Why are you smiling?
That’s what one of my fellow editors asked me late one night last week. At that point, we’d been at the office for the rough equivalent of two work days (do the math: 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.). I was sitting at my desk, watching the end of the Cubs game, doing some research, waiting on proofs and chatting with coworkers.
“It’s past 12:30. Why are you smiling?”
My first response was that I guess I’m just a happy person.
Then I thought about how I had no control over when I got to leave, so I’d stopped stressing about it (Focusing your energy on only things you can control really is life-changing and liberating. Try it).
Then I thought that perhaps I was just THAT exhausted and fried.
But the real reason is that I love my job. I absolutely love it.
The first few weeks were slow, but by this close I was busy. And that makes me happy and energized. I’m feeling invested and involved and valuable and responsible. Working late nights reminds me that I’m part of the team.
Now that I’m six weeks in, I’m settled into the system and the routine. I’ve come to love the biweekly close schedule. It’s not too crazy but not too slow. There are new challenges and new content every two weeks. The next issue is always on the horizon, and we get a tangible reward for our work every two weeks.
What’s more, and more exciting for me, is that as a lower level editor I’m doing a little of everything. Some writing, some research, some editing. NFL, MLB, college football and hopefully basketball once it starts up. Mostly print but hopefully adding Web. As I’ve told my superiors, I want to do as much as possible; I want them to throw everything me. For one because I have a lot of interests and like to do new things. But secondly, because at this point in my career I want to learn as much as I can and it would be silly to pass up any opportunities. Because of this, I’ve decided not to say no to anything and to volunteer for pretty much everything.
A great side effect of this variety tasks and responsibilities is that I’m working with different people all the time. And that’s wonderful because everyone in my office is great. From day one, they were fun and friendly, but even better is how amazingly interesting and dynamic our staff is. A mixture of ages, races, experience, life phases, home states, college majors … you get the picture. It’s the most fun and interesting mixture of people you could possibly come up with — and exactly the kind of work environment where I will fit and thrive.
Plus, these people are just fun. We hang out outside of work and everyone seems to genuinely enjoy one another’s company. Even on those late nights, we’re chatting and getting to know others and shooting hoops and playing sporcle.
And then there’s the fact that my job is all about sports. Every once in a while it hits me again that it’s my JOB to read about, talk about, watch, edit and write about sports. All day long. Maybe I didn’t mind working 16 hours because I’m still in the honeymoon period — I’m so excited about where I am and still feel so lucky to be here. The novelty of ESPN hasn’t yet worn off.
And I really hope it never does. I hope I never stop loving sports (I can hardly express how amped I am that it’s almost football season). I hope I never stop feeling energized by the people around me and the tasks in front of me. I hope I never stop having moments in which it hits me —yet again — where I get to go to work every day. I hope the stress of the job never detracts from the fun and excitement of putting out this magazine.
Simply put, I hope I never stop loving getting up in the morning to go to work. Because right now I find it absolutely fabulous.