Work: Getting It

I have lived in Calgary sixteen months now.  Since I moved, I have been trying to get into one of the two major companies in town that develops apparel.  The other company specializes in athletic wear, which I know little to nothing about, so I have so far steered clear of that one.

After a lucky chance meeting with a member of one of the product development teams during my first visit to Calgary, I did a two-month unpaid internship in fall 2010.  A painful round of retail management with Anthropologie and a long trip home (see Work: RetailAbsence and Hearts and 34 Year Old Intern posts) interrupted my relationship with them, but then I got back in touch with my internship manager, to find out if I could be useful.  Turns out that they could use me. Sometimes, and only when they felt like it. But for some money this time. (See Job post)

Several weeks turned into the entire summer on a temporary, flexible contract.  Being ever-available at unpredictable times has been stressful but fruitful and at the moment I have heard that I am a candidate for a full-time position on a product development team.  On one hand, I can't believe it has taken fifteen months to get into this job, and on the other hand I'm surprised that the pestering and slogging through is actually paying off.

I would recommend temping to anyone as a way into a company or an organization.  I got acquainted with people and with company climate and even experienced working in multiple departments within the company.  I feel more confident negotiating some terms of my compensation, now that I have a more comprehensive understanding of the work environment and what my potential position entails.

However, with the knowledge gained in those experiences also comes awareness of the warts of the job and of the company.  Having experienced both part-time and full-time schedules and responsibilities in this company, I understand that with the stability and opportunity of salary comes the erosion of both quality of life at home and pursuit of other interests.  The unhealthy tendencies I have when faced with office life have been creeping in...the junk food cravings, the crappy coffee and fake hot chocolate consumption...I also am reacquainted with the cloud of ambiguity that hangs over certain unfinished or unclear tasks...the procedural steps installed into work processes which are meant to help, but actually hinder...

It seems that I may again be offered a job that I have sought.  Now the question is how to proceed in a way that breaks my pattern (see Work: Choosing It).  For this to work, I need to be patient and persistent while faced with a daily Office-Space existence, and still crafty enough to pull from it what I want: experience, learning, professional growth and money.  I have the chance now to make a new pattern.