Now that I’ve been at my new job for almost a month, I thought it would be a good time for an update on how I’m liking it so far!
For those of you who don’t remember or are new around here, I recently made the switch from doing PR at a huge international agency to doing in-house PR for a small non-profit. It was a big move, but so far it’s going great!
My new desk has a window. No more feeling like I'm in a jail cell!
At my old company, I worked on mostly government clients in the health care space (though I also did a little work with the Environmental Protection Agency – aka EPA) and there was a heavy focus on health care technology and policy. My favorite client was a department under the National Institutes of Health (NIH)that focused a little on health/wellness and a little less on policy, but the health/wellness aspect was still very small (remember when I got to go to the American Heart Association conference in November? That was for NIH!).
After almost three years at my big agency working on boring health care policy, I knew I wanted to do something else health-related in PR but I wasn’t actively looking for a new job. Then I just happened to see a position open up on this DC PR jobs blog that literally checked off all my wish-list boxes, and I couldn’t pass it up! After a couple interviews, a job offer, and good feeling in my gut, here I am!
I’ve been at the new job for 4 weeks now, and I am working on issues that are important to me. Just this morning I was writing tweets and Facebook posts about new research on weight loss and nutrition, and I am constantly scanning the news for articles on the importance of balancing a healthy lifestyle. I reach out to doctors encouraging them to treat obese patients seriously and work with members of our organization who are passionate about the prevention, treatment, and research of obesity/weight-related issues.The content couldn’t be more in line with what I’m passionate about, which makes coming into work every morning so much better.
I also have a lot more responsibility at my new job, in a good way. My old company was just SO big, and important assignments would almost never trickle all the way down to me. Most of my responsibilities were for small, menial tasks, whereas here I am only one of two communications professionals in the company, so I get to do a lot! Later this month I will be in charge of writing a press release on the health benefits of diet soda vs. water when trying to lose weight, and in addition to writing the press release I will be handling all media requests and interviews surrounding the news. Eek! I’m equally excited and terrified about that.
Reading new research on health benefits of diet soda vs. water
Overall I am loving the work that I’m doing now, and I couldn’t imagine a better fit for me. I get to do PR for a cause that I care about; what could be better than that?
The Work Life
I would also say my work-life balance has improved a lot since starting my new job. The hours at my old job were 8:30-5:30, but I almost never left right at 5:30. Leaving at 6:00 or 6:30 was more the norm, and it wasn’t unusual to leave after 7:00 (there were also plenty of times when I left after 8:00 or had to go into work on the weekends, but I still try to cling to the notion that that’s not “normal”…)
My hours now are 9:30-5:30 but they are flexible, so if I wanted to come in earlier and leave earlier I could (and probably would, if I didn’t work out in the morning). I’ve also left the office at exactly 5:30 almost every day, and on days when I leave “late” at 5:45, I am one of the last people left in the office. Crazy! Leaving on time makes my life so much better and I am so much happier. There are also a lot more days off from work, including flex time in the summer and all the days in between Christmas and New Years. Woohoo!
The only thing that really stinks about my new job is my commute- it’s about an hour door to door whereas my old commute was only 30 minutes. I take the metro and get to spend some time reading and relaxing, but it’s still annoying to have to go so far. The other thing I miss about my old job is of course my friends , but luckily I’ve been able to see them quite a lot. The new people at my job are really nice too, they’re just a little older so we have less in common.
All in all, I would say that I’m really loving my new job and I’m so happy I made the switch.
Question of the day: Have you ever switched jobs? How did you handle it?