  13. Throughout my life, I have found comfort in what Gandhi said: “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

    You are a winner and always will be.

    As you fight to overcome your travails, try from time to time to think upon those similarly situated who haven’t the talent and resources you have.

  14. I understand your feeling, because I spent it through last time. Working abroad extremely difficult, because you need the work permit, limited day to find for a new job,then when you got a job you have to pay for rental…I have to go back to my country 3 times because I they can not make me the work permit…So now I decide to come back to my country, but anyway, it’s worth to try. I wish you good luck Jacob.

  15. America is not easy! I have had a pretty easy go in Australia.

    Worked…traveled…worked…work/holiday visa ran out…got sponsored. Haha. Hopefully it will all work out though!

  16. Sorry to hear about all the crap you’ve been going through mate. It would be an understatement to say it wouldn’t have been easy.

    But in the meantime welcome back to AUS, if nothing else, it will be a good break from the crazy.

    I still have to add you to my Starcraft II account. Doubt you would have played much with recent events, but let’s have a match sometime.

  17. Too bad it did not work out for you with the Wonder Factory. It’s my first time to comment, though i am a regular reader of your blogs. Reading blogs like yours is what encouraged me to pursue graphic design though it was whole lot different field from Mass Communication which i took in college. Keep inspiring! I look forward to meeting you someday.

  18. As JohnONolan said, marry your girlfriend. Another option is to find someone else you can marry pro forma, although a bit radical and your girl might not like _that_ idea as much…

    Eventually it will all work out. Just believe.

  19. Your tenacity is one of your greatest strengths (I think – as an outsider I’m just sayin’) and it’s this strength that will find you right back where you want to be, in due course.

    Something else I wanted to say, was that sometimes when it seems like we’re paddling upstream, it sometimes makes more sense to change direction, stop battling the current, and then see where life wants to take you. It’s often a much better place. I’ll tell you why in an email. It’s not for blog-world.

  20. Definitely a roller coaster of a ride. I am a UK citizen but Spanish resident, and applying for my Australian visa has taken the best part of a year (now granted). Best of luck with everything and hope it’s not too much of a painful process.

  21. Hi Jacob.
    Im following ur blog on and off for couple of months but I found this piece in particular really funny:D not that I wish u bad but its only coz while I was in US I had such a bad luck at the beginning I had soooo many lemons that I could do whole pitcher full of margarita (if somebody just give me tequila and so.)… but in the end of the day everything turnd out just perfect! So Im sure it will b the same for u soon:) cheers
    greating from berlin

  22. Immigration is a nasty endeavor. Sorry to hear that you got run over by the immigration bus. I myself endured immigration stuff with my husband (who is from Germany), and can tell you it’s also a hassle for citizens bringing family over.

    That having been said, work visas are extremely difficult to obtain, especially with unemployment so high right now. If you have any notion of proposing to your girlfriend, you might be better off doing so and applying for a K-1 fiance visa. You can add visajourney.com to your bookmarks, too.

    Good luck.

  23. Jacob,

    I am so sorry to hear about the problems that you are facing right now. I understand this can’t be easy for you. It surely sounds nerve racking and draining in any way. I’ll pray that you will get through this all very quickly and that new doors are going to open up before you.

    I can’t help but feel that there is a bigger purpose behind this all. If you know Jesus put all your trust into him now. He has a good plan for your life and definitely only wants the best for you.

    It might not always come the way we want it or hope it to come, but He will always make a way out of it and lead you to one that leads to much blessing. I know this sounds so easy if you are not in that exact situation, but I also know that it is the truth and as you press on you will find yourself on a new level.

    Keep your head up high! You are on my heart and I hope that things are going to turn out great for you.

    (ps. If you like tequila and lemonades you should move to Mexico. Down hear things are much more relaxed than in the US.)

  24. Oh my thats too much. its always good to have some one close to you to give you a shoulder. Why are you not considering CANADA? With all these new immigration and visa issues causing so much pain.

    **why not work as a freelancer? you are pretty popular for you work so opening your own studio can be an idea to consider.

    Best wishes to you and your GF.

  25. Jacob

    I will be praying for you that you find a job and end up where God wants you. He’s got a great plan for your life (Jer 31:3) and its all going to turn out great, just trust in him. In the meantime I’ll be praying for you daily.

