Winter is coming.
Upon returning from my summer hiatus, I excitedly accepted a position in the beginning of September as a Client Strategist at WebDevStudios. That is correct, I am back to work folks. Taking the summer off to think about my future path was the best thing I could have done for myself. Exploring the country and doing some soul searching helped me accept the position with a clear mind and happy heart.
Anytime you start a new position there is an adjustment period, especially at 40. Being the new person is awkward. It is the equivalent of being a freshman in high school again in may ways. I returned from Key West on September 5th and my first day was September 6th. The 5th was a Monday and I spent the day eating Chinese food and talking with the hubs. I conveyed my apprehensions about starting a new position and vented to him about all my fears. The truth was, however, I was excited. Starting something new, especially for us Gemini’s, is what drives us.
I found that I stumbled upon a company that was filled with creative and brilliant people. They were welcoming and funny and made being the “new person” easily feel like the right decision. I was anxious to get involved with clients and create brilliant web strategies that would revolutionize the future. I felt that WebDevStudios had the team to make anything possible and that encouraged me.
A couple important facts about WDS:
- They are fully distributed which mean everyone works remotely.
- It is run by three highly influential in the WordPress community and quite possibly three of the nicest folks you will ever meet: Brad Williams, Brian Messenlehner, and Lisa Sabin-Wilson.
- There are currently around 40 employees.
- Clients include Microsoft, Discovery Channel, and Uber.
Luckily enough, a few weeks after my hire date, WDS Camp was scheduled. WDS Camp is an annual retreat for the employees of the company. I heard legends of WDS Camp prior to starting via the hashtag on twitter and Instagram. Then when I was introduced to folks at WDS, I finally was able to see photos and hear real life stories of years past. I had no idea what to expect but I knew that for a company that was fully distributed, having everyone together for a week would be the perfect introduction to the culture.
All I knew about this year’s camp was that it was being held in Lake Harmony, PA at Split Rock Resort. As with any good coming of age story, this was a bit of a full circle moment. I spent so much time in Lake Harmony when I was growing up so I was excited to go back and see how much it has changed.
Quickly, the thrill of being in my hometown area was overshadowed but the WDS Camp festivities. From the cover bands to the moose heads mounted on the walls, each moment was more surreal than the next. I even got to do my first ignite style talk! I chose to talk about my transition from Opera Singer to Hip Hop Manager to techie.
We met interesting people, bowled, played mini-golf (even if I sucked), ate bad salami, and worked. The best part was working. Getting to see how everyone came together to talk about what they do and how they can do it better made me realize that I needed to step my game up. Maybe I wasn’t going to revolutionize the future just yet. It was time to grow. It was time to learn. It was time to learn how to manage my career.
Here I am now almost two months into my new gig and the days are flying past. Even as I write this, it is midnight and I’m still trying to get work done not because I have to but because I want to be better. That says a lot about the people around me. So here’s to the next chapter with the folks at WebDev! Cheers!
Check out my pics from the week!