Thursday, August 6, 2009

Onward, Upward

Hi this is me... well, It's a self portrait after hours of drinking and eating... so yes, This is me!


Today was my first day at my new job.

What? I got a new job? Yes it's true and being the busy individual that I am I haven't found the time to blog about it. Last Wednesday was my last day at Trader Joe's.

There, I FINALLY mentioned where I work on my blog.
Aren't you proud? Well if you think I'm going to tell you the company I got a job WITH, you have another thing coming.

For the past three years and four months I worked for what is truly a spectacular little grocery store. I learned a lot about food, was constantly praised for both my knowledge and my skills, was given ridiculous raises and benefits, and built very meaningful relationships with numerous amazing people.

I also learned what I want to do when I grow up, which has lead me to where I am today. I learned at the ripe age of 27, that without a doubt, I will always be working with food. I knew I didn't want to go back into the service industry, and let's be serious: retail is a bitch. Granted, Trader Joe's is probably the only form of retail I could or would ever work, and is GREAT retail overall.

But I also knew that one day I wanted to have a family and that 50 hour work weeks, all or most holidays and lots and lots of weekends was not conducive to being the type of parent, spouse or daughter that I wanted to be.

This led to a job search. I had no idea what I was looking for, and quite honestly I wasn't feeling very optimistic. A lot of what Trader Joe's provided me with was really hard to put on paper.

But I persevered.

I read Craigslist ads with the search term "food". I sent my resume to a friend that works in Career Counseling. And I (wait, don't laugh) had patience.

I would like to encourage you to go search on monster or craigstlist with the search term "food" to see what I was up against.

Food: Yes! Food service: NO!

Shuffling through dozens of daily listings can make you eyes go crossed : Manager, host, food runner, line cook, food service director, merchandise coordinator, serving position. WAIT! Go back to that second to last one. Merchandise coordinator? That was a good title! Tell me more!

Giving little indication as to which company the add was for, the job sounded interesting at least. "Develop relationships, price comparisons, organic foods, yada yada". I closed my eyes, threw together a cover letter, shuffled some things around on my resume and sent the email. I had applied for a new job. I had no idea what to expect

A waited a week or two and heard nothing. I was angry that I didn't get a call back and had no idea what I would do if my well manicured resume couldn't even get me a call back.

I'm not one to dwell, so I moved on, perused craigslist a couple days a week and ACTUALLY moved on. That's when things happen right? When you move on? That's when I got a call. And then an interview, and then another. All of a sudden they wanted to fly me to Chicago. And finally, two and a half weeks ago, an offer.

It sounds like a whirlwind, and in retrospect it was. But at the time the anticipation was killing me. I couldn't talk about it at work. I had to keep a secret. I HATE keeping secrets. The whole process lasted just over two and a half months and friends and family had to listen to my anxiety during the whole thing.

I was terrified of leaving Trader Joe's. Talk about job security in the year 2009? I continuously received fabulous reviews from a company that is growing a million miles a second. That is job security in a nutshell. What did I know about this new company, would Kyle and I be safe financially?

The company well, it's well known, so that's a good start. It's privately owned by people with a very German sounding last name. Well shoot, that sounded a LOT like Trader Joe's. But I did more research. I needed to be sure.

Most of their products are organic and are sourced from within 500 miles of production. They don't allow GMOs in their ingredients. They are ecologically sound. They give back to the community. I even asked about the companies growth over the past few years. The percentages were good... Very good. It was a fit, and when I received the offer there wasn't hesitation. I went without eating for about 20 hours so as not to throw up when giving my notice, and all of a sudden my life totally changed. I had phone calls to make and loose ends to tie up. And now, today I am officially an employee of a new company! So insanely crazy. I can't even begin to explain...

My hopes are that my new position will (with will and organization) help me meet my personal goals. Things I have missed so much during the past 3.4 years. Cook more, be healthier (that's right, no more Maple Leaf cookies on a moments notice), blog more, train for long distance runs, photograph food and spend time with my family... oh and maybe even have a family of my own one day! So wish me luck, and have patience as I learn who I am all over again while you sit here and read about it.

Tomorrow, my first CSA dinner of 2009 and the eat local challenge!


familyadventureguidebooks said...

Congratulations on your new venture. My friend has a similiar position for a number of different brands, and it gives her job flexiblity that the rest of us moms envy. Hopefully this job will give you the balance that you so richly deserve...too bad it's not in California :(.

Minneapolis Farmers Market said...


De Nueva said...

So excited for you and so glad to see you happy!! I'm excited to hear details about the first day went!!

Cafe Cyan said...

Yay! Good luck with the new career. I identified with your story so much. I loved my corporate recruiting job. I made tons of money and tons of friends. When I was laid off, although I was a bit sad, it was like a breath of fresh air. I could finally justify a career change and work with food (although the getting paid part hasn't quite happened yet).

So, as one future food worker to another, CHEERS!

Oh, and if anyone else follows up on your other job inquiries, feel free to send them my way. Perhaps I'll be the right person for the right job :)

PaddyB said...

I love viewing your blog! Your words are sensational - your photographs are phenomenal - and your happiness is well earned! Good luck, I look forward to your future success!!

Kate said...

Thanks for the many congrats! Cafe, this is actually the only job I applied for, which to me sounds incredibly ridiculous, but I guess I wasn't just going to settle for anything that didn't sound entirely appealing so I didn't apply for anything else.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your blog with us, Kate. I LOVE your pictures as well as your writing. You seem to have it all figured out and have your priorities straight, good for you! Someday you will be an incredible mom, I could tell by the way your face lit up when you interacted with moms and their kids. Congrats Kate!

sprout said...

Kate, congratulations on your new job - how can I contact you about a job related issue?