New job, new chapter

I left my old job. In some ways, it was a good job. Cushy benefits, paid lunch, lots of awesome coworkers I didn’t want to leave. In other ways, it was not a challenging job. I was very bored, and in the end, even dependable paychecks couldn’t force me to sit tight in a relationship I did not feel quite suited either of us.

Jobs are like boyfriends. Checks are like sex. When you initially break up (quit, are fired, whatever), the first thing you miss is the sex, that warm body next to you in the morning, that reliable kiss on your cheek as you walk out the door. You have terrifying panicky moments of, “What have I done? What have I done?!”

I went through that for all of two days after I gave my notice. Then I got a job offer from a company I had almost forgotten I’d interviewed with.

It was my best interview and my worst interview. Because the company was so new, I couldn’t find much information about them online. I thought, “Oh boy, a fly by night marketing firm. Oh well, it’ll be good interview practice.” I had a lot going on at my day job and was too tired to prep the night before. I didn’t print a resume, but I didn’t get nervous or fret. In the morning I put on my Awesome Boots, ordered a chai, and acted like I was being interviewed for Rolling Stone. This was before I’d given notice, but I made it clear to the man that I was jumping ship regardless of whether or not there was a lifeboat below. I told myself: I am young, this is what youth is for. I have spent the last four years of my life preparing for and paying for major surgery, and now I want to live, damn it. You can ride that wave with me, or you can be a wallflower, but I won’t wait for you to make that decision.

But as the interview progressed, I realized that the business was in fact legitimate, just really young and growing fast. And suddenly I began to worry. Where are my resumes?! Why did I spend all morning working on the jQuery bug instead of coaching myself?! Aaaaaagh! But I kicked my self doubt fairy to the side and kept going.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to hear back, considering how unprepared I’d been for the interview, but I felt fantastic about how I had presented. I didn’t downplay my skillset (I am too modest for my own good, my husband tells me). I didn’t bullshit about my weaknesses. I talked to the man like he was one of the developers I worked with, not a potential employer I was hoping would keep me from living off savings for months while searching for new employment.

I’m glad that my lack of resume didn’t keep me from getting hired, and I’m happy here. It’s a lot more work, but it’s challenging, too. I have given up freelancing on weekends to make room for comicking and to give myself some rest after work. The location is excellent. I can carpool with my husband, and the number of friends working nearby is ridiculous. My coworkers are smart, eager, interesting and of good spirit. The owners of the company actively solicit our advice and often act on it. In short, I feel like I’m alive again. It’s going to be a rough first few months, and getting enough sleep has been hard, but I’ll find my groove.

I finished laying out a 3 page comic this weekend. It’s not a lot, but it’s the first multi-page Rachel the Great comic I’ve layed out in three years. I felt genuinely inspired at 2am on Saturday. I was up too late, but I’m happy to see the old creative juices stirring.

I just really needed a change. A big change. Maybe that kind of momentum is good for a startup.


Next post! I have switched to a Mac Book Pro, and it looks very good with pink leopard fur. Does anyone need a gigantic scanner? Or two? I have leftovers after a massive peripheral overhaul.

  • Bookspread

    Congratulations on your new job! You were right to jump the boat when it started to itch. It’s a great advice to tell anyone that feels dissatisfied with their current work and feel that they can do better.

  • Rachel the Great

    Thanks! I’m doing my best. I’m sooooo tired right now. Good thing I have a backlog of comics to keep me posting!

  • James Jeffers

    “This was before I’d given notice, but I made it clear to the man that I was jumping ship regardless of whether or not there was a lifeboat below. I told myself: I am young, this is what youth is for.” BINGO!