The professional world is in full swing for me at this point. I’ve been with Reclaim as a customer support specialist for almost two months now. It’s kind of surreal to be back in the town where I went to school, not only in the summer, but not getting ready to go back for the fall semester at the end of August. But it an odd way it feels normal.
I am very fortunate and lucky to have a job right out of college, and at a company I interned with no less. And I think that’s why a lot of this feels so normal.
Things were off to a rocky but good start. I’ve found that working from home is one of the hardest things about the job. I was still living with my parents back in June so I was constantly bombarded with the questions “Are you working on a ticket?” (I mean that in the most loving way, mom and dad <3) I also didn’t have a desk in my room/guest room before I moved back for the summer. So I was constantly moving from the kitchen table into the dining room when I needed to jump on a call then eventually back to my bed because the kitchen was too busy to focus. It was frustrating.
It didn’t help that I had so much to learn (and I still do). Every situation is dynamic, so the solution isn’t always the same. I was constantly asking questions in the help channel in Slack, and having the computer screen as a buffer was not in my favor.
I hate asking for help. Well I shouldn’t say hate, I really dislike it. It’s something I struggle with. I’m more of a work until something gets done, searching for answers on Google and going based off of my knowledge. I try to ask for help only when it’s the last possible option. And I’ve had to ask for help more times than I can count in this job. Ironic right?
That’s something that I’ve really adjusted to, not only this past spring semester, but coming back onto the team in June. When I first started at this job, I realized how high stakes the position could get. If I missed a step, I could really mess something up or even break the internet. The same can be said for most jobs too, when I was a lifeguard over the summer if I didn’t follow the right procedures, a pump could break or even worse, someone could get hurt (but that’s another post for another time). So I knew that asking for help is crucial to getting something done correctly.
I really wasn’t expecting to be so frustrated with myself at this point in post grad life. After graduation, I was so excited to get started with my job and I was looking forward to my little summer break lifeguarding before moving. It really hadn’t sunk in that I was no longer going back to school. To be honest it still hasn’t. I keep thinking that I’ll move back to my apartment that was slightly off campus, and getting ready to work at the Digital Knowledge Center for another year.
With all of those challenges and frustrations, I can honestly say that things have gotten better from there. Being in the office has been such a blessing. I actually have someone I can talk to in person! Whether Tim or Lauren (most of the time both) are in the office, I don’t have to worry about if I am asking a question in the best way. It’s 10000% better to talk out a process and get all the questions out in a conversation rather than typing.
Unfortunately that didn’t last long. Tim and Lauren went on vacation shortly after I was back in the office and I was running CoWork for the week. It was back to the computer screen for help. I wasn’t completely alone on the support side of things. Jim was a super big help, he was not on vacation. Although seeing him live in Italy I’m convinced that living there is a constant vacation in itself. Just check out his twitter. He was around for most of my questions. But I learned how to research for the solutions until I was just stuck or I exhausted every resource. Then I learned the aspect of effective communication because of the buffer that the computer screen provides.
But with that being said, I love my job. I am constantly learning new things. Even though I’m done with the educational part of my life, I’m experiencing a completely different side of higher education. Coming from Mary Washington, I only got to see how the Domain of One’s Own program works as a student. Now I see how different institutions incorporate DoOO/web hosting into their curriculum. There are so many different configurations to this too. I even get to explore a completely new side of the web, that is web hosting, that I knew was a thing, but couldn’t grasp how it works until now.
I interact with people across the world. Just the other day I was helping someone with their website from Ireland. We even have clients from Australia! Speaking of people I work with, I work with people I consider to be great mentors. I have learned a ton of things from Tim, Jim, and Lauren in just my short time working with them.
The office space is awesome too. Since Reclaim is just 4 people, it wouldn’t make sense to get an office for us. CoWork has been another perk. There are so many more people in the office that it’s not just Reclaim any more. I’ve gotten to see the space transform during the construction phase as an intern and its awesome to see it full during the week.
Another thing I love about this job is that I get to travel. Granted, I’ve only gone on one trip for the Domains conference, but who gets to go on a business trip before you even start with the company? I’m definitely looking forward to more travel in my future.
It’s been a whirlwind of a new experiences, emotions, and adjustments over the past few months. I’ve moved back to the city I’ve been in for 4 years and I’m officially on my own. I’ve started a new chapter of my life at Reclaim and I’m so excited to see where this goes! So stay tuned!
**Featured Image by Scott Webb on Unsplash