    I love your blog and make a point to read your articles, so keep posting, and I’lll be looking for your new posts.

    Blessings, Marsha

  26. That’s really tough man … maybe you could consider Toronto to be your home 🙂 We’re really nice, I swear!

  27. All that and Jacob was still kind enough to help promote OFA when we asked. That’s the definition of character and strength… never forgetting that while it may be hard to see past your own self sometimes, there are still others in your world. I respected you before, Jacob, but I’m on a whole new level now. I really hope that you can make it out to our creative summits. We’d love to have you speak, if nothing else, simply on how to care for others no matter the conditions.

  28. Hope you can come back to the state soon. It’s just too bad to see someone with your skills and talents wasting time dealing with this visa problems. You could use your time producing or writing some design related stuff. Anyways, good luck with your visa!

  29. OMGosh…You are an inspiration Jacob 🙂 I visit your site often for tips on being a better designer. You’re wonderful. I pray amazing things come to you. Enjoy your margarita’s with your friends and family!

  30. Thank you all for your support, it’s amazing the kindness of strangers on the internet. I’m doing all I can but everything helps!

    Samantha, Dustin, Karla, Veronica,
    I would consider working in many places but at the moment my heart, apartment and girlfriend is in New York and I love it there so that’s why I am so keen on NY!

    Davy, JohnONolan, Robin,
    Hehe, we did talk about it but it’s an extremely long winded & complicated process.

    Indeed it does, it’s certainly not cheap but it will be worth it in the end.

    Haven’t played in the last few weeks but hope to get back to it once everything settles down. Feel free to add my email!

    Yeah it was unfortunate, I was only freelancing with them and two of their main clients pushed back!

    Thanks for the link Anneke!

    Thanks for your email, I’ve replied there.

    Glad to hear your Aus Visa got granted, enjoy your time here… but don’t drink Fosters!

    I hope so too, thanks!

    See my comment to Samantha above. As for working as a freelancer, if this j1 is approved than I can do that… but if not then I need a sponsor for full time work (not freelance). Thanks!

    I know there is always going to be someone better & worse off than me so that is why I am always grateful for what I have. Thanks for your kind words (and Gandhis.)

    Thanks for your prayers! I’ll be continuing to post so stay tuned!

    Sorry to hear about your situation, as many others have said… never give up!

    I try to help when I can, cause what goes around, comes around. I look forward to OFA being the Everest of design conferences! I also look forward to speaking on Everest!

    Indeed it is a hassle. I don’t have any notion of marriage as of yet or any permanent move to the states but it is an option for the future. Thanks for the other bookmark!

    Head held high! Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them and your prayers.

    If only… I would love to be doing that instead of dealing with these Visa problems.

    Yeah the flight ain’t a pretty one. I had a 24hr journey this time (Ottawa>Vancouver>Sydney) much better than my last one via Beijing that took 33hours!

    Don’t get discouraged, it was just bad luck. If you have the will, there is a way!

    Once, again to everyone, thank you!

  31. Jacob,
    That sounds like a pretty bad state of affairs you’re in!
    I honestly am not jealous of that plane flight you’re going to be on – just got off the plane from Australia to the UK – 32 hours in total!
    Good luck with your flight – hope you get more legroom than I got!

  32. Man, I’m sorry to hear about this. Damn, I’m feeling a little discouraged to even bother looking for a job in NY now, since you are more of a seasoned designer and somewhat of an internet celebrity!

    I hope you return promptly, as you definitely have the chops to work for a top agency there

  33. I wish you the best of luck Jacob. You are a clearly talented designer and I truly believe talented designers are always in demand. Shame the recession has made it harder but I’m convinced you everything will into place soon.

    Best of Luck

  34. I am sorry that you lost your job.
    But as they say in my country (México) “for some reason things happen”
    So don’t worry, with your extraordinary talent you’ll surely find a better job.


    I send you many greetings and a kiss from Mexico city.

    PD: Please excuse my english.

  35. You get a lot love from everyone… you will definitely make it one way or the other. It’s easy to see that when you have so many people that admire your work. I also admire your work especially this site as I find it more difficult to work on ones own projects than the clients.
    I wish you the best of luck.

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