Rags to Riches in Washington, D.C.

Rags to Riches in Washington, D.C.

The road from the construction zone to the C-suite is one paved with woe... But at least it's paved already, not like that construction zone.


Fine, I’m a Yuppie

I’ve been called a wannabe yuppie many times. When you work in the trades your whole life, (masonry, construction, etc.) and all you talk about is your cube monkey dreams, you’re apparently labeled as a wannabe yuppie. But it is on this day, with great joy in my heart, that I can finally say I’m no longer a wannabe yuppie. I’m just, a regular yuppie. Sick.

But this blog isn’t necessarily about me being a yuppie. After all, yuppie isn’t the most endearing of terms. This blog is more about my transition from the construction zone to the office building. From the wannabe to the real deal. This is about my first office job. This is about the American Dream. This is about the highest title that any man or woman could ever hope to hold… unpaid intern. This, my friends, is a true rags to riches tale… I haven’t hit the riches yet though.



Cube Life vs. Manual Labor

Before I sink my teeth into this one, allow me to set the record straight- cube life wins over manual labor ten times out of ten. I’m done lifting things up and putting them down for ten hours a day, and if you think that’s a hot take then you can go read someone else’s blog. I would one thousand percent rather sit in an air-conditioned office with a Keurig machine than break my back in the hot sun all day. But in all seriousness, I’m currently learning valuable, marketable skills- and these skills will allow me to make more money more comfortably than the vast majority of manual labor jobs would. That being said, I’ve had a few problems with my grand corporate transition.



The most outstanding problem is that I have no gauge for the work that I’m doing. I’ve never done this before. And by this I mean all of it: the spreadsheets, the email marketing campaigns, the ANR’s, the PSA’s, all that stuff. Any new task that’s granted to me is uncharted territory. I’m used to showing up on a job site, building something, then leaving. I’m used to seeing immediate results. Public Relations is very different. Results don’t come back for days or weeks or even months. I can work on something for an entire day and there will be no evidence that I did anything; it’s like creating a puzzle piece that I’ll never see placed. I never even get to see the box. And I’ve never done any of these tasks before, so I have no idea what the piece is even supposed to look like, never mind the whole puzzle.

But rest assured, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, we do put that puzzle together. And when a colleague or supervisor points out that tiny puzzle piece that I created, that tiny piece that turned out to be such an integral component to the completed puzzle, that’s when I get that sought after satisfaction. There’s still so much to learn, and so much to get used to. But as long as I stay open-minded and willing, I’ll keep moving forward. One day I won’t be a yuppie or a yopro… I’ll just be a professional. And that’s the day that I’m working towards.


Read Jack's previous blog posts

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