I have spent the last few months looking for what myself and my friends referred to as, a grownup job. This is obviously not a very nice thing to say around my coworkers as they are all much older than me and are in their preferred grownup job. But in my eyes, my current career of waiting tables and serving food is not my ideal professional path. I was so focused on finding a professional job that I had my morning routine down to a science:
- Wake up & make coffee.
- Fix myself a cup of coffee and proceed to the couch.
- Open laptop and open various career finding engine websites that are extremely overwhelming.
- Drink coffee while filtering through terrible jobs and redundant internships.
- Send out first resume to a reasonable* job posting.
- Continue to sift through the trash that you are now convinced is Indeed.com.
- Take a bathroom break.
- Drink glass of wine
- Apply to a reach** job.
- Continue to search through the filtered results of job postings until you are convinced maybe it would just be easier to get another internship.
- Apply to a shit*** job.
- Give up and collect the various pieces of you dignity that have scattered onto your laptop keyboard.
*What makes a reasonable job:
- It is NOT an Internship
- The commute to said job is less than 40 minutes.
- The pay is less than what you currently make but you’re willing to make the sacrifice for professionalism.
- You have the skill set required for this job.
**What makes a reach job:
- It is NOT an Internship.
- You have the required skill set for this job.
- It is for a company that you know will not hire you because they have their own set of internships that are following the internal corporate ladder. You apply anyway.
- The commute is so close that it is the Los Angeles equivalent of next door.
***What makes a shit job:
- It MAY or MAY NOT be an Internship.
- This is most likely the last submitted resume sent for the day.
- You have the required skill set for this job.
- This job may or may not pay depending on the internship status.
- The commute is 40+ minutes away.
- You’ve only applied to this job because you want to hit your submitted resume quota for the day.
You then spend the rest of your day going on about your business but constantly checking your email for a response to your five (maybe more) submitted resumes. You rarely hear back from any of them.
I had in fact heard from about four companies that I had applied to. Two reasonable jobs and two shit jobs, because of course. I brushed off my interview blazer, opened Google Maps and went on the subsequent job interviews, all of them. After my last interview hadn’t contacted me for over a week, I resigned to the fact that I would die in my waitress uniform. This feeling continued even as I started every morning with the same resume submitting ritual; until, I began playing phone tag with one of the women I had interviewed with for a trade magazine.
My noticeably lacking confidence seeped into the good news that this game of phone tag was indicating.So Eric, forever my support system gave this advice, “There is no way she keeps trying to reach you if you didn’t get the job.” He was right, and I had been offered a position at a reasonable job and I finally felt worthy of it. I could finally, if not in my mind alone tell Indeed.com to go fuck itself.
After going out to purchase “professional” clothes, because apparently yoga pants are not considered “professional” I started my first day my new job.
It is a publication that is part of a larger parent company with hallways full of small windowless offices for both editorial and production of various publications. I was walked down a hallway and politely told that I would be taking over Taylor’s old office. I could barely hide my excitement that I was receiving an office at all. To sit in front of a computer editing and writing copy all day was a thing my dreams were made of. I DID NOT want to serve food anymore.
On my first day I left my office door open. Throughout the day various friendly faces from throughout the office popped in my doorway to introduce themselves and say hello. I honestly remember about four of them, but they were all very nice.
So here I am, about two months in. (And if I can just say this whole bi-weekly paycheck thing is something that I am going to have to get use to. It gives me anxiety as obviously this changes my bill pay schedule but I guess this is all part of the “grownup job”). And I have just started to make this little, windowless office my own. I’ve taken to throwing out most of things, I mean I know it is sacrilegious to throw away old Vogues but do I need every issue from 2013? Probably not. But what I really need, is a new desk.
Taylor’s old desk has two broken drawers, which I would like to use as Taylor’s file cabinet is also broken. So I mention this to my new boss and when I come in the next morning, there is a new desk. Not Taylor’s desk but Dina’s desk. After this new desk’s arrival more and more things started to fall into “office space.” I am starting to find my own voice when writing for the magazine, I am people that I can eat lunch with and have enjoyable conversation, some of them even like Drags Queens, so it is the ultimate win.
And it is a little weird sitting here thinking about how long, or maybe not that long at all, it took me to get here. And I take that back, it took a long time. And a lot of studying, and crying and taking the bus to class and taking the bus to work. And as I sit at my new big desk, in an office with no windows, where I am not an intern anymore but an actual employee with a byline (A BYLINE!), and I am so busy that I can only relish in what I’ve done once I get home because there isn’t enough hours in the work day. I decide that I do not want to be the new Taylor. I would instead like to think that I am the new Dina.