Friday, August 3, 2007

More transitions

This past week has been a big one for me. You all know about the big news that I wrote about the other day, but one other big thing happened just two days before the proposal. It got overshadowed by the whole engagement thing, but it's still kind of a big deal: I took a new job.

The work will be similar--editing and web development in a public health nonprofit--but there are a few big differences. For one thing, it's a level above the work I do now, which means less administrative work and more actual creative input. For another, it will be domestic public health and not international public health as I do now. For a third, it will be for a company that has a whole center that focuses purely on communications--so it's much more about social marketing and PR than it is about very technical writing. The struggle I have in my current job is that this company is so singularly focused on its technical work that it is a huge battle to get people to pay attention to communications, to advocacy, to results-sharing--and thus it's like pulling teeth to try to get the necessary budget for the work I'm supposed to be doing. So I look forward to moving to an organization that focuses on marketing, that knows that PR and spreading the word are incredibly important aspects of its work.

And for a fourth, it's only three Metro stops away from my apartment, as opposed to my current job which is five stops on one train and then eight on another. They also start their workday half an hour later, which means that I will get a full extra hour of sleep every morning. This might sound petty, but I am one of those people who really needs a full eight hours of sleep. And that means that if I have to get up at 6:45 as I do for my current job, I either need to go to bed by 10:30 the night before (which I hate) or be grumpy all day because I'm sleep-deprived. So getting an extra hour of sleep means that I can stay up a bit later at night, enjoying my evenings with my fiance (!), and still be well-rested enough to be functional the next day. Which really makes a difference.

Switching jobs is tough, though. I don't really have qualms about the job itself, as I know some of the people I'll be working with already, I have met my future boss and he seems great and really down to earth, and I look forward to the work itself. I know that it's the right career move for me right now, so I have no doubt on that score.

But there are a lot of things that I like about my current job, especially the office itself and the people I work with. I have two really close friends in the office, and it's going to be sad when I don't get to see them every day. And I generally like the office environment, and some of the work I do here is really fulfilling and enjoyable. And I know that I do a good job here, and that the people here will miss me (actually, the reactions I've been getting as I've been telling people that I gave my notice have been quite flattering, really). And I admire the work that this company does on a macro level, even if I get frustrated working on such dry, technical documents and trying to manage such dense, unfriendly websites. So it's a bit difficult to think about leaving.

But this is the first real job I've ever had, and it's time to go. So, roll on August 17.

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