This post first appeared two years ago on my employer’s blog. It was an introduction of sorts, written about my experience as a soon to be college grad who just landed a job as a writer/editor at a startup.
Graduation was approaching and, as I agonized over my future, I realized that life was no longer easy. Not that it ever had been easy, not for this girl. I made sure it wasn’t. With a double major in philosophy and English literature and a minor in psychology I was constantly reading, writing, and attempting not to fall asleep in class. In the odd off hours (about 40 of them per week) I slaved away as a waitress and bartender, praying incessantly that a rich old man, alienated from family and soon to die, would sit in my section and, after having (platonically) fallen in love with my charm, would deem me worthy of inheriting his entire estate.
Between spilling drinks, busing tables, and refilling innumerable glasses of sweet tea, I daydreamed about my fictitious benefactor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a grim fantasy for 50% of those involved, but the restaurant was located across the street from a hospital, so I had plenty of guests with potential.
Unfortunately, after two and a half years of receiving no more than 20% in tips at best, I realized that my knight in shining hospital gown was never going to arrive. I was forced into the reality that I was soon to be a twenty-something graduate. Furthermore, I was soon to be an unemployed twenty-something graduate, as I was convinced that one more week in that restaurant would be the end of me.
My father would ask, “Ashley, what are you looking for? What is your dream job?”
To which I would reply, “I want to read and write and edit.” Secretly, it was my dream to sit at home, do my work, and not have to interact with the outside world. I didn’t want to encounter any more grumpy restaurant-goers (you know, the “I asked for extra lemon! Does this look like extra to you?!” type) and I was convinced that the world was full of them.
After several talks with my aunt (whose book was edited by my now boss) I received a phone call from Amanda. Basically, the call went as follows:
Ashley: “This is she.”
Amanda: “Hi! I’m here to give you your dream job!”
Amanda: “Yep! Just write me five SEO articles about water filtration systems and send me your resume.”
Confused, and feeling a bit in over my head, I learned what SEO articles are (great thing to know, by the way) and I got the job, despite my admittedly horrific resume.
So here I am, approximately six months later, living with my grandmother (long story involving an ex, Miami, and my grandmother’s FROG) in Columbia, South Carolina. Working with Amanda is by far one of the most monumental experiences I have had, and I hope to continue learning from the Grammar Chick herself.
Two years after writing this article, I am happy to say that I am still excited about the work that I do. And, for the record, I have moved out of my grandmother’s house and to Charlotte, which I love even more than I hated Columbia.