I knew right from the start of my job search that I didn't want to work for an advertising/design agency, although that was an obvious route considering my degree/skills. Ideally, I wanted to be an in-house designer, working with one specific company or organization as opposed to being at an agency that does projects for multiple clients. I also wanted the company or organization to be fairly small: I did the whole "small fish/big pond" thing for four years at Duke and hated it. I wanted the ability to use my creativity. I wanted my presence and work to make a difference. And most importantly, I wanted to genuinely believe in the mission of the company/organization so I could pour my heart into the work that I did.
Cue new job: I accepted an offer last month to work full-time as a communications specialist for a statewide non-profit organization. I feel so blessed to have landed a full-time job straight out of college, particularly in today's economy (although I assure you that I worked incredibly hard to get here -- 75+ applications and multiple interviews over the span of four months). Regardless, my efforts paid off; I not only have a job, but I have a job that I absolutely love! And if the fact that I'm working for such a wonderful cause isn't enough to convince you of my awesome career beginnings, please allow me to share some other things that I love about my new job :)
I get my very own office.
With my very own office key.
Slash, my very own key that opens the entire building... oh, heyy.
It's true. I didn't know exactly what to expect on Day #1, but I ended up in this spacious room. With an L-shaped desk. A "spinny chair". A tall filing cabinet. Huge shelves stocked full of digital cameras/video equipment. A large printer. A bookshelf. An additional desk, because I have not one, not two... but three computers in my office! I can link the monitors together and use the same mouse to scroll between them, which I've thought was the coolest thing since my dad's boss had it set up in his office when I was younger.
I also have incredibly large windows in my office, which is perfect for allowing in lots of sunlight and ensuring that my cold-natured self is always nice and warm. My co-workers have told me that it is an ideal office for plants --- we'll see about that :)
Speaking of co-workers... they're great! There are two other people in my department; I interviewed with both of them twice during the job search process, so I knew that we got along really well going into this. As far as the other 30 people on staff (I told you I wanted a chance to be a big fish in a small pond again) -- they're so nice! Seriously: they're so helpful, they frequently drop in just to say hi, they compliment any little project that I do, etc. Such sweet people. And very inclusive, community-oriented people. It reminds me a lot of camp---working together for a cause that is so much greater than one's self tends to attract awesome individuals.
And speaking of camp, we also operate the largest summer camp for individuals with autism spectrum disorder in the world (right here in North Carolina -- bet you didn't know that!) So after six consecutive summers as a camp counselor/program coordinator, I don't have to give up camp completely -- I'll get to visit throughout the year for media days, writing articles, taking photos, etc! Our CFO has already told me that I should go visit in the next few weeks -- so stoked :)
Other aspects of my new job that I'm currently loving:
My name: it's everywhere! The snazzy name plate on my office door, my super professional magnetic nametag, the screen on my phone, my box in the mail room, and my business cards that are being ordered today! It's gonna be a load of fun changing everything to "Beth Jones" in less than six months... oops :) Anyway, it amazes me that I haven't even been here for two weeks and I am already included in everything. Every time I see my name printed somewhere, I have one of those, "wow, I can't believe I've actually made it" moments. Those happen quite frequently these days...
As far as the work that I get to do every day:
...I design all the things! I've spent my first week and a half designing our magazine that goes to the printer next week (where 25,000 copies will be made -- eek!!) Over the next few months, I will be working on a lot of promotional materials (advertisements, banners, posters, t-shirts, postcards) for our multiple run/walk fundraisers in the fall. I will also be working with the eight regional offices throughout the state whenever they need any type of print material. I'm in charge of the layout & design of our annual report, and I get to help manage our Facebook, Twitter, blog, and website (seriously, could this be any more perfect??) There aren't words to express how much I love the work I've been doing so far -- I spend nearly my entire day with Adobe Creative Suites 5. *Happy sigh* So, so thrilled :)
Additional minor things (depicted above) of which I am a huge fan:
• We have a "flexible work schedule." As in, I get to choose my hours. 7AM-3:30PM? 9:30AM-6PM? Anywhere in between? Goodness, I like options. And I especially like the fact that I am not required to be at work at 8AM. #notamorningperson
• I live 8 miles away from the office. 8. By the time I'm getting on the highway, I'm getting back off -- I don't spend enough time on the road to get caught in work traffic. The "commute" is really simple, for which I'm so grateful.
And as if all that wasn't enough... we have a Keurig in our staff kitchen, accompanied by a whole stock of K-cups. This may easily be my favorite part of the entire job. Zach and I like to wander the aisles in Target and dream of the day we'll own a Keurig. We're willing to settle for one of the less expensive ones, trust me. But at the office? Super deluxe fancy version with the digital screen and five different size options. Hello! You best believe I hit that thing up every morning when I come in. This also helps with the fact that Starbucks is directly across the street -- I was ready to sign on the dotted line before even walking into the office and interviewing once I discovered this fun fact. Fortunately for me, Mr. Keurig is making sure that my paycheck remains unscathed by the lure of Starbucks... or else I'd be in serious trouble.
I suppose that isn't everything that I love about my new job, but it sure is a good start. Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do... in my jeans and Toms. What'sss uppp, casual Friday? :)