I started a new job today. Same non-profit I worked before, but now I’m a director at the Portland office. Like most promotions, it mostly just means more work. It’s still exciting, because I interviewed a few weeks ago knowing that the Portland office is a hard one to get. One of my bosses asked me to go for the job, and I had to endure a five-hour session of meet and greet combined with interviews. Portland is sought after because it’s a great place to live, but also because it’s often the biggest office in the country and the hub for the region. I’m told I was pretty fortunate to land the job. Usually they just stick you wherever they want, at one of 40 cities around the country. So despite the long hours and meager salary, I now have the fortune and glory of being assistant director at a liberal fund-raising machine that most people have never heard of. The first day was epic. On top of being thrown into the job before I’ve even trained, I’m also the only director in the office until Thursday. Two are away on business and the other is on vacation. That means that although I only vaguely know the job responsibilities, I’m responsible for running the whole office. Genius. Thankfully I have a great staff who have been very helpful.
In the long term, I’m committed to pulling pretty intense hours for the next 13 months. It’s actually very similar to the days I was at the Wildcat. Young idealistic staff working overtime for little compensation but knowing it’s good work. Fighting the good fight. Nothing in the office works all that well. We don’t have much in the way of office supplies. But we raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, change the law, write policy and influence elections. I do get to travel a little. Next week, I’m staying in Ashland, where I’ll be recruiting college students for the summer at Southern Oregon University. A couple of weeks later, I’ll be in Santa Barbara going through actual director training.
It’s funny, I was totally opposed to directing because of the time committment. After a while though, my conscience caught up to me, or maybe it was guilt for being a 27-year-old slacker, telling me that I could be doing more. Feeling my age, and that I just wrapped up a segment of surfing through life and now it’s time for maybe a year or so of working hard at something. That and I think I’m going to be good at it. And it’s good work.