One year ago today I woke up on an air mattress, pulled my clothes out of a duffle bag and anxiously sat in forty-five minutes of traffic on my way to the INK HQ for my first day on the job.
I was so pumped for the opportunity that I started working before I had an apartment to live in. During my first week at INK I slept on an air mattress at a friend’s house, and I was a constant mess of nervous excitement. I had accepted a job and moved across the country in a heartbeat*. New city, new people, new job, new life. Was this the best or worst decision I had ever made?
I’m happy to say that it was in fact a great decision, and over the past year I have learned some incredible life lessons:
Take the chance. I remember telling myself, “Even if you get fired and only end up staying in Austin for two months, in ten years you won’t look back with regret.” Little did I know, I had landed an amazing job in a crazy city and was about to fall in love with this new life. The riskiest chances have the most significant payoff.
Find the best environment for you. We spend eternity trying to do just this, in all aspects of life. As for work environment, I was lucky to find the best for me—one that is supportive, flexible and creative, always encouraging me to discover and develop my professional strengths. This keeps me confident and motivated, as an ideal situation should.
Be a part of a family. I was a quintessential boomerang kid, which according to the New York Times are, “those young adults who left the family home only to move back in because they can’t make it on their own.” Pft. In the months I spent home after college, I only ever thought about leaving to start a career. Looking back, that time with my family and childhood friends was humbling and empowering. Now 1,700 miles away, my connection with my New York home is stronger than ever, but I have also developed a family here in Austin—with new friends and INK.**
I had considered writing a post about the professional lessons INK has taught me (a lot), but really this past year has meant so much more. Thank you INK. Looking forward to year two!
It’s not an INK celebration without warm Tiff’s Treats delivered to our door.
*Side note: I defied the New Yorker code of ethics when I moved here, proudly wearing the Texas-is-actually-cool grin. When I told my parents about the job their initial response was, “But Jess… Texas? Are you taking the job? It’s TEXAS.” Seeing that INK is ideal and Austin tops nearly every Forbes city-ranking list, they’ve clearly come around.
**Sorry for the cheese. Had to be done.