Last Wednesday was my one year anniversary at my job. I decided not to make a ‘thing’ out of it at work, partly because I just didn’t want a fuss and partly because the day brought up mixed feelings and emotions.
On the one hand I was proud of myself for completing a year of a job that was a big deal for me to get – my first job in editorial, and my escape from admin jobs. So that’s a good thing.
It is also a moment to go ‘oh my god has a whole year passed?!’ and think about my life. This is both good and bad. I’m pretty content with my life at the moment and in general the last year has been really good. I’m enjoying my job and in October we moved into a great little house that we love. But any non-romantic anniversary is bound to generate some kind of assessment of the situation, and an overview of the bracket of time that has just passed. This means I’ve been thinking about what I have achieved in my job so far, and what I have learned.
I know that I have learned a lot about how an editorial team works, and learned in more detail about the process that takes a book from proposal to contract to manuscript to actual book. I’ve learned how academic publishing differs from trade publishing (in good ways and bad ways), and what I like and don’t like about it. I’ve also learned what it’s like to work for a big company and how this affects your experience as an employee (also in good ways and bad ways).
I will use this knowledge as I progress in my career and it will help me to make decisions about what direction I want to go in, and what choices I want to make when I progress and apply for other jobs in the future.
But what have I achieved? I suppose learning is an achievement, as is the basic fact of keeping the job and not screwing up. I’ve also been praised for my efforts by my editor and my manager, more than once, which is great. General achievement in a job is very hard to quantify, now I think about it. I just know that I have done well, and I’m still here. That counts for something right?
This anniversary has made me think a lot about my job and what I want from it; and to be honest where I want to be in five, ten years. I look at the older women in my office and wonder if I want to be where they are when I’m that age. Do I want to be in this office? In this company? I know I want to work in publishing, to fill my life with books. I think as long as I know that I’ll be ok.
To end here is a nice little article from New Scientist.