“You look so much happier.”
“You look lighter and more relaxed.”
“You look better.”
Over the last four months, these have often been the first words out the mouths of friends, mentors and family members. And it’s true. After a couple of years of bouncing between jobs and companies that weren’t the right fit, I started a new job in December 2015, and it’s felt like coming home.
I’m the assistant managing editor at The Daily Beast. The editor who hired me had hired me once before, in 2013, at Foreign Policy magazine. He’s the kind of editor who, when he calls and says, “Hey, I’m opening a Taco Bell and want to talk to you about a gig,” you have the conversation with him – even if you love your job, even if you’re living the dream.
The change has been twofold: I’m in a newsroom I love, surrounded by colleagues I respect, admire and absolutely adore; and I’m in a role that makes me feel comfortable and challenged at the same time. More than once, I’ve left the office at night practically floating and knowing I’d done a great day’s work.
So part of the career accomplishment that I’m the most proud of has been being hired into this gig and settling into it and feeling like I’m in the right place at the right time. And part of it has been growing into accepting myself for who I am: strengths, weaknesses, flaws and all.
Seven years after graduating from college and embarking on my Chips Quinn summer, I’m finally starting to feel like a “real” grown-up (for better or for worse). I’m in a job I couldn’t even conceive of at the time. In fact, most of my jobs have been ones I never imagined. When I graduated, my biggest dream was to become a local beat reporter for my hometown paper, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.
I landed that dream job and was hired the following summer. But it turned out I wasn’t a great local news reporter. I wasn’t going to win any Pulitzers for my writing. I was, however, great with the web, social media and training my colleagues on new digital skills.
What the Chips Quinn training has helped me do, what the family of Chips Quinn alumni has helped me do, is explore nooks and crannies of journalism I never knew existed; take chances on myself, knowing I had an amazing network to support me through my adventures; and embrace the strengths and traits that are uniquely mine, finding a way to make a career out of them.
As a result, I am happier. I am lighter and more relaxed. I am better.
|Follow our “CQS 25th Anniversary” Series|