Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The end of an era

Milwaukee skyline west from the US Bank building

I started my current job nearly seven years ago.

It was the first "important" job I'd ever had, working for a big law firm in a big building in the big city. (And yes, to Wisconsinites, Milwaukee is the "big city".)

Imagine my delight when I swiveled around in my desk chair that first day to see the view above, to find that *I* was in the heart of downtown. It was a Mary Tyler Moore-esque moment. "I'm gonna make it after aaaaalllll..."

Colleen, Sept '02In seven years, I've worked my way from a supervisor's assistant who ordered promotional items (I'm still the "Golf Ball Girl" to some attorneys) to one of the heads of technology for the entire marketing department.

I've gone from "that tall blond chick" to "Oh, call Colleen - she'll know how to fix that."

I'm no longer a twenty-something bar-hopping girl. While at this job I've gotten married, had a baby, and then another. We're no longer "Jay and I", we're a family. (Oh, and that's the actual photo they took sometime during those first weeks on the job for my building ID.)

I've come a long way, baby, and tomorrow is my last day.

A few weeks ago the unthinkable happened. Commonplace at one time, but unthinkable in this economy.

I got a call from a recruiter who actually had a clue as to what I did.

Shock, I know (heh) but that's all of it - though it certainly was a good start. She knew what I did (she found my profile on LinkedIn) and had a job that ended up being perfect for me.

I still told her point-blank that I wasn't entirely interested in switching jobs (a lot of flexibility and benefits come your way when you stay at a company as long as I have). I told her in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't even consider it unless they'd made it worth my while.

Let's just say its worth my while and then some.

But this unique situation brought with it a lot of strife. I sat for hours, feeling guilty for all the people who've searched for months only to find nothing, and here I wasn't all that excited about the opportunity that landed in my lap. On a silver platter. With cookies and juice.

I make no secret of what I'd really like to be doing with my life, but its just not in the cards right now. (Or maybe it is and I'm too freak-spaz-tastic to "let go" of my money worries and the thought of being completely destitute living off a cop's salary.)

Whatever the case, I'd really like to be working less. And the first several months/years/decades at this new place, well, I'll be "The New Girl" who will have to prove I'm actually "The Know-it-all Go-to Queen" and there will be fewer options to work from home or adjust my schedule to get out early in the afternoons.

And of course there's the "Gosh I hope I get along with all my new co-workers" worry. I can't say I've ever honestly had that problem, but you know...this is all completely NEW.

But if I'm going to be working anyway, I should work for the place that will offer me the best compensation for my time, right? I know I'm savvy enough (and nice enough, and people LIKE ME, dammit) that I'll do just fine.

But when we DO buy that new house, I'm making sure I get that office, just in case.

28 comments:

Amy Platon said...

Yay! Good luck. Here's to taking chances chica! Cheers.

Maren said...

good luck!

maggie said...

Wow. All of it, even from the Mary Tyler Moore part. I've always thought it would be cool to work in a building with a city view. I can understand the mix of feelings - it's such a big, huge change, really - but I applaud you for taking the next right step for you, and I'm thrilled for you. How exciting!

Melisa with one S said...

Congratulations! That's awesome!

Every change or transition like this is somewhat scary because of the unknown factors; I have a hunch you're going to be JUST FINE! ;)

Tom said...

You're so awesome Colleen. A hole in one without even trying. Haha, just kidding. We know you've been working hard at success your whole life. It's about time it really pays off. I'm so jealous. Best of luck at the new job.

NicEmMOM said...

You will do great and Gosh Darn It people like you!

morninglight mama said...

Congrats, Colleen. I can understand the guilty feelings in this economy, but you simply earned this. Enjoy and keep working hard!

Kristin H. said...

Colleen, you are going to be just fine! Go in there and dazzle them like only you can do. They came looking for YOU after all.

And that picture from your office reminds me of the Melanie Griffith/Working Girl scene where she finally "makes it." One of my favorite movies.

Burgh Baby said...

Congratulations! You are going to rock the new job and then some.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

What a view.

Don't feel bad- AT ALL.
This was meant to happen...
And you are going to be great.

'Your gonna make it after-all!"
(throw hat)

:)

Candid Carrie said...

Steal as many post it notes as you can. Rubber bands and paper clips you can get anywhere but decent post it notes are hard to find.

Word of advice from someone who has been there and done that ... never underestimate the power of a push-em-up bra on the first day at a new job.

I'm just saying ...

;)

Love you and good luck.

Leighann said...

Congratulations!

Marni's Organized Mess said...

COngratulations and how exciting!!

Bahama Shores Mama said...

Congrats. Let me make a toast...... Oh? Is that not appropriate? Sorry.

Don't feel guilty. You may be taking a position that seemed to have fallen in to your lap, but you are leaving an opening for some other desrerving soul.

And you know have a chance to rock the above mentioned push up bra in your NEW employee photo.

Good luck, we know you'll be great!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I bet no matter what your choice you'll make it work out beautifully.

Momo Fali said...

Good for you for making the move. You DO deserve it! Good luck!

Karen MEG said...

Congrats on the new job Colleen, it sounds like a wonderful, wonderful opportunity.

You've done a LOT in 7 years, and making the change is a little scary I'm sure, but I'm sure will be so worth it in the long run. I suspect your 'perfect life' will be here sooner than you know...

Best of luck to you!!

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

That is awesome news!!! Very excited for you and can't wait to hear more about it. :)

Tara R. said...

Good luck at the new digs... they will LOVE you! Hope you get a nice view in your new place.

Tara R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Muthering Heights said...

That sounds so exciting! Good luck!!!

Zoeyjane said...

I'm so excited for you. "made it worth it for you and then some" is the best kind of position to move to! Congrats! [Wear something conservative, yet sexy on the first day. Trust me, I've had a lot of first days ;) ]

Tammy said...

Congratulations! It all sounds so very exciting for you.

WackyMummy said...

Congrats! I hope you settle into your new position just fine. :)

Loved reading about your "perfect life" too. Except for the paid writing gigs, I think I have it! Only I don't get that much done. And I'm a single mom. Otherwise, just the same! ;)

Happy weekend!

Kelly said...

Congrats! Good luck! and I am sure people will love you at you new job

Kim H. said...

Colleen -- what the heck? I miss a few days living under my rock over here and WOW -- big news over at your place. Congrats! You deserve it and then some! I'm super happy for you! I also think you're super delicious!

Rebecca said...

Wow! Congratulations!

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

Oh my goodness, such exciting news! Congratulations on the new job.

I just know your coworkers will love you.