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New Job, Same Office

Friday afternoon I texted my friend Jacque saying that my last day at my company was leaving me feeling a bit nostalgic, despite the fact that I felt at peace with my decision to switch jobs. Six years is a long time with one company.

She replied saying that she understood, and that it made sense, considering all the experiences I've had since I started working there. What she said was so true. The very first time I was in Chicago was for my job interview, scheduled during our house-hunting trip. My first day of work was only the second time I'd ever been in the city and I had to somehow get my 23-year-old self from the suburbs to my building in The Loop.

To say that I was nervous was an understatement.

But, I've grown up with my company. I was essentially fresh out of college (a brief six month job at a small web development company followed by a ten month stint doing a corporate retail e-commercesite), with just my self-taught graphic design background. I even had to pay $5 to a bum to show me where Union Station was so I could somehow get myself back home.

I'm now able to successfully execute large contracts, deal with clients and the day-to-day management that comes with that, and successfully travel to places I've never been to. The people that gave me opportunity, and all the stressful, fun, events that came with it, are things in my life I'll never forget.

During my maternity leave I received an email from a company I had interviewed with last summer, but ended up not taking the job because I had just found out I was pregnant with Anna and knew it was better to stay where my maternity leave benefits were better. (Being with my company for six years meant I had enough sick leave saved up so I could get my full 12 weeks of maternity leave paid--something I know was a huge blessing on our family.)

It killed me to turn the job down, since it was a great opportunity, but I knew in my heart that I was making the right decision. So, I was super excited when I got the email from them saying they were still looking for someone.

It's another Chicago-based company so a few weeks before I headed back to work I flew up to Chicago for the day, leaving Anna in the very-capable hands of my Mom. Just a quick fly-in, fly-out trip. I found out just the week before my maternity leave was up that I got the job, so on my first day back to work, I put in my two-weeks. (Um, yeah. Not really how I wanted it to happen, but it turned out to be good timing since my coworkers and clients were already used to me being gone.)

So, this morning I'm starting my new job. I'm nervously excited, as I'm getting back into a line of work that I really enjoy. It's just funny because my first day "at the office" is the same office, since I work from home. Same routine (get up, get ready, get Anna ready, take Anna to the babysitter), same office, but a new job to start out the week.

And I'm feeling surprisingly optimistic.



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