Friday, May 08, 2015

New Workplace

From a #MSPSMB presentation during my time of underemployment.
I started a new job recently.  I'm trying not to make a habit of it, so I'd better stay at this one a while.

I accepted a position as the new Director of Annual Giving at Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. And when I say "new" I mean that they've never had a director of annual giving before. They recently restructured their organization and decided that they needed this expertise full time. It was a perfect match with my skills, plus I LOVE being a part of creating something new; I get to play to my strengths since the role is not rigidly defined.

The building I work in is a part of the Abbott Northwestern Hospital/Allina campus. There are a total of 6 or 7 buildings in this complex, and I was really nervous about finding my way around. But I've found a lot of great things about being on a big campus.

1. There are lots of food choices. There's the hospital cafeteria, the skyway café or Midtown Global Market, which is an entire building of every kind of ethnic food you could possibly want to try.

2. There's a beautiful inner court with gardens, water fountains and plenty of seating. Need a break from your desk? Take a walk and breathe in the fresh air.

3. Parking is a breeze (now). I confess, the first day I ended up climbing and descending four flights of stairs to make it from the parking ramp to my desk, but now that I've figured it out, I'm actually closer to my office from the parking ramp than I was when I worked at Gillette. Plus no outside time walking on an icy sidewalk down a steep hill. Bonus.

4. The campus is right off the Midtown Greenway bike trail. There's a cycle shop that's right on the greenway that will let you store your bike and use their showers for a measly $15/month. Once you're in the bike shop you're on campus, so I can reach my building through the tunnels or skyways. Now I just have to figure out how to do the whole kid drop-off thing in the morning so I can bike there in the summer.

5. The office is 15 minutes from my house. I take three turns to get to work (four if you include getting out of my driveway). I don't take a single highway. I am thrilled with my commute!

There are also some perks to the job that I'm liking.

1. My boss is really cool and smart. Plus his name is John, and considering that I've reported to a John for the majority of my professional working career, I knew this position was a possibility from the first interview.

2. Everyone is so gosh darn nice! There was a beautiful blooming plant on my desk my first day of work. Everyone I met had a big smile on their face and said, "We're so glad you're here!" Every team member is competent at his/her job and wants to work collaboratively with others to accomplish the goals set forth (at least that's my take so far). Trust me, that's a hard one to find.

3. My expertise is valued. I've been digging into data the last couple of weeks (pivot table porn!) and looking at what's gone on before to determine how to structure the program moving forward. Each suggestion I've made has been met as if it's the most brilliant thing anyone has ever said. Okay, so that's not totally true, but it feels good to be appreciated.

4. They have a healthy food policy. No dishes of chocolates at anyone's desks. No break room filled with treats. This may sound like a bummer, but this is actually an amazing thing for me! My downfall has always been snacking at work. When I first started at Gillette I lost nearly 10 pounds in 3 months. That's what happened when I arrived at a new place and didn't know who had the secret stashes of chocolate, didn't know the people well enough to ask for some or, as I was doing at Paradysz, just helping myself to it. I have absolutely NO control when it comes to sweets. The fact that sweets are not approved is THRILLING to me and my health!

5. They encourage physical activity. Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation is all about preventing heart disease through healthy lifestyles choices. We are participating in the Hennepin County "Step It Up" competition in May, where groups track their activities and see who is the most active/takes the most steps. The fact that this organization is located in a large campus with stairs everywhere already incentivizes walking and movement. I love the fact that they encourage their employees to "walk the walk" when it comes to the mission.

6. Jeans days