My first summer in Cleveland, LeBron James announced he was following my footsteps and returning to his hometown, Cleveland. Cleveland was ecstatic, the city that once burned his jerseys are now cheering in excitement. My job at a restaurant near the arena is excited too because it’ll finally get business. Every day since I had started working there was twirling your thumbs unless there was a concert or baseball game. This was the biggest light bulb in my head that I needed to get out of hospitality before LeBron returns to Cleveland. I really wanted a job in marketing or journalism; I had great skills as I had worked with big publications back in New York. But it seemed as though my experience meant nothing and being known in Cleveland was everything. I didn’t know anyone so I was often overlooked. Feeling defeated, I turned to my sister and asked, “are there any positions available at your job?”
My sister was the Chief Academic Officer at Cleveland Metropolitan School District. When I first moved here, she gave me a list of all the jobs that were open at her employment. Me, the stubborn little sister, I tossed it and said to myself, I’m going to make my way through Cleveland on my own. Finding my own at a bowling alley was not ideal and after months of searching, I had to humble myself down. I applied for two jobs and come September, I had a job interview with Academic Resources team as a Project Manager. I was over working at the bowling alley and I decided one day to just quit. Not because I felt I had a job with Cleveland Metropolitan School District, because I was sick of it. I ended up working at a steakhouse, Hype Park shortly after and it was ten times better than working at the bowling alley. But come November I got a job offer and I couldn’t have come at a better time as NBA season just started and I didn’t want to deal with hectic evenings of new Cavs fans (I did meet Spike Lee though opening day).
By December I was officially adulting, working at a desk job with a salary and benefits, I thought nothing could get any better than this. A month into working there, I heard several people had complained about my job and wanted me fired. Yeah, several people complained to HR due to the fact that I was hired and my sister was our CAO. Mind you, my job wasn’t special. All I was doing was booking travel arrangement for the ENTIRE district. Not fun or glamorous so I was confused why a bunch of women were mad at my job and presence. It was stressful because people were really angry at me and tried to make it difficult for me to work there.
Despite all the drama I had at work, I used my new found paid vacation days to start seeing the world and doing nice things for myself and others. I was able to donate money to organizations I really cared about. I was also able to save money during my time there! I say it was ten times better than working at the bowling alley.
I learned how to start from the bottom and really manage a position in the best possible way for myself and the entire District. I received motherly advice from my older coworkers who shared their knowledge with me whenever I needed it. I lasted way longer than 75% of the people thought I could. It was an experience I am so happy I was able to have even though I complained 98% of the time but my greatest attribute is complaining so they should take it as a compliment.
I'll leave the job at the end of the month. Sad to leave my team as I've really grown to appreciate working with them and being there to support one another. But on and upward as they say.
Next, I will share navigating friendships as an adult and transplant….