Refining My Career

I’ve landed my dream job.

After 6 years of working in multiple high rises doing pharmaceutical-based pricing for forty hours a week, I’m moving on.  No longer will I need to pay attention to Medicaid rates, how to set up pricing for IV drugs within a proprietary dispensing system, or how to interpret a facility’s many legal facets within a seventy-page contract.  Basically, I’m shirking my Chandler Bing job for one the public understands which ultimately affords me the opportunity to keep a conversation going after someone politely asks “what do you do?”  You’d think I was an anesthetist the way they fall asleep when I try to explain what I do for work.  But, despite my inability to describe it in a compelling way, my corporate job has been very good to me and I’m eternally grateful to have worked it for as long as I did with the people I met in the spaces we were given.  It was an invaluable experience that furthered my personal growth and taught me what I want out of a career.  I wouldn’t change a thing about the last 6 years, especially not how many gallons of free break room coffee I drank because that stuff was really good.

But I’ve learned I don’t want to do a seventh year in this position.  My enthusiasm for it peaked years ago, and getting motivated to do my best is nigh impossible at this point.  As such, my hardest work has been done outside of my day job; videos, photography, paintings, drawings, art shows, printing and selling my work, networking with other artists, researching the area, and being a non-stop content generator has become a full-fledged second job.  And that’s not hyperbole.  I honestly spend over thirty hours a week post-work day doing some sort of project to keep the creative momentum going.  The thirst to create and share is unquenchable, but I can’t keep this lifestyle up and also be social.  I came to the realization that people are this important factor in life and spending time with them is, like, worthwhile and stuff.  When you generally don’t have time to just sit and relax, it starts to take a mental toll, and to be honest, I don’t have much grey matter left to pay it.  While I genuinely enjoy writing about the city and photographing it, along with other analog and digital projects I’ve done, the ultimate goal of all this content creation and constant desire to do art has always had an ulterior motive: get noticed by the right people and land a full time job where I can exercise my creativity for a living.

And that’s exactly what two years of work has granted me.  My vision for the future has finally been realized (albeit without the high-speed hover trains I’d hoped for).

I’m moving into the world of lighthearted journalism to do what I love.  Cincinnati Refined, a wonderful publication focused on enthusiastically uncovering the coolest things in Cincinnati, has hired me on as their Assistant Editor.  I’ll be working with Leah, the hard-working managing editor whose passion project evolved into Cincinnati Refined years ago, and the many freelancers who run the site while producing interesting, fun stories for the readers.  Clay, the former Assistant Editor, moved onto another career endeavor after establishing a voice for the site and contributing excellently to it for years.  Honestly, I will never fill his shoes (we don’t wear the same size), but my goal is to do as well as I can in the coveted second place role.  It’s like the new Star Wars: it’s not as amazing as the original trilogy, but it’s the best sequel it could possibly be, and that’s more than fine by me.

The main reason I’m so excited to contribute to Cincinnati Refined is simple: those years I spent doing what I love is exactly the kind of thing they’ve been doing for years.  The transition into this job will be relatively seamless because it’s what I’ve been doing this entire time.  While there will be many things to learn, I feel like I’ve never been more prepared to do a job in my life.  I can reallocate those forty hours a week to creativity and my passion while using the other hours for whatever I want, like watching Animal Planet’s Too Cute on Netflix over and over again.  I mean, have you SEEN those Aussie Shepherd puppies meeting those ducklings?  I feel like Benjamin Franklin discovering electricity with his kite; by deliberately experimenting with my hobby for so long, I've discovered an opportunity that will change my entire life.

My last day at my current job will be August 4th and I begin at Cincinnati Refined August 5th.  No rest for the eager.  I’ll be covering a major local event that’s literally less than five hundred feet from my apartment.  To say I’m excited about my first day on the job is a gross understatement; if starting your new life on a Friday isn’t the perfect introduction to your dream job, I have no idea what is.