Friday, December 21

And it only took two and a half years...

Good news, people. An amazing opportunity at work basically just dropped into my lap. For the last 18 months, I have been working as a copywriter and editor for retail visual merchandising (which means I write signs for stores). But my passion has always been books. Since high school, I have wanted to be a book editor. And now, one of three book editors in my company is retiring and my manager asked me if I wanted the job. I actually had to spend some time thinking about it. I really do like my department now and I love the people here, but...books. It’s been a long time coming.

From immediately after college to about 15 months later, I lived in New York City. I moved there to pursue a career in book editing. Living there was incredibly thrilling (and expensive). I found an (unpaid) internship at a small book publisher and said good-bye to my savings. I then moved on to a still-small-but-slightly-larger book publisher. Had some good experiences (my first acknowledgment printed in a book!) and some less-than-stellar experiences (let’s not even go there).

Over the course of my time there, Andrew moved there to be with me. We both grew to dislike our jobs and the city, and after many nights of discussion and deliberation, we decided to leave New York to move back to the Kansas City area. Seriously, best decision we ever made. As soon as I knew we were moving, it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I always thought that phrase was a little cliché and overused, but I literally felt lighter.

The list of pros for leaving New York was long, but the one main con almost outweighed all of them—leaving New York meant leaving book publishing. Would I be able to find a job in the Midwest doing something I loved? Don’t know, but had to risk it. Andrew was fortunate enough to be able to find a fantastic job before we even moved. He started at his new company the day after we crossed the country in the U-haul (which was really good timing because the new company paid for our move. Score!). But I was not so lucky.

Right after we moved, I applied for a book editor job (at what would become my current employer) and even had an entire day of interviews for it. Seemed like I was on the right track, but I ended up not being right for the position. I spent the next three months depressed and unemployed. Found a job working as an admissions representative for a local college and became less poor but more miserable. I was only able to stand that job for three months before quitting and once again being unemployed. I felt as though I would never find a decent job. I had several interviews for various proofreading positions, but nothing ever came through. I was actually offered one job, but the company ended up taking it back because the person who was leaving had decided to stay, so they no longer had an opening. I worked a stint as a temp receptionist (not a great job, but I did make two wonderful friends there). Anyway, I hated not having a job and hated myself for not being able to find one. I was so happy that Andrew had found such a great job, but it was so hard seeing him getting closer to his one-year anniversary at his job and me being so far from even getting a job.

One day my good friend Lindsay told me about an opening at her company for a proofreader. I submitted my resume and asked Lindsay to put in a good word for me and all that. After an interview and an easy proofreading test, I was in. Finally. Now, a year and a half later, I am still with that company, though I’ve moved from the proofreading department to visual merchandising. And now I’ve been offered a position in books. It’s like I’ve come full circle, and to be honest, I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’ll be moving to my new cubicle the first week in January, though I’ll still be finishing things up in my current position for a couple more weeks after that. Send good thoughts my way as I figure out what the hell I’m doing. My manager told me I would be great for the job because I’m already familiar with the company and she thinks I’m the only one in the whole company with book editing experience. And seriously, I barely have any book experience. But I know that I want this. So don’t just stand there, let’s get to it.

4 comments:

Linda said...

That is so incredibly awesome! I'm glad you finally get to work at what you've wanted to do for so long. Now send some of that luck my way...

Paul said...

Let's celebrate. Tonight. Can't stop. Won't stop.

Jeff said...

Congrats Megan! I'm hoping to meet up with you guys tonight, and I'll be buying you a drink to celebrate.

Stacy said...

WOOHOOO!! Congrats Megan!