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Random, I know but:

 

Here are some of my favorite things about my new job:

  • I have my own office. With a door. Pretty phenomenal. This means I can listen to music without headphones. It means that if I want to have a Panini for lunch, I can bring and plug in my sandwich maker. (OK well I’m not sure of the technicality of that, but still: no one can see it or smell it, so I’ve gotten by scott-free! And I really have done that, but only once…so far!)
  • You don’t have to bring your own mug or silverware. They have a community set of odds-and-ends utensils, plates, cups, mugs, you name it. You just grab what you need and when you’re done, put it in the dishwasher and someone else will clean it all up for you! It’s really such a smart idea because there’s no need for plastics, it gives you a place to dump old silverware or place settings you don’t need anymore, and it’s just downright easy!
  • Along with that, they also provide coffee and… hot chocolate! That gets major thumbs up in my book. Really. Truly.
  • OK, so on to the more “meaningful” stuff. It’s cool to be able to write stuff and include the word “God” or “Bible” or “Scripture.” It’s cool to be able to think about God’s truths and how those will apply to different audiences who are reading different publications. It’s cool to think of ways to get those truths out to those people. It’s cool that I get paid to do that!
  • Also, it’s cool to be in a community where people also believe in God. And where you can talk about God. Now, I admit that most people here still don’t talk about God at all. In that regards, it’s really no different than working in a regular corporate environment. But the difference is that the potential is there. For instance, I had a great conversation today about God with my boss—I was telling her about how he allowed my job back in Cincinnati to be replaced and how in doing so, answered every single prayer I had about leaving. We had a great conversation about that. Which is yet another blessing.
  • Oh yeah, and did I mention I get free books? So far I’ve only nabbed a couple, and haven’t started reading them yet, but I’m looking so forward to it! The other perk is that I get to research all our upcoming books, which means I get a headstart on deciding which ones I really want to read and get a sneak peek at their content before anyone else!

 

Some of the things I’m not too thrilled about:

  • My computer keyboard is going to give me carpal tunnel, I know it. I’ve asked to get it fixed (because it won’t sit level, but always leans forward) to no avail.
  • No window. This is probably the hardest part of my job. Not seeing the blue skies or the sunshine is going to be a tough one for me. So far, I’ve been trying to get out of the office as much as possible on clear days, but I know that come winter, it’s going to get gloomy. I started looking into sunlight light bulbs and hope I can find a cheap alternative that way…
  • Also, my office can get really cold. The day that I was wearing two sweaters and a blanket was the day I said, enough is enough! I toted in a space heater the next morning, and haven’t looked back since. (And I secretly love when people come in here and say, “Boy, it’s toasty!” That’s the way I like it!)
  • My lunchbreak is only 30 minutes long, which is only enough time to eat. What about everything else there is to do on a lunch break?!. I used to love being able to go and have some intense reading times or journaling or even just cruising to the mall or lunch breaks with friends. I suppose I can still do that occasionally, but it’s standard fare around here to be 30 minutes.
  • My office is tucked away in a corner of the building and so it’s just me and my fellow publicist coworkers. It’s nice because it’s quiet, but it’s hard because it makes it harder for me to reach out and socialize/meet others who work in the building. Fortunately, God has been taking care of that and has allowed me to hang out with some of the other girls here and I’ve started getting plugged in with them, which is so sweet for them to include me. So far I’ve been invited to a movie night and then to a craft night at different girls’ houses. Needless to say, it’s not “home” yet, but I know that it will be before too long!
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now i had done this sort of informational interview seeking once before, right after i graduated college and thought i wanted to move to new york city. i couldn’t find a job and decided to visit the city and see what i could do. before going, i lined up as many interviews as i could, at places like teen people, ym, cosmogirl, and the knot magazine. (you see, i’ve always had a thing for teen girls!)

so my inclination with this grand rapids visit was originally to line up as many interviews as possible, but at this point i only had one. but Something told me to pursue this one avenue–to see it through and to trust. so i fought my urge to blanket the city with resumes and pitches and cover letters, i sat still. and waited.

when mal and i visited, it was great how people reached out to us. even before the visit, we seemed to be getting signs that there was a community already waiting for us up there–with people eager to open their homes to us and encouraging us to come. kevin had invited friends over and mallory made all sorts of new contacts up there for us. it was amazing to see that all weave together and get some sort of bricks laid for that. even moreso, when i told kevin where i was interviewing and remembered he had a friend who worked at Baker and i should call him to get a sense of the company. i did, and it ended up that the woman i was interviewing with was his boss! he would be a coworker in the same department! so i asked him my questions about the company and he assured me that it was a stand-up, practice-what-they-preach company. that’s what i wanted to hear. if i was going somewhere to grow closer to God, i wanted to be sure that’s what i could expect.

the last day we were in town (a monday) was the day of the interview. somehow through the whole process, God gave me an insane peace about everything. and you should know i’m, by nature, a worry wort. when i was in grade school i could never enjoy a snow day because i always thought that perhaps i’d misread the information and we actually weren’t off school. i’d freak myself out and not trust that it was truly a day off. but with grand rapids, i wasn’t worried or rushed or stressed or anxious. i just trusted: that God would provide a job if he was going to point me in that direction. that i’d figure everything out with my living situation in cincinnati. all the things that people asked me if i’d considered and what i was going to do. all i could do is shrug and say i don’t know, and be done with it. how glorious and releasing is that?!

