It’s been just about 8 months since I’ve touched this blog. In October, I left my job at the Ada McDonald’s to pursue a career in copywriting.
I normally don’t enjoy blogging about my personal life, and this feels a little weird to me, but the background will ultimately be helpful. I worked part-time at a small digital marketing agency as I was finishing my degree. Since I was spending about 20 hours a week at this new job while attending school full-time, I didn’t see any way I could keep my full-time (mostly overnight) McDonald’s position.
So I told my boss, and she and my supervisor offered me the opportunity to stay on part-time as a manager. I considered it, but ultimately, I didn’t want to feel like it was a good idea. I viewed management is a full-time gig, and I didn’t want to be an exception. As hard as it was, I felt that it was as good a time as any to move on and start a career in my field.
The new job was good, but a complete 180 from what I was used to. Instead of moving around for eight hours, I sat at a desk. Instead of watching people come and go throughout my shift, I worked with the same five people every day.
It turns out that sitting at a desk and performing a mostly predictable job isn’t for someone like me. I love writing, but going through the motions of office life put a damper on what was previously enjoyable. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be (better to learn this now, rather than later, right?)
Almost like it was meant to be, we were all taken down to part-time during our “slow season,” and would resume full-time hours again when we picked up some business. It was the kick in the pants I needed to start seeking employment elsewhere—away from the small town where I had spent my college years.
My lease was up at the end of May. It gave me about 6 weeks to secure a job somewhere, find a place to live, and move there. While I’m not sure the exact tally on how many jobs I applied for, it was probably somewhere around fifty—all in the copywriting field, or close to it. I wasn’t exactly picky; I didn’t know where I wanted to live to I sought jobs in metropolitan areas across the country.
One night, I was sitting the couch at my mom’s place, exasperated that I wasn’t having a shred of luck with my job search. I said out loud, “I should just go back to McDonald’s. I was always treated right, I could start again as management, AND I would get benefits.” I said it out of exasperation, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized there was nothing wrong with the idea. In fact, it was a really good idea.
I opened a new window on my computer. I didn’t know where to begin, but I decided to start with Ohio. I went to Indeed, and searched “McDonald’s” in Ohio. Hit number one: Swing Manager at the Gemini Place McDonald’s in Columbus, Ohio. I clicked. I applied.
My phone rang at 9 AM the next morning from a Columbus area code. It was the owner-operator of four stores in the Columbus area, and he wanted to meet for an interview. Okay, let’s do it.
Within 10 minutes of sitting down with him and the GM of one of his stores, they invited me back for an OJE. If you don’t know what that means, basically I had to go in and work for a couple of hours while they watched me. Kind of intimidating, since it was in the middle of an outrageously busy lunch rush (and it had been 6 months since I touched anything related to McDonald’s).
Fortunately, during the OJE nothing bad happened (ha) and they offered me a position. And a considerable raise from what I last got paid at McDonald’s. I was more than happy to accept. And that same day, I found a place to live with some very good friends from college. I moved to Columbus on a Monday and started work at 6:30 on Tuesday morning!
I thought I would be working at the Gemini store, but instead they placed me a store that currently does not have enough managers–though it is just as busy. The store is a little bit older, which I was hesitant about, but once I got to work, all those worries disappeared.
It’s been a week and two days, and I’m already loving it. Many things are different from what I’m used to, but with how helpful everyone has been, I have yet to feel like I’m “struggling.” I feel like I fit right in. I even picked up a little bit of Spanish from my employees (who, by the way, are excellent). So stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes stories–I plan on staying put for a while!