Some people change jobs all the time, so getting a new job may not seem like a big deal. I was at my last job for 10 years. That’s longer than I played derby (5 years), longer than Matt and I have been together (7 years). So for me, leaving that job was a big deal.
At my last job, I worked as an e-commerce photographer for a national corporate retailer. 10 years ago, e-commerce was a new thing for this company. We were a small studio, only about 10 people, so it was an exciting time. We were charting new territory, so it felt creative. As someone with an art degree, I felt lucky to be there and was learning a ton.
Fast forward 10 years and a hundred or so employees later, things had changed. The internet had grown and the industry had changed. We had to compete, so it was all about volume and not about quality anymore. I was on staff with amazingly talented and experienced photographers, that had all been trained to make beautiful images and to take pride in their work, so it was a tough pill for a lot of us to swallow.
I learned a lot from that job and the people I worked with. I also gained a lot of really great experience, but I just wasn’t growing there anymore. I wasn’t learning anything new or being challenged. There weren’t any opportunities to advance. All of that combined with the passing of my mother, made me realize it was time for me to move on.
My new job is actually my old job. It’s where I worked right after college and right before my last job. So basically, I have had two jobs since college! It’s a local camera shop, called Glazer’s Camera. If you are from around here, you probably know it. It’s a 3rd generation family owned and operated local business and they just had their 80th anniversary. It’s the kind of place you can’t really work at without becoming part of the family. Because of that, there’s not a lot of turnover there. People stay for years (there are still a lot of the same people from when I was there before) and if they do leave, they often come back. That says a lot about a company.
After I left in 2005, I continued to shop there, and every time I went in, it felt like a family reunion. I would catch up on how everyone’s kids and grandkids were doing. They never stopped having a very special place in my heart.
I’d been looking for other opportunities, especially in the social media/marketing world, so it was quite serendipitous how I ended up back there. I just went in to rent something, ended up talking to one of the owners about a marketing position that was open, and two weeks later I was back!
I’ve been working there for almost 4 months now and it feels really good to be back. I have been in the photography world for so many years and in so many ways; I’ve worked on the retail side, been a photo assistant, shot weddings, and worked as a commercial photographer. Add to that all the marketing and events experience I gained from starting the Rat City Rollergirls and the knowledge of social media I now have from my blog, and this job feels like the perfect culmination of everything I have ever done.
I am certainly not bored anymore! Every day is different and my days fly by. Community partnerships are huge at Glazer’s and I am getting to meet and work with so many new people from respected local organizations. At our events and classes, I’m interacting with customers and their enthusiasm is contagious. It makes me so happy to see people learning about and enjoying photography. It’s reigniting my love for image making as well. I’m also getting to learn about all the new gear and technology that is available now. Things have changed in the last ten years! Sometimes my head feels like it’s going to explode from all the new info, but it’s so great to be learning so much again.
I’m not going to lie, there have been parts of this transition that were way harder than I thought they would be. I have a longer commute and work later than I did before. I’m getting used to it all, but I was surprised by how long it took for things to start feeling routine again.
This job could also mean that you might see a little less of me here on this blog. A big part of my job is managing their Wordpress site and doing all the social media, so it’s hard to gear up for that in my spare time. I’ve been focusing more on the actual doing (of sewing, knitting, gardening, and cooking) than blogging lately. Doing actual hand work is a nice break from all the screens I look at throughout the day. I’ll still post when I can, since this is such a good record, but the posts may be a little late. That’s just how it goes, right?
Nothing worth doing is easy! I gave up some things to gain some things and I’m so glad I did. I’m proud of myself for taking this leap, so it just feels good overall. With a new store coming in the Spring of 2016, there’s only going to more opportunities for events, classes and engaging with customers, so it’s an exciting time to be back at Glazer’s.