Culture My Story

Coming Full Circle

A story about graduating college, finding a career path, and ending up back at the beginning.

I’m sitting at the table where, nine years ago, I started my first blog. I graduated from college a few months before and was living at my aunt’s house while I worked. I didn’t earn enough to afford my own rent. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in the job. I was sold on it because I thought I’d be working on the e-commerce site but it was in actually answering customer support emails. That was before I learned about interviewing the interviewer.

I was so excited to have a job lined up after I graduated that I didn’t pay as close attention as I should have to what it was. All I heard was “website” and “e-commerce”. Plus, it meant I’d be working for my favorite Western apparel shop and I would get an employee discount. Score!

Despite the crowded highway traffic and Ohio drivers, I was living the dream. My aunt and uncle graciously let me stay with them on their horse farm. I went to work, came home for a snack, and then to Kung Fu or the gym. On the weekends I rode horses or drove to Detroit to visit my boyfriend (now husband).

I started blogging when I read it was a great way to enhance my career. I could write about what I was working on and how I was going to tackle it. Blogs are great for showcasing accomplishments and exploring new ideas. So, I sat down at my aunt’s dining room table (the same one I’m sitting on now) and wrote.

The room is pretty much the same as it was almost a decade ago. She had just moved into the house then. There was a bar leading into the living room. That’s torn down now. The large dining room table sits in one half of the living room. Paintings of horses and cowboys hang on the walls with decorative candles and show trophies adorn the cabinets under the window looking out to the pasture.

The farm was a Standardbred training facility until my aunt and uncle bought it and although the house sits off the highway, inside it’s quite. I look out the window to the large, green pasture where cattle were kept when I lived here. I can see myself out there, cantering beyond the pasture around the quarter mile race track, urging my horse to let loose, worries to the wind.

I might instead ride through the woods along the farmer’s field. The white noise from the highway buzzing in the background as I thought about what to do with my life. I wasn’t happy at work but I didn’t want to quit either. I didn’t know then that sometimes quitting is the right thing to do. You have to let go of the things that hold you down.

That led me to blog. Perhaps by writing, I could figure out what I should be doing instead. Inside, I opened my clunky, Toshiba Satellite laptop with the extended battery that stuck out the back and got to work. I wrote about how businesses could use social media because that was a big thing a decade ago. I wrote about what I was doing at work and how those methods compared to what I learned in school.

One of my blog posts got me in trouble with my boss. I recommend that you only publish posts you’re comfortable with your boss or future boss reading. If not, better to keep it to yourself. In this instance, I was young and didn’t know any better. I thought I was writing about a useful “lessons learned” situation. I had no idea my boss read my blog. She thought my post made her and the company look bad.

After a couple months my employer and I agreed that the job wasn’t working out for either of us. I wasn’t doing what I learned in my degree program. They let me go to pursue other options. It stung to be fired from my first post-college job. But if it wasn’t for them, I would have never moved to Ohio and my resume would never have landed at Atos.

The other day my friend told me that we can’t know we lived through a prophecy until it already happened. I knew I was destined for an exciting career in technology. I just didn’t know it would take me through Ohio first.

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