so upon going in for my interview, i could not have been more at ease. mallory drove me to the interview and before i went in, prayed for me. my peace grew. i walked in and met with the interview lady, and it was like meeting with a friend. we got along great and talked shop but also talked about life and the way God works. she recommended books to read to me and gave me one to take with me and i made recommendations for her. i walked away feeling like this is a woman i could really look up to and respect, not just as far as a job goes but also as far as having as a sort of mentor in my life. to have that as a boss? that’s pretty phenomenal!

so i walked away from the interview with a good feeling brewing in my stomach–as if i already belonged to this place. we went to a cute french cafe and met more new friends before hitting the road for the 6-hour return trip to cincinnati. oh and i forgot to mention that the night before we were able to check out mars hill. and even though rob bell had taken a hiatus from speaking only weeks before we came to visit, i learned so much more in that one “gathering” than i had in a long time at a church service back home. things were looking good…

so after months and months of vagueness, it’s finally come together and it’s finally come true:

i’m moving to grand rapids.
i’m going to be working in christian publishing.
i’ll be going to mars hill.

it’s a pretty exciting time and i really, truly feel like God’s hand was so deeply into this that it’s just breathtaking. let me recap:

in march, i was at work one day and doing my usual task of flipping through blogs i read and listening to podcasts and reading articles online–not about design but about faith and the like. a light bulb went off in my head that if my job had to do with God, i’d be so great about it because that’s where my passion for learning lies. i enjoy design and appreciate design but i don’t seek it out in the way i do information about God.

now nothing with this light bulb moment would have really gone anywhere had it not been for me becoming friends with my dear mallory, who at the time was trying to figure out where she was headed in life. at a party, she was telling me about the two places she was considering: philadelphia and grand rapids. after that conversation, i got inspired and went home and started looking up where some christian publishing companies were. lo and behold, there were a handful in that little western town of grand rapids. in fact, it’s deemed the christian publishing capital of the u.s.

so the more we talked about it, the more right it felt to pursue grand rapids and this dream of christian publishing. we set up a weekend to go visit, but one thing led to another and it kept getting derailed. we weren’t able to visit until the middle of june. trying to maximize this dream of mine, i put feelers out at a couple of the christian publishers i’d discovered to see if i could meet with any when i was in town. the original house that i thought i wanted to pursue (zondervan) never called me back. however, there was this smaller one (Baker) that i contacted and even when the operator patched me through to someone completely unrelated–everyone was so kind and so helpful to me. to me, that was God opening a door, and i took it by faith.

it was a couple weeks before we headed up to grand rapids and i still hadn’t secured any job interviews. but i still believed this is what God wanted. i got together with my youth pastor to get his take/guidance on the situation. he had me create a pro/con list of why i wanted to move to grand rapids (first of which was a job where i could serve and learn about God an additional 40 hours a week, second of which was renewed community). he asked me what i would do if i didn’t get a job up there, would i just move ahead? i told him that i wouldn’t move until i had a job because i felt like that was the whole purpose God pointed me up there in the first place, so he would provide that. somehow God gave me such peace and clarity through the whole process–i’m still baffled.

after our meeting he told me that he wished he could tell me that i was doing it for the wrong reasons but he couldn’t. as it turns out, i emailed another of my contacts at Baker to see about setting up an interview and she suggested some new job postings for me to consider. none of them were in what i originally wanted to pursue (to be an acquisitions editor–the people who are finding the books to publish) but there were some in the publicity and marketing department.

i pulled together my application and sent it off. days later, i got an email that i had an interview with the publicity department while i was in town.

…. to be continued

if only you could see me right now. i’m hunched down (terrible posture i’m sure) on my bed, with my head propped up on 2 pillows, my laptop on my lap as i’m snuggled under the covers and still in my pjs. at 4pm in the afternoon/evening. i never even put my contacts in. that tells you something.

yes, i can’t complain. the snow and freezing rain and slush came down and i made the executive decision to stay away from the roads (and the big hill that i take to get to work) and work from home today. it ended up being a great decision and surprisingly ended up with accomplishing far more than i likely would have, in the office.

isn’t it funny how those kinds of things work out? when you don’t have to, when you don’t have someone watching you, you end up nose to the grindstone–because you become your own boss. today’s one of those days. and frankly there isn’t much more to say. so short and sweet today…

this week has flown by. case in point: every tuesday we have our staff meeting and i was sitting at my desk when one of my coworkers stopped by another’s desk and said, “it’s that time again!” scratching my head (i’m always afraid i forgot to write a meeting down), i glanced at the clock: 2pm. in fact, it was tuesday not monday, as i’d otherwise thought. that has been the theme of this week.

because here i am today, at friday.

it’s been a busy week at work; we just sent our april issue to the printer and are already rockin’ and rollin’ on june and just starting assigning august features. then, i’m taking over our bimonthly e-newsletter, so i’m gearing up for that. and on top of that, there’s another big project that seems looming over the horizon.

but it’s good because it makes me feel really productive. monday i spent recovering from my TCTC weekend and catching up on TV; tuesday was a lovelies night where we flipped through magazines and checked out some more bridesmaids dress options (slowly but surely!); wednesday was my small-group meeting at starbucks; last night holly’s friend brandon came over in our first installment of Special Guest Nights in Mariemont–it was fun. we made grilled cheese and soup (which he called “a treat”!) and watched MTV and then played the oldest version of clue i’ve ever seen! and tonight i’m going to step on a soccer field for the first time since 1999, in my junior year of high school. eek! but i’m playing with kitty so i’m totally stoked.

so life is ticking along. so quickly, in fact that i’ve already started getting emails about … SWIMMING SUITS! where did winter go?!

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