Over-whelming, exhilarating and astounding. If you asked me to sum up my first week in a real journalism job in three words, they’re the ones I’d choose.
After 10 months of job applications, work experience placements, extra training, and pulling pints for a bit of money, I finally landed a journalism job — as the content coordinator of a new digital project on sustainability at the Guardian. Words cannot really express my relief and sheer euphoria to a) finally have a job, b) have a job at the Guardian, and c) be working on a subject which genuinely interests me. A triple-whammy if ever there was one! I realise that for anyone looking for a job in journalism, this post may be annoying, infuriatingly so. But I did my time in Unemployed Journalist Purgatory, and I’m going to allow myself this one opportunity to gush over my employment.
To be honest, the whole week has passed by in a sort of blur. I’ve ricocheted between IT training sessions, meetings, working lunches (and breakfasts!), and quick chats with my editor on everything that needs to be done before the project launches – all while finding my way around the beautiful Guardian offices. I’ve done all the little things like setting up my phone, working out which printer my computer sends things to, and finding the canteen. (Much to my disappointment, there are no falafel vending machines.) And then there’s all the actual work to do at my desk which overlooks Regent’s Canal … not sure how I managed that one!
My first day was totally overwhelming. There were numerous moments throughout the day – getting my security pass, logging into my @guardian.co.uk email account for the first time, catching a glimpse of morning conference as I dashed off to my first meeting – when I was hit by a feeling of total nausea . Call it nerves, call it adrenaline; I just couldn’t believe that I wasn’t dreaming, that I had a job, that I was being paid to work at the Guardian!
In the end, it all got a bit too much and as soon as I walked through the door to my flat at the end of the day, I burst into tears. Tears of relief, and utter happiness. My flatmate just stared at me, completely dumbfounded.
But most importantly, I managed to go through the whole week without any major mishaps. I didn’t trip over anything, spill coffee down my dress or embarrass myself in front of people I recognise from Twitter. I even held it together when Alan Rusbridger walked by me as I ate my lunch on Thursday.
I have already met some truly wonderful people and I feel so lucky to be working alongside such smart and creative people, who are so passionate about the work they do. All in all, my first week has been a whirlwind; an amazing, thrilling whirlwind. Long may it continue!