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How I Keep My Friends Interested in My Job
This summer was a whirlwind for me. I landed a writing internship I felt severely under qualified for with a company I knew I wasn't cool enough for. After three weeks of muddling through SEO jargon and trying to keep my head above water, I was offered a permanent position as a content writer. With many of my friends still looking for work or moving across the country for one job offer, I can't begin to understand how I got this job a year before graduation.
But when my friends seek elaboration on my decision to take the job, the reality of that conversation never lines up with my expectations (like what happened with my good buddy Tom Hansen). The words "writer," "web marketing," and "start-up" light up my friends' eyes with visions of hipsters and salaries - but the phrase "self storage" immediately provokes a reluctantly polite "Oh… Well, at least you have a ping pong table?"
I imagine it must be a similar story for my coworkers. Whether they tell people that they're developers, salespeople, designers, or account managers, the glee of the moment is virtually destroyed as soon as the words "self storage" leave their mouths.
My dad is a network administrator for a commercial real estate company, while my mom exports school microscopes out of Raytown. My favorite TV show is about a failing paper company in Pennsylvania, and my best friend is deciding between a major in accounting and economics. With the exception of bacon entrepreneur, shark cage diver, and being Morgan Freeman, I believe that even the most coveted jobs assert some level of monotony.
But not mine.
The reality is that we all dream of having absurdly interesting jobs someday, but the bulk of daily consumerism lies in simple things like putting gas in our cars, buying groceries for our families, and living in denial that tax season is quickly approaching.
Red Nova Labs tried its hand at multiple products and ideas only to find a niche in self storage. And you know what I discover in those rare moments when my headphones are resting on my desk instead of on my head? Our products are important. So many facility owners have no idea how to reach their target markets, how to best describe their properties through the web, or why the number one spot on Google's results page isn't just waiting for whoever calls dibs.
StorageFront is a powerful resource for anyone in need of self storage, while our products through StorageAhead propel small and large facilities into success. As a daughter of two people who had their small business driven into the ground, I've seen how the shining beacon of winning the market is a beautiful thing. And now I'm playing the smallest of parts in stripping my family's fate from a number of families in similar circumstances.
As for my own selfish desires, my job with Red Nova Labs doesn't disappoint. The closest people in my life writhe in jealousy after they learn things like:
I enhance my writing every day by simply being forced to do it; procrastination just doesn't work here, so I am learning to conquer it.
My competent, driven, and hilarious coworkers are at least as hard working as I am; I'm always challenged to work harder, to write better, and to think of the next brilliant idea.
The top of the RNL food chain (aka Dan and Bob) regularly provide immensely useful feedback on my writing; I see my head bosses every day and hear when my writing is good and - more importantly - when it isn't.
I am constantly learning more and more about design, web marketing, SEO best practices, social media, and more; my online advertising professor would learn a lot here.
My personality finds a twisted sense of rest in this place where there is no traditional way of doing things; mistakes and risky ideas are breathed in like fresh air.
Of course, much of this positivity springs from how I spin it. But aren't all endeavors that way?
I have yet to personally meet someone who was born into frivolous wealth or who makes a living off of rating chocolate. My job is with a tech start-up that happens to market to self storage - and we do a darn good job at it. While some people out there excel in those phenomenally outrageous jobs, the best people I'm going to meet in life are probably just rocking out their own, "boring" industries.