Career Chronicles (part 1: Best Worst Boss–Nolita, NYC)

I love Nolita. I outlined the very basic reasons why I ended up here previously, but there’s another story to tell. One of my first internships in NYC as an ingenue (yes, I was intentionally wearing Tory Burch) was right around the corner from where I currently live. I worked–very briefly–for a fledgling all-girls ad agency, headed by an interesting woman with roots in robotics and a strong female-forward platform. It was not as horrible as it sounds; there were tensions and tears. Although the experience was short-lived, it was a wonderfully instructive stage in my career development.

The best days were when my boss decided to take the afternoon off with us. The internship was not necessarily directly consequential in terms of my career trajectory (it didn’t even go on my CV), but these outings almost made it worth being unpaid. Much of this education-of-sorts crafted my creativity in terms of a career, drove my interest in technology, and developed my identity as a female entrepreneur.

I had, up until then, only been a student of creativity. I’d never taken it out for a round in the “real world.” I wasn’t responsible for much at the ad agency, but I got to flex some of my writing skills, learn about design standards, and develop my digital aesthetic. I also got to experience a startup for the first time. Although I had no real place at the agency, I broadened my idea of what kind of boss I hoped to be one day.

My boss was, and I suspect still is, spunky and stylish. I remember one excursion very well. A girl had just quit, and she came to collect her last check (and cry). It quickly became clear that we would not get much work done that day. Once the dust had settled, my boss took me out for a walk. We grabbed a cupcake at The Little Cupcake Bakeshop (featured image), and meandered about Mulberry Street. We stepped into Qlosette, which has recently just closed its doors, and then she showed me around Spring Street.

Unfortunately, at the time, I did not see the value in this experience. Neither did many of the others, apparently. I cruised the Glassdoor reviews from previous employees, and it’s kind of a shitsmear. I hate to see this. A personal philosophy of mine, especially professionally, is that what happens in your experience and how you choose to feel about something should be private. Take ownership of it, process how you must (that can include sharing with a select confident), and move on. Nobody is being noble by calling someone out like that, especially on the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I felt much of the same frustrations as the reviewers…at the time.

But you know what? I quit early and didn’t cry–two facts that I’m quite proud of. It didn’t take long for me to identify what was going wrong by knowing confidently what I actually wanted. Yes, it was tough to tolerate at times, but I took the obstacle as an opportunity, didn’t look back once, and moved to London and Paris soon after. C’est la vie. But if you complain, lash out, and consistently search for external validation, your version of that “vie” will suck and you will be more miserable for it. Trust me (or don’t), but it’s not worth it. Wallowing is not the way. Smile for the woman you are in that very moment, and for the one you will be when you walk out that door knowing yourself that much more.

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