What a difference a week makes.
For weeks, I didn’t know if I was going to keep working at my current company or get a job I’d started interviewing for in early January. Not knowing my own future was making me absolutely insane. I was suddenly single, strapped for cash, and shuffling around an empty apartment muttering to a borrowed cat. Last week I decided to adopt a slightly more Zen-like approach to the situation, and I’m glad I did.
This week, I turned 28 and accepted that shiny new job. I now have a better handle on the fate of my apartment (more on that later). I’m still single, but I’m taking more comfort in that state than before, and feeling less sheer panic.
I accepted a communications coordinator position at a trade association headquartered in Schaumburg. It’s a small company of around 20, and I will be working on their many publications, maintaining their blogs, and leading their social media outreach. It’s similar work to what I did for a labor union in Columbus, and I am thrilled to finally get back to doing communications work.
When I started at Groupon in February 2011, I was a fact checker. That was great, because it was an editorial position with a title that translated to other jobs in my field. Magazines have fact checkers; that’s a thing. But after a few months, that stage and a couple of others were rolled into one larger department in a re-structuring that brought with it a lot of changes. It also led to my job description and day-to-day work moving further and further away from editorial tasks. I was worried that staying in that position would hurt my journalism/marketing career, so I started applying for other jobs — some at Groupon, most outside the company.
I probably applied for hundreds of jobs between June 2012 and January of this year. Last spring, I was contacted to take a test for one job at a college library, and this past summer I was offered a job at a newspaper that folded a week later. It was discouraging.
My brother works for a construction company in Ohio in their marketing department, and he indirectly referred me for similar work at this related organization in Schaumburg. It was a lengthy interview process, but they offered me the job two days before my birthday. It was the best birthday present I could have hoped for.
I really liked working at Groupon, and I was so lucky to be hired there when I was. I’d been in Chicago for four months and had no full-time job and only a handful of friends. I was broke and facing the prospect of having to go back to Ohio in shame, the cloud of the failed Chicago Experiment covering me. Thanks for Groupon, that didn’t happen.
I met some of my very favorite people there, including Sarah, who is now one of my closest friends in Chicago. I have Groupon to thank for much of my Chicago experience and a great majority of my circle of friends. It’s a fun company with a great culture, and I would have been perfectly happy to stay there if only I was in their marketing department or a part of their social innovation team. I felt like I was getting further and further away from my communications professional experience, so I’m glad I kept up with reporting and writing for other entities in the mean time. I think it really made all the difference.
I really like my manager at Groupon, and having had managers I did NOT like, I can assure you that positive relationship goes a long way. Our department’s uber-cool team leads are amazing and do so much for department morale. I will miss hanging out with folks for happy hour.
I am so thankful and so relieved to have this new opportunity. I will be getting a raise, but I’m not sure it’s enough of one to justify keeping my apartment. I’m still mulling it over. I’ll be looking into roommate possibilities in the coming days to see what my options are. This place is bigger than I need, anyway.
I do love it though. We’ll see.
Thanks to everyone who supported me during this time, and for those of you who were rooting for me when I was at a low point. I am underserving of your good will, and too often ignorantly optimistic that things will just work themselves out and the pieces will fall into place. I can’t believe my dumb luck right now.
It’s been a good week.