I have worked as an editorial assistant at a daily newspaper for 12+ years, and for at least 11 of them, I’ve longed to “move on” to something different. Better. Challenging. I’ve applied for different positions in-house and not gotten them (just as well, since I don’t think any of them have lasted in this economy). I’ve interviewed for new jobs and not gotten them (I do not excel at interviews). Eventually I stopped trying to wriggle my way out of my leghold trap. I tried to be grateful to have a job at all. And eventually I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to do calendar until I died.
And then I interviewed for a position for Dow Jones, that is physically in the same building but technically for a different employer. And I got it.
I didn’t actually interview for it – I took a test/evaluation and then put it out of my head, what with having accepted I’d be doing calendar until I died and all. And then I got an e-mail from my soon-to-be new boss saying “I’d like to offer you a position with the Creative Service Center [as a graphic designer]” – at which point I think my brain blew a fuse. I’m happy to have had the bleak forecast for the rest of my life tossed out the window, but still, it was a shock.
This was a while ago. As in, a little over two months. The job itself is brand new, and starts next week. For those two months, however, my brain has been whispering to me, “There’s no job. Puh-lease! Calendar until you die, remember?” And there was even a moment just last week when I lost my mind and almost decided to stay at my old job, when I learned that they weren’t going to replace me. I felt so bad about my tiny little department having to absorb my full-time duties, I started trying to think of a compromise where I would still be doing dreaded calendar for them but would have better hours or more variety, etc., etc., etc. But my soon-to-be “old” boss prevailed with her calmer head and said, “Don’t make a decision based on anyone else’s needs but your own” – pretty much talking me down off the ledge. Because I would never have chosen to stay for me.
This is almost the last day of the last week before I leave this department, and rather than being riddled with self-doubt or torn about leaving my little family, I am… oddly serene. I am teaching one of our reporters how to do calendar – which she is understandably not thrilled about, but these days, you really have to be grateful just to have a job – and that has translated to her doing a bunch of my work for me, since it’s the best way to learn in a hurry. S-weet! My family announcements – weddings, engagements, births and anniversaries – are going to be done by a stringer, and I hand over my notes and my wisdom to her this afternoon, after which I will have pretty much done everything I could. No one has wanted to spend any significant time learning from me, but I’m not stressing about it. It’s like I’m already letting go.
Am I nervous? Hell, yeah – I’d be worried if I weren’t! My new schedule is going to be 1 in the afternoon to 11 at night, four days a week, and I will have Saturday through Monday off every week (and a three-day work week when there are Monday holidays), all of which is going to be awesome – not to mention I won’t be doing CALENDAR anymore – but a 10-hour day? That’s going to be an adjustment… But I’m not unduly worried about it. Which I think means it must be time. If I were freaking out and having second thoughts, I think it would be a sign that it wasn’t the right opportunity or the right time.