-1: The Last Day

March 27, 2010

Welp, that was it. I’m no longer an employee of that company. My life is now hanging in the balance. Where will I end up and what will I end up doing… we’ll have to wait and see.

My sweet co-workers/friends got me this balloon arrangement to celebrate my last day. There is a Whinnie the Pooh and a My Little Pony balloon in the arrangement and a large one that says congrats and when you hit it the song ‘Celebration’ plays. They told the balloon lady to put together something really embarrassing. Mission accomplished!  It was really nice of them though. I will miss those people – but I will see them again, I have no doubts. I can be pretty bad at keeping in touch but it will happen eventually.

Well kids, I have some bad news to share. I didn’t get the job in Birmingham. I’m bummed but not going to dwell on it. Everything happens for a reason right? I know I would have been fantastic at that job but that doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t be too. Ultimately, it’s my Alma Mater and I want what/who is best for them/us.  Congratulations to whoever it is who got the job. I’m sure he/she will do great things for the college!

Back in the day I spent many summers at camp. I was a camper as a child and later on I was a counselor. At the end of each night I would have my campers join me in a Pow-Wow. At this Pow-Wow each camper was asked to list the low point of their day (the pow) the high point of their day ( the wow).  If I were having a Pow-Wow today it would go down like this:

Pow: I didn’t get the job in Birmingham

Wow: I have unlimited possibilities right now and have the freedom to go explore them.

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window”

– Maria, The Sound of Music

-2: Rats

March 25, 2010

Tomorrow is my last day!! I can’t believe it. Somehow this day has snuck up on me. I’ve been trying to get prepared to leave everything but I keep feeling like I’m just going on vacation. It hasn’t hit me just yet that I’m not going back, ever. I guess next Monday or Tuesday when I’m sitting at home around 11am with nothing to do I will probably start to get the picture… Though, I won’t lack things  to do. I will have a lot to do. I have to find a new job, pack up the house in preparation for a move, find a new place to live, go to some job interviews, say my goodbyes and much more.

While I was in the process of winding things down at the office today I felt the need for a sweet treat. I don’t like breakfast and usually don’t eat anything before lunch so sometimes I need a little snack to make it until noon. This morning around 10 was one of those times. I keep a candy bowl hidden in the kitchen at the office. I pull the bowl out when we have client meetings and put it on the conference table. Since I’m the only one who knows where the bowl is hidden,

I want a Reese's Nom Nom Nom

I’m also the only one who has the ability to sneak a chocolate treat when I feel the need. Well today I got a little surprise when I went in for my mini 3 Musketeers. I found, on top of the bowl, an individually wrapped Reese’s cup with a hole chewed in the middle and little teeth/claw marks all in the chocolate. There were a few other candy wrappers torn to shreds around the bowl. I proceeded to freak out.  Never has an attempt to sneak a snack gone so awry! Lesson Learned- No stealing from the company candy dish… I get it. Anyway, by the end of the day mouse traps had been set. And somehow, noone asked what I was doing in the candy dish when I found the situation… maybe I shouldn’t give up my candy sneaking after all. I’m so stealth!

Considering my need to send out a handfull of resumes a day, I need to spend some one on one time with that document and whip it into shape.

I’ve thought a lot about presentation style for this document. Two years ago I had sleek black folders that I put my resume in. There was a copy of my transcript from college on one side and a copy of my resume on the other. I created a little calling card and put it in the business card slot. Now, after two years of working in the marketing industry, I have gained more of an eye for design and my old resume packet just isn’t going to make the cut.

My friend Sarah visited last weekend and brought with her the most beautiful portfolio I think I have ever seen. She just graduated and is looking for a job as a high school history teacher. To begin with, all of her information was in a gorgeous, leather portfolio with scrolling burnt into the leather. Once you opened the portfolio there were sheet protectors containing pages and pages of documentation of how awesome she is: Resume, Awards, Certifications, Lesson Plans and more. I opened it and wanted to hire her myself!

I want a portfolio that looks that stellar. Sarah is going to make a fantastic teacher, I know this because I have known her for years. However, if I had just met her, I would know that to be true just from looking at the presentation she had before me. Now I have to figure out how I can meet or exceed this type of presentation with my own information.

Suggestions?

-9: Honey and Vinegar

March 16, 2010

With 8 days remaining, it’s time to start passing the baton. I’ve considered how this is going to work with several of my duties but I haven’t really nailed down an exact time frame for “de-task-ization.”  How soon is too soon to start doling out my tasks to my office mates? I’m not sure just yet  but some of this will definitely be decided for me.  For example, this afternoon we had our weekly production meeting. I, however, was told to just stay at my desk for the first time in over a year. That was weird.

Today I also faced many questions about my future plans. I guess most people leave when they have a solid plan, a new job locked down or some great life change like moving home to take care of a sick relative or taking time to be a stay at home parent. But not this girl. Nope, I’m just jumping ship and hoping the tide takes me to warmer water.

I’ve been in the same job for almost two years. This, my first job out of college, was pretty much a fluke. I left college without a plan, moved to Nashville hoping to find a great first job in a field that interested me. This seemed like an easy enough task as I am the type of person who is interested in just about everything. Albert Einstein once said “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” That pretty much sums me up too though I believe Mr. Einstein just might have had some special talents…

After searching for a month or so I landed a job as an administrative assistant at a marketing/graphic design studio/software development/creative consulting business. As you may be able to tell from that little description, there’s lots going on in the company and a diverse range of tasks being performed on an everyday basis.  In the beginning it was interesting and new, not like anywhere I had worked before. I was, after three months, promoted to “Marketing Assistant” which I was quite excited about at the time. I quickly realized that the promotion was in name only, I was nothing more than a receptionist who now also performed some basic tasks for the marketing team in addition to my original responsibilities. I came to realize that I was not only feeling stifled in a position that wasn’t helping me grow but that I was wasting valuable time and not perusing my passion (we’ll discuss just what that passion is later).

I did learn a lot from this job, the effects of which I am certain that I have yet to fully grapple with. I knew nothing about the industry before  I began and learned a great deal about what graphic designers, programmers, and marketing professionals do on a day to day basis. I learned much about small businesses and the struggles they face in a market where the big guys can easily run you over if you lose your focus or your competitive edge.  I was able to observe the particular management style used in this office and use that experience to help shape my vision for how I wish to treat others and how a business should be operated. A phrase often used around the office that I have come to live by is “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!” Moving forward, I hope to be a fountain of honey with a very small amount of vinegar on reserve.

As I move on from this job I also want to look back on it as honey, not vinegar. I want to see my time there (or here as I am still an employee) as a period of growth and self-discovery. This job has not defined me; it has taught me to seek out something that I want to do 8 hours a day that will define me. I looked at my first job search as a time when I was out there waiting to be picked. I now realize how much power I have in determining both my own happiness and my own future. With my glass half full, half full of honey, I am moving on.