I have big news! This is something that, to be totally honest, didn’t come as a total shock to me because it is something I have been working very hard for over the last nine months. I have put in countless hours working towards this, and I am very proud of myself for it! It is the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life that is amazing and scary and overwhelming and absolutely joyful.
I got a promotion at work!
At the company I work for, ICUC Moderation, I have always felt appreciated. That is something I have never felt at any other job I have ever had. I worked retail for a number of years before I got married and I constantly felt verbally abused and taken advantage of. Customers would scream at me over returns and faulty products, my managers would take out anything they got into trouble for on their employees, and my coworkers would take out the frustration they inevitably felt after being poo-poo’ed all over by customer and manager alike on each other. I had heard of these magical workplaces where the environment was supportive, the people were friendly and good natured, and the work was valued… I just wasn’t entirely sure they were REAL. After seeing how frazzled most of the people that I worked with were by the end of the day, I thought those fairy land businesses could be the construct of a broken mind, something that people wished into a “my friend’s friend” existence to give themselves hope that one day they may find a job there, too.
Well, I found that company. I found that job, and let me tell you folks, it is amazing. When I first heard about the job I was scared it was going to be another one of those “make thousands of dollars a week working from home!” scams that we all get emails for if we subscribe to the wrong email list. I kept waiting for them to say “Surprise! We will pay you five cents for every message you moderate, you are only 50,000 messages away from your fortune!”… but it never came. Then I waited for the “… and to get started all you have to do is give us your mailing address and send us a money order for $349.95, and we will ship your starter kit to your front door within 14 business days!”… but it never came either.
Instead, I got a hearty welcome to the company, a real wage (none of that couple-of-cents per message mess), and the opportunity to make an actual living doing the same thing I had been doing for free on military support message boards for the previous 8 years of my life. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.
I knew I loved the company from the first training meeting I had with Brent and Tanya, two of the company’s managers. They were very friendly, totally hilarious, and when I asked (what I now recognize as) pretty stupid questions they understood how different this was from what most people experience from their workplace and gladly answered them without virtually pointing and laughing. My first IM from my direct manager, Tanya, started out with “What’s up Homeslice?” I knew I had finally found somewhere I belonged. =D
Word of advice: To all of you ICUC employees reading this… If you haven’t heard Brent’s 300 story, ask him about it… Preferably in a situation you can HEAR him tell it. I guarantee, TOTALLY worth it.
I was so grateful to have found this job that seemed like such a dream come true that I threw myself into it fully. I hadn’t worked in almost a decade except on military support message boards and that was strictly volunteer, nothing professional. To go from no job to THIS job… WOW pretty much sums it up. Every opportunity that I got to work an extra shift, help someone out off the clock, help out when another team needed some extra people, do extra side projects, help solve problems… I took every one of those opportunities the moment I found out about them simply because I was so thoroughly excited about finding this incredible job. The more I volunteered for, the more opportunities were offered to me. The more I did, the more I craved to do more. It only took about 3 months before ICUC changed from my “job”, to my “career”, and I started to consciously think about the big picture and what I could do to move up in the company and contribute even more.
Now here I am, nine months later, announcing that I got promoted! So many emotions. Outside of getting married, I don’t think I have ever been this excited about what is in store for me in the future. I have also never been so sad to leave a group of coworkers as I am to leave my team. Personally, I think that my promotion making me anything but completely happy is a great testament to how amazing my manager and my teammates were (and still are). While I did work very hard to reach this goal, I know that they were huge contributors to my success along the way, especially Tanya. We have a long standing argument over which one of us is responsible for making the other one so awesome (I blame her for making me awesome, and she blames me for making her awesome =P) but at the end of the day I think we both are because ICUC had the foresight to put us together, whether it was intentional or coincidence. Professionally we are a perfect fit, and compliment each other so well… and have become great friends to boot! Now, I am ready to move on and give it my all to do the same thing with my own team that Tanya has done for hers.
Now that I have written a novel I will wrap this up with one final thing… My “oscar speech” if you will. (Excuse the extreme Velveeta nature of this.) Thank you to everyone at ICUC that I have been lucky enough to work with. I have told some of you this before, but since I am waxing sentimental about my time here so far right now I will say it to everyone. Thank you to Keith who created this amazing community and who encourages us to cultivate it through so many different social media outlets. Thank you to Jan who has always been supportive and had enough faith in me to give me the opportunity to prove myself. Thanks to Tanya, of course, who taught me how to do my job correctly from the get go and encouraged me, opening me up to build on that further. Thanks to Brandi for recommending me in the first place. Thanks to everyone that I work with, tweet with, that posts on my FB, that IMs with me… I don’t know that I would actually love my job if it wasn’t for all of you, and I don’t know if I could have put so much into this job if I didn’t love it.
Now I am off to start my next adventure. =D