Where I came from
I worked as a server for 8 years in a restaurant in the suburbs North of Chicago. This restaurant was located near a very popular outlet mall, a naval base, and within walking distance from the Six Flags: Great America. As you can imagine, this place was always busy and very demanding of your time and energy. The job was fun too. I got to work with a lot of people that were around my age and I made great money, but what I loved about that job the most were the people I got to work with and had the pleasure of meeting.
One person that comes to mind was a 63-year-old, sassy, tall drink of water from Beaumont, Texas named Deborah. She always had a great attitude, was in great physical shape and was hilarious. I remember her saying that she loved what she did career-wise and I respected her for that. Her words really resonated with me.
Looking at my life in comparison to Deborah’s, I realized I wasn’t happy. I left the service industry and moved to sunny California to explore my options.
When I worked in Advertising at an Editorial Company as an Associate Producer, I found myself impressed about the external things. We worked in an amazing office space full of beautiful people and beautiful things. I had a lot of fun at that job and had some amazing opportunities to work with some talented people and for that, I am truly grateful. At the end of the day, the job didn’t interest me. It wasn’t the career path I wanted to thrive on either, so I moved on.
In between jobs, I worked on a couple Film and Video projects. I was an Assistant Producer/Production Assistant on a short film and worked as a PA on a music video and local advertisement. The experience of was what made that job fulfilling. I loved the hands-on work but the hours were extremely long and the pay was very little. I couldn’t afford to be happy in a job like this, so unfortunately I had to move on.
Where I am now
I started working at Sandbox Suites in October of 2014. I was excited to be a part of the coworking business and quickly realized that there were so many opportunities for me to grow. I’ve met a lot of very interesting, enthusiastic, and intelligent people at Sandbox and I definitely feel like I am gaining knowledge everyday with my involvement with the co-working community. An example of this is a group of wonderful people called “Millennium School.” The company is currently working to open a school here in San Francisco for middle-school children which focuses on each child’s individual interests and then builds an educational structure around it. These people inspire me to inspire others.
This job offers me a few solid reasons to stay happy at Sandbox. I have time to engage in the co-working community and to explore my own personal creative endeavors. My educational background is in art and I love to illustrate, so I’m currently working on a little project called “Today’s Return to Sender” on Instagram. I receive a lot of mail from ex-members of Sandbox and I am constantly having to return the mail to the sender. I decided that I wanted to make mundane task fun by drawing on the mail and posting it daily.
What I have learned
One of the best parts about this job are the people that I have met. I’ve had a golden opportunity to work on a fun project that some of my coworkers started, a podcast called “This Damn World.” I’m learning more about how to produce a podcast, how to engage with your listener demographic, and how to positively evolve an ever changing project into something the three of us can continuously be proud of.
There are a lot things that make me happy in life. The problem is how to KEEP myself happy. So far, I feel I’m heading in the right direction.
Check out my Return to Sender project on Instagram!
How you can be happy too
Every job that I have had in the past has brought me closer to a happier work life by teaching me a few things:
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try to have fun at your work and with your co-workers. Laughing at work can help make a hard day go by more quickly.
- Enjoy the little things. I always the appreciate the fact that my work treats us to Bagels, Happy Hours and Pizza. These little features brings so much joy to so many people’s faces (and stomachs) once they have arrived.
- Remind yourself daily of your goals. Ask yourself, “Am I happy with my job? Is this the career path that I want to thrive in?” If not, step back and readjust. I never thought I would end up in co-working, but it turned out to be exactly what I need.