My trip to LA was only supposed to last just over a week… Get into my Moving Journal posts to read more about how my vacation turned into a permanent move, and to learn about the setbacks and successes I encounter during my transition from DC to LA.
By the time I touched back down in LA and got settled back in at Tamika’s, it was past 1AM. After a layover, a long flight, handling my heavy a*s luggage, and being the very last drop off among a van-full of SuperShuttle riders, I was exhausted and ready for a full night’s worth of sleep. But I had a new job to report to the next morning(!), so 4-5 hours would have to make do.
Upon punching the LCC office address into the very handy Google Maps app on my iPhone, I saw that it was located way on the other side of town from downtown, where I was living, and that my commute would be abysmal (OK, OK, that’s a slight exaggeration). The quickest route told me I needed to take two busses for a combined time of an hour and a half to make it out to the west side. Thank God I didn’t have to come in before 9:00AM. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to wake up at a completely ungodly hour, but really not looking forward to having such a long ride to work.
I will always prefer not having a long commute because I despise waking up early; I have never been a morning person. I’m nocturnal by nature and it’s quite common/easy to find me up super late at night 90% of the time, so I enjoy sleeping in as late as possible. Even though I’ve had school and early morning work commitments throughout so many years of my life, I have never been able to naturally adapt. I am a late nighter, so yes, getting up before 6:30AM is the pits. I think about the people who live really far away from their jobs and have to make 2 hour+ commutes to work every day, and vow not to do that to myself. YIKES. #Thatwillneverbeme.
Minor early-morning disinclination aside, I realized the commute wouldn’t be so bad. I was really lucky that Mika’s apartment building is so central, with many different metro bus lines only a few steps outside of the front door. It was also a blessing that after only one transfer, a second bus would bring me right to the corner of my destination and about a 30 second walk from the building’s lobby. Obviously, a straight shot from the apartment to the office would have been ideal, but relying on public transportation, I had little room to be picky.
When I arrived just short of an hour and a half later -- Google Maps proves to be pretty accurate most times, by the way, taking traffic and bus stops into account -- I was super anxious to see the workspace, meet my new coworkers, and learn exactly what I’d be doing.
I stepped out of the elevator onto a pristine white floor and made my way to LCC’s reception area, appreciating the office’s clean and contemporary interior and crisp atmosphere. They had just moved into two renovated floors of the building a couple of months prior to my start, so it was still gleaming and fresh, with glass walls and an open layout that allowed the sunlight to pour in abundantly. My heart twirled a bit.
And it just about kicked into breakdance once I was showed my desk, on a peaceful and somewhat intimate side of the floor -- which came with an ocean view that blew me away! My new officemates commented that clear sunny days provided the prettiest views, making the sea and even the distant outline of Southern California’s Catalina Island incredibly visible. I hadn’t even realized I’d be less than 4 miles from the beach until I was nine stories above ground staring at it mesmerisingly.
My last office environment(s) in DC didn’t foster much inspiration. In fact, I can even say it drained some of the inspiration out of me. Bland, outdated workspaces without any views of the city in ancient government buildings didn’t have me exactly running to work every day. (But even still, I couldn’t begin to express my thankfulness for my time as a government student employee -- it rescued me from another job I had absolutely loathed summer ‘12 and provided me with the invaluable office experience that helped me earn this current position!) My switch in forecasts and its sunny scenery upgrade -- the ocean, combined with the close-by rolling mountains, the varied homes and apartment structures that stretch as far as I can see, and of course the surplus of lush greenery in the form of palm trees and such -- all boosted the level of excitement I had for this opportunity.
The view alone was enough to capture me. I loved my new job already.
Luckily, that wasn’t the only early selling point it offered. To my right sat a very welcoming young woman who is not only a pleasure to work with, but a genuinely sweet being who I would easily befriend over the next couple of weeks. Behind me sat another who has been extremely helpful and giving since I joined the company, and who never hesitates to share her vast bank of knowledge whenever I have a question about a certain task. I slowly met more of the officemates and senior execs whose area I became a part of, and my first day anxiety was put at ease with the friendly greetings and pleasant vibes I received from them all.
After an initial meeting with the HR director, an introduction to my direct supervisors, and an office tour, I acquainted myself with my work area and waited to see what my projects would be. I’d be splitting time to support both the public relations and national accounts (a division of sales) departments, so I prepared myself to be ready to juggle various responsibilities.
I finally began to feel more at ease. Gone was the stress of searching for a career, and the questions of whether this job would be legitimate and if the seasoned employees would welcome me. To say I felt a sense of relief would be an understatement -- the job search can really drive one mad (felt British for a sec).
But kick back and relax, I could not. I had to strap down and prepare to put in my best efforts if I wanted to prove that I was a consistent, hard-working individual and deserving of being brought on a permanent employee.
It was all up to me from there.