Happy Anniversary

Should have killed me

Dear Job,

It’s been an exhausting and often rewarding 6 (8? 20?) years. I know we’ve had disagreements, and I’ve gotten mad at you a lot, but here’s to the future and to accomplishing what we hope to accomplish together. I kinda love you, you know.

As ever, Kylie.

So sometime around today is my 6th anniversary at my job. I’d say time flies when you’re having fun, and truth be told, parts of it have been fun. There have also been grueling, discouraging times and growing pains. But I doubt I would trade it for anything.

When I started here at the Capitol, it was as a volunteer, relatively fresh out of college with a degree in a geology and English composition. (Before you think I’m completely nuts, I had been a bassoonist, and had gone to music school for a year before changing majors.) By 2007, it had become clear that the theater, which had become more and more successful, needed a second employee, one that could focus on fundraising and perhaps help out with other things. (I didn’t know about development until later.) It was a tough sell; because the only other employee was my husband, and because our board was very risk-averse, I ended up agreeing to work for 6 months for no salary to show them that the investment was worthwhile. (NOTE: I don’t recommend this.)

That 6 months, without prompting the board for follow-up, turned into 10 months by the time I finally asked them to reassess the position. And they did; I was hired officially in February 2008. I have stayed in this job longer than any job to date. The former record was one year and two months. The record before that was eight months.

When a busy theater has two employees, and one of them is “only” focused on development, at least two people know it’s a lie. I did anything and everything that needed to be done, from cleaning bathrooms to concessioning to designing advertisements to costuming. Only after we finally hired our third employee in 2010 did the burden lessen slightly. Now, with the hiring of our 5th employee—a Box Office manager who assists me part-time—I can finally feel like I’m hitting my stride. We have been in the midst of capital project planning and fundraising since 2010. Though the average for development efforts to show a return is 3-5 years, and we started to see improvements within a year and a half, this year I can finally feel like the development office is starting to make a substantial impact for our mission and our operations.

Looking back, though it was difficult in many ways, I wouldn’t change a thing. Despite (or maybe because of) all of the board issues, learning curve issues, setbacks, and 60-hour+(+) weeks, the organization that we have built through the hard work of paid staff and volunteers alike has been rewarding and noticeable. I look forward to the future. Though I have plans on the horizon to move further in my career, I am content here. And sometimes that’s all that counts for the present.

How long have you been at your position? Do you do anything special on your anniversaries? What are your favorite accomplishments?

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Posted on April 9, 2013, in Job Search, Kylie, Productivity, Project Management, Volunteerism, Workplace Issues, Your Career and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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