My CITY Start

Posted on: December 23rd, 2019 by Katie Draves | No Comments

The search for a new job is a bit like the search for a new pair of jeans. Of course, before one can begin that search, one must have some general search parameters, like price, sizing, color, length, etc. But above all, the most critical factor is what I like to call the “determining factor,” aka the fit. Hypothetically speaking, you could have the most fantastic pair of jeans but, if they do not fit, then all of those other factors are irrelevant.


In a similar and yet completely different way, I have considered the “determining factor” or the fit from my first phone call with CITY, and even more so after my interview for the position of Marketing Coordinator. I was thoroughly impressed by many aspects of CITY, including employee charisma, family, as well as company history, and the overall work culture of the company. In choosing a job, I put a high value on being around passionate and hardworking individuals, of which CITY is never in short supply. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to accept the Marketing Coordinator Position, it was a no-brainer, a “yes.”


Shortly after I accepted the job, my first day was scheduled, and it became an anxious waiting game until the day before my first official workday. The day before my first official day at CITY was a swirling mess of nerves, uncertainty, excitement, and questions. While starting any new job comes with a lot of natural anxiety, with CITY, it was a whole new set of nerves from starting my first official full-time job after college. Before CITY, all the work experience I have had so far has been strictly part-time, so a full-time job is a whole new ball game for me.

Yet, with all this nervousness swirling around, I pushed it aside and focused on the things I could do- which was a) pick out an outfit b) pack a work bag and c) pack a lunch. And as I worked my way through the tasks, I could feel myself feeling far more at ease and less stressed. Sometimes all it takes to ease the mind is a little bit of physical activity. Once I was satisfied with my chosen outfit, packed all the essential papers, made myself a sandwich for the day, and set an early alarm, I called it a night.


The following morning, my first official day at CITY started quite early because I wanted to make sure that I not only beat the traffic on my morning commute but also to make sure I had enough time to clear my car off thanks to the Iowa snow. Once I was packed up, and my windows scraped to a functional level, I took off to Oelwein. The drive was manageable, and I was able to find a parking spot with plenty of time before my workday started.


I then collected myself and walked toward the door, with my work bag, lunch, and first-day jitters in tow. But as I ventured closer to the door, I noticed something different, specifically a note taped to the door that read “CITY Welcomes Katie Draves,” which put a big smile on my face to know that everyone was genuinely excited to meet me.


After witnessing the inviting note, the Human Resources Manager (Nicole O’Brien) ushered me back into her office for me to complete more paperwork. I was nervous to know if I had everything I needed, but most importantly, if I had filled out everything correctly and to my luck, I had. Once the necessary papers were signed, we both then walked to the back of the building, toward the Marketing office, which is affectionately referred to as the “Shark Tank,” because the office greatly resembles a tank, where sharks might live.


The fact that the Marketing Office is called that is quite ironic since I am a big fan of the show, but titles aside, after Nicole dropped me off in the Shark Tank, I was utterly taken aback by how eager the whole Marketing team was to meet me. I had never felt such a wave of excitement by any other company department I have worked for. Of course, in my past job positions, I was filling a company need and met some great people, but CITY is different specifically in terms of an overwhelming sense of connection, of which I have felt from every person I have met so far at CITY. Another significant difference is that I felt like my strengths have been highlighted and appreciated. Although my job title is Marketing Coordinator, it very well could have been titled “Marketing Writer” for how much writing I will be contributing in my role.


Past the welcoming attitude, and after Nicole left me to fend for myself, my day begun. I was first showed my desk, which genuinely excited me in a way only a nerd would understand. My fellow nerds can agree just how satisfying it is to be able to have a new desk to be able to fill with books, pens, stationery, and technology. I have always been this way ever since my school days when I was the person with a big pencil case full of supplies. If you ever needed a highlighter, a paperclip, or some whiteout, I was your girl. Also, on a more metaphoric level, a blank desk is symbolic of new beginnings, and the potential for infinite creation which is exciting for a classifiable nerd like me.


Once I was as settled in as one could be on their first day, the whole Marketing Team then arranged themselves (myself included) into what I shall call a “sharing circle.” We all went around talking about ourselves, our interests, and, most importantly, our job roles. While many people might dread introductions, I find them rather fascinating because everyone has such a unique background. One major thing I was thrilled to find out was just how much everyone in the Marketing Team is a fan of musicals and Broadway because I also share a love of the stage and performance (and even have seen a few shows myself). Therefore, after hearing that, I was finally able to relax, which lessened not only my nerves, but it also made me all the surer that CITY had my so-called “determining factor,” meaning that they were a good fit for me.


Once our “sharing circle” concluded, I was then thrown into the trenches. I was shown substantial and extensive amounts of information, systems, and processes. I tried to soak up as much as I could on the first day, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit it felt all a bit overwhelming. On top of all the information I was shown, I was also introduced to a countless number of people all within the span of a few hours. I was experiencing some information overload, to say the very least. And yet, I didn’t feel as anxious about everything as I thought I would because everyone, not only in the Marketing Team but also at CITY (at least those I met that day), was more than willing to help me out if I was having trouble. That gave me a sense of relief because there have been past jobs that have legitimately not trained me at all, and that did not make me a very productive employee or person whatsoever. That is one thing I noticed on day one is just how much planning they put into my training, which I have greatly appreciated.


After a busy day like my first one, some people might be too overwhelmed even to come back, but I found the information to be more than welcoming. Despite the information bombardment, I returned to CITY to tackle day two, with far fewer nerves than the previous day. Day two sticks out to me because I had the opportunity to go on a little “Marketing Adventure” to the nearby Oelwein High-School to watch one of CITY’s Marketing Interns give a presentation. I admit it felt a little strange being back at High School, let alone Oelwein High School, but it was a nice short break in routine. I also thought that the Marketing Intern, Nick, did quite well with his presentation, and I was impressed by all the hard work that was put into it. Aside from the mini-field trip, the rest of my day was comprised of even more information, and then a blog discussion. I found the conversation a bit intimidating because I still have many things to learn, but that only gives me the motivation to want to learn even more. I know that I can write, I just need to learn now how to write with a CITY mindset, which I think I will be able to pick up in no time.


Before I knew it, day three came along, and I would have to admit day three has been my favorite workday so far. While the first two days were informational, and I met a lot of people, day three was comprised of a sizable amount of independent work time for me. One big task that I worked on was the CITY monthly newsletter. I worked on it in InDesign, which I am quite familiar with from taking a book design class in college, so it was nice to be able to get back into my InDesign groove. On day three, I also was able to do some job description editing, which was an enjoyable editing task because I usually do not edit job descriptions. As a whole, day three was pleasant because I was able to flex my creative writing muscles, which was quite gratifying.


Now that I have had a few days of work under my metaphoric belt, I have thoroughly enjoyed not only getting to know the Marketing team, as well as other CITY staff but also learning the ropes. I have been a sponge the past few days, soaking up as much information as possible. From day one to where I am now, I do feel a bit more comfortable with all the systems, but since most of them were new to me, I still understandably have more to learn.


Lastly, in the short while that I have been at CITY, it has become undoubtedly clear just how much the company places value upon relationships. That CITY employees are not only employees – they are treated like family. I can, without a shadow of a doubt, confirm that it is true because the Marketing team and everyone I have met at CITY has been excited not only to meet me but also to work with me. It was so lovely to feel so welcome at CITY, and I look forward to being able to make an impact with CITY. And I am now sure that CITY has the “determining factor” aka the fit for me.



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