21 Cabrillo Extension catalogs produced 2018-20

Sha na na na na… get a job!

The Silhouettes perform Get a Job (youtube link)

A whirlwind three years later, and I’m finally back at this blog—with the old song by the Silhouettes ear-worming its way through my head! My absence here can perhaps be excused primarily because, I did get a job—through a most serendipitous set of circumstances—and it’s probably one of my all-time favorites. Lucky me!

On arrival back in the USA after our seasonal stint in New Zealand, I happened across a job posting that so perfectly described my skill set, I could not resist applying for it. Besides, it was local (in Santa Cruz), and, at a place I had always thought I would love to work—the local community college. I proceeded through each step—submitting my resumé, surviving an in-person test of skills and design sense, appearing for an interview before a hiring committee of six, and then… nothing. After several months, I finally received an email that basically said I was not chosen. Thinking, ok, some of the other seven candidates that I’d met at the live test also seemed quite qualified and so, that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

Fast forward another four months, and another email from the same institution appeared, informing me of a similar open position in another department. I followed up, passed the interview and got the job, meanwhile, learning that the reason I didn’t get the first one was because the position had been eliminated! Wow… 6 months of questioning my own worth, and it was never “about me,” haha.

Loving the work, the co-workers, my bosses, the educational environment of a public community college, I threw myself into the role of Graphic Design Communication Specialist, producing over 55 catalogs (as of August 2023) for the program, along with a wide and interesting variety of other materials, including everything from graphic art for kids’ water bottles to t-shirts for youth camp and staff, to print ads, to flyers, posters, banners, gift certificates, newsletters, and to website updating and maintenance (with an eye towards accessibility issues and cleaner coding). Whew—but I loved every minute of it all, my dream job. (Note: work samples can be found on this site’s Portfolio page in the Print category).

Then, due to circumstances beyond my control (having nothing to do with the workplace), and after twenty months on the job, I was sadly compelled to submit my resignation. My family and I were leaving the coastal city I had lived in for more than half my life, and moving three hours inland to our new property in Mariposa, California, the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

The good news, though, was that I would (sort of) get to keep the job from afar! My bosses were happy to accommodate the move, and allow me to work remotely, as an independent contractor. I did miss the daily contact with my office mates, and the buzz of constant hustle and bustle that an active, highly-popular educational program ensures, but at least I’d be able to continue with the work.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and suddenly, everyone seemed to be working remotely (if they still had a job). The program had to suddenly pivot from “live” classrooms to all-virtual, online classes, requiring a whole new way of thinking, teaching, and… a new “@HOME” catalog. Thus, I was back in action for the same beloved program after all.

Our world has changed drastically in this crazy year of 2020. I feel most fortunate to still “have a job” of sorts during these challenging times of such uncertainty for so many. My situation could change at any time, I realize, but for now, I can thank my lucky stars—and my bosses—for the opportunity to continue the work that I truly love.

Meanwhile, I’m dusting off the cobwebs of my own freelance graphics business, just in case. I am ready for the day that people and businesses here in my new home might find the need for a “graphiste” (a personal favorite title). Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst… it’s really all one can do these days, it seems.

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