I have no new knitting to share, but it’s for a good reason: I have a new job! I have moved from Administrative Assistant to Communications Specialist. I’m at the same company, which is delightful because I love what they do, and they have great benefits and awesome people. And I don’t have to completely leave all my buddies in the labs I supported–I can go visit them whenever I want. Bonus: now I get to do a job that’s perfectly suited for me! I’ve been waiting a long time for that.
When I graduated from college with my English degree many moons ago, I went straight to work at my mom’s used-book store. I was officially the manager, and I loved my time there, but if I’m completely honest, I did that because it was the easy route. Hunting for a “real” job was terrifying, especially since I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had the job with my mom waiting for me, and I did love the store and the book business, so it was just simpler to make the safe, comfortable choice.
I was happy enough for three years, but then my parents moved out of state and by then we’d had the girl, so I became a stay-at-home mom, and that was my job for a few years. When I started going stir-crazy, I got a part-time retail job in a clothing store and mostly worked when the husband could be with the kids. And I loved it. I loved feeling smart and useful again. I loved overcoming challenges and learning new things and being around fun adults again. I was good enough, and liked it enough, to be promoted twice, until I was the store manager of the district’s newest store.
I had to be an effective communicator, especially when I was a trainer, but mostly it didn’t involve any of the things I love (especially any writing/editing). And by the end, as store manager, I didn’t like it so much. I didn’t get to do the parts of the job I’d loved, life had gotten hard at home, and I didn’t like being the head honcho. Or maybe I didn’t like being head honcho because life was hard at home, I’m not sure. In any case, for a lot of reasons, it made sense for me to quit and stay home with my two almost-teenagers.
I loved staying at home this time around. It was less stressful with school-age kids than with infants/toddlers, and I had a lot more time to explore my interests. That was when I learned to knit, finishing writing a book, started a blog, started my Etsy shop–all these awesome, fun, creative things. I loved having so much creative time. Alas, it didn’t make any money. And when the girl got her driver’s license, I had to admit it made sense for me to go back to work.
Okay. Well, I had an English degree, a four-year gap in my work history, experience in retail management, and no desire to go back to working in retail. I started the whole job-hunting thing and it was hard and scary and not fun at all. I wanted something relevant, something in communications or writing-related, but everything required more experience than I had. Yep, I applied anyway, and got nowhere. I used the connections I had, and got nowhere. And then I got the interview for the company I’m at now. They seemed nice enough, I knew I could easily do the admin assistant job, and it was a paycheck we could really use.
It didn’t take long to feel comfortable. I like keeping things organized, and I got to proofread and edit things every so often, but it didn’t challenge me. As much I loved my teams and the company, I wasn’t sure it would be a long-term fit. But then this Communications Specialist position opened up, and I wanted it. A lot. Everyone says internal candidates have an edge but I wasn’t convinced this was a slam-dunk for me. I had multiple interviews, and worked hard to convince them that I had the skills they were looking for, but all along I was afraid they’d find some young person with a communications degree and tons of social media experience, someone they could pay less. So when they offered me the position, I truly felt like I had earned it.
It’s funny how life works out, you know? Here I am, 20 years out of college and only just now starting the first job that really feels like ME. I don’t regret the path I took, but I sure am glad I finally found my way here. And if I have a little bit less time for knitting and blogging for a while, well, that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make.