I was released from probation on Wednesday.
Not, obviously, jail, but the probationary period for any newbie in any company. It happened 19 days earlier, but I’m not complaining. Now that I’ve been at this job for two months and 12 days, I’ve had a chance to get used to the work and just allow everything about the place and the people to sink in. And I think I can finally say that I’m truly, genuinely happy in my job.
When I finally decided in June that I had had enough of the hangdog, doormat work I had been doing for the last three years, I made up my mind to stop doing what I had graduated to do and move on to something else I actually liked. So I started applying to be a writer for some magazines. It was more difficult than it looked, and it was the first time that I had nothing to impress my interviewers with except my own voice, but in the end I was accepted into one magazine that I hadn’t expected to work for. It turned out to be a magazine I now cannot imagine not working for.
This job, and how I ended up taking it, is more proof of how important it is for us to open up our minds and look at the big picture. When I sat through interviews with several other magazines, it was with the intention of being a fashion or styles writer. In my mind, fashion and writing were my interests and I wanted a career in publishing so that I could merge the two together. Beauty, when I was asked about it, was another section I wouldn’t have minded trying. And even when I took the job I was offered before I had even heard from the other magazines, I was still slightly nervous about the prospect of writing about things I may have been unfamiliar with or disliked.
And then the delayed reaction I have to most things finally kicked in. Two weeks into this job, I had never been more grateful that I took it. As someone who doesn’t respond well to monotony — as evidenced by my first job — I realized that what I was doing, and what I was allowed to do, would teach me more than the styles section alone ever could.
It also helped a great deal that I was finally among people I could actually work with, who weren’t judgmental or segmented the way the people from my last two jobs were, and who, whether by circumstance or their own will, knew how important it was to work as a team. Most importantly, I was finally among people who seemed to care that I was good at what I did and could do more than just play pander to whoever held the cards to my future.
Now, nearly three months later, I’m finally happier than I’ve been in more than two years, in a job that I like with people I can find common ground with. All I can hope for now is the endurance to stay in this longer than I did in my previous career, and the peace of mind to finally be able to relinquish some of the anger and bitterness I once felt when I woke up in the morning.
And if nothing else, this job allows me to be as cynical as I like, in order to prevent myself from being disillusioned by the industry and the environment in which I find myself now. I knew my cynicism would one day come in useful.