While others just finished celebrating the loves of their lives, I’m still celebrating my two-year work anniversary here at Civil + Structural Engineer! Valentines is a fun day to start a new job, but an awkward one when it comes to an anniversary. The office hype is less about the new girl, but rather the new bouquet on the desks, or lack thereof in some cases.

It’s pretty incredible how fast two years fly by. As a parent, I know that first hand. I blinked and my toddler is now 6’1″. Not in two years, albeit, but you get the point. You can measure the years in your child’s literal growth and mental development. But enough about kids. How do  you measure growth in a job?

It’s amusing to look back on your time employed with a company. I came into a position with an eagerness and appetite to learn, yet approached it with intimidation.. To help you understand what it is I do, I am the director of sales for an AEC industry publication and website. I oversee all sales and revenue for the publication, website, newsletter, and many continuing education resources. I work directly with industry vendors, suppliers, and problem solvers to market, advertise, and promote their organization.

The AEC industry terrified me and the book my then-manager handed me on day one didn’t comfort me at all. It was an overwhelming read. I eventually made a place for it on the corner of my desk underneath a candle. In my freshman year, (ahem, like one brief year ago) I would put four letters together to create a bogus (unintentionally bogus) acronym when I started attending industry trade shows. I tried keeping up with others in conversation, but got so behind following their language that a four-letter acronym seemed safe to me. I can’t imagine how many real companies I have offended by my accidental alphabet scrambles. I once attempted to talk to a neighboring exhibitor about a feature story about design build, but the acronym never made it to my lips. I could see the letters jumbled in my head but they wouldn’t place themselves appropriately, so I just said over and over, “BDIA.” A look of confusion stayed on my fellow exhibitor’s face for the whole conversation, and no wonder … why would an engineering magazine cover a story about the “British Dental Industry Association?”

Geeze, was I in over my head.

I’m not a professional engineer, architect, or construction worker, all of which make up the AEC industry. I’ve never studied these professions and, to be quite honest, have no plans to. So why then am I in a position to make decisions and/or recommend strategy for vendors whose objective consumer targets are all within these professions? The answer is complex, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll says this: It’s because I have a knack for understanding how to optimize a brand’s exposure in any industry through strategic marketing/advertising efforts.

Two years and maaaany tradeshow slip-ups later, I’ve recently returned to that book that my manager gave me on my first day. I know that I’ve now developed a center point of knowledge and the book will be better understood. Optimal word here being better, still not completely! 

I think that growth is acknowledging where we are in our current stages; whether being in a profession and/or even a season of life, and then making calculated efforts to go beyond that again and again and again. Day by day by day. I easily find myself in a state of comfort at work. Schedules are nice. They keep us on task and with them we can check the “unpredictable” at the door. There is a lot of peace in that feeling and I even believe comfortableness to be necessary at times in order to balance this dynamic life of career woman, single mother, and friend/daughter/sister.

So, what do I do to build upon my career growth without becoming complacent? I set small goals. Small. When others make lofty goals to close 5 new accounts in a quarter, mine are attaining 150 new emails from qualified clients. I’m realistic with the goals I set but ambitious enough to stay hungry and moving forward. It’s okay for me to feel the urgency, the disoriented chaos, and the heat from my boss. It’s an unsettling feeling but for me it’s in those moments of uncomfortableness that I actually grow the most.

The magazine, the website, and my entire staff live by a similar motto. We are all committed to personal and professional growth. We understand the rapid pace at which technology is evolving and transforming and we are committed to reflecting this trend. We have seen, researched, and personally spoke with readers who tell us how they consume their news, and as we all know so well, it ain’t how our grandfathers did it!

We have some big and exciting news to share with you in the next couple of weeks. Please stay plugged in with us to receive updates! I hope you enjoy our platforms as thoroughly as we enjoy working on them. If you have any recommendations, suggestions, or even complaints, please consider reaching out to me personally! Feedback is an important commodity and I will receive it with sincere thankfulness!

Now, please excuse me. I’m off to celebrate two years in one of the most complex but nurturing relationships I’ve ever been in!!