Nothing beats loving what you do and who you do it for

I’ve been working one job or another since I was 16.

I’ve been a sales associate for a frozen yogurt shop, a bead store (which I didn’t even know was a thing until my best friend and I stumbled across their “Now Hiring!” sign), a retail store and Murray State University dining services. I’ve had three internships and I’ve held several positions at The Murray State News (The News). In five short years of being a working gal, I have loathed some jobs and tolerated others.

I’ve had to deal with emotionally abusive managers, incompetent coworkers, condescending supervisors and bleak working environments. I’ve had to literally drag myself to work some days because I dreaded going to it that much.

So believe me when I say: nothing beats loving what you do and who you do it for.

Currently, I am the Opinion Editor for The News and, in case you didn’t know, I’m also one of the VoiceBox Media public relations interns. These two positions have made me feel like I’ve found my place in the world. The people I work with and for are some of the goofiest, weirdest and most encouraging people I’ve ever met, and I thrive because of them.

For the first time in a long time, I feel worthwhile. There’s a difference between being good at something and being valued because you’re good at something. There’s also a fine line between being coworkers and friends, but I have found both in every single person I work with both at VoiceBox and at The News.

I think this really hit home for me this past weekend. A big group of people from The News went to the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas (conveniently where the other VoiceBox Media team is based). Some of us drove and some of us flew. Those of us who opted to drive had to sit in a van for 26 collective hours together.

A portion of The Murray State News team visiting UT Austin.

A portion of The Murray State News team visiting UT Austin.

If you can get through 26 hours of confined “bonding time” with five of your coworkers and make it back home without going absolutely crazy, that’s a pretty stellar group of colleagues.

There was hardly a moment of that road trip where we weren’t talking to one another – whether it was about our top 5 celebrity crushes or our ultimate goals in life. Not only did I learn a lot about each of them, but I learned I am incredibly lucky to be able to work with them.

Not to mention the fact that the time we all actually spent together in Austin made for one of the best long weekends I’ve had in a while. Mostly because I was able to spend time with both my Murray State family and my VoiceBox family.

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Photo courtesy of Amanda Gibson.

I got to meet Amanda Gibson, the Texas State VoiceBox public relations intern, and we clicked instantly. We attended several sessions together, talked about college, discussed future internships and more. It was like we had been friends for a lot longer than just that day.

I was also able to see the one and only Holly Wise, founder and CEO of VoiceBox Media, in person for the first time in months and it was glorious. We talked for hours about the future of VoiceBox Media, life and more. She’s my mentor, role model and close friend – not many can say that about their boss, but I know everyone who has worked with/for her would say the same thing.

Simply put: I’m grateful. I love what I do and who I do it for.

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