I’m OK to go

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.

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4 thoughts on “I’m OK to go

  1. Off you go! And don’t look back! You have such a gentle heart and I am so glad your boss gave you such good advice. All the wise sages in the world tell us that we need to look after ourselves before we can fully give to others. It took me a long to realize that is NOT selfishness…it is gearing up to meet the challenges of life and to give back abundantly. Many blessings on your new role.

    Oh, and don’t forget…you can change your mind. No decision is carved in stone. But if you find this new job turns into another “calendar” – it’s just have been a diving board for something even better! – Amy

  2. That’s great! Congratulations!

    As souldipper said, you always have the option to move on. What you do with your life shouldn’t make you go “just get the work done and go home”. Give this a try and if it isn’t right then find something else. Who knows, this could be that absolutely amazing most perfect job for you.

    Congratulations again and good luck!

    • Thanks very much! :)

      I’m afraid I’m not as positive as all that… jobs are tough to come by. If you have a full-time job and are just looking for a change, and you’re up against people who are out of work and desperate, potential employers sort of look at you like you’re being selfish. My step brother, who has a wife, three kids, a dog and a house to take care of, has been out of work for over a year. When they were advertising for these new positions, people responded – and relocated – from all over the country. I’m lucky to have gotten it, because I was up against bright, super creative, energetic kids fresh out of college. And here I am – *mumbles age unintelligibly* with no degree, essentially self-taught and with every reason in the world to feel insecure… but I don’t. I’m hangin’ in there!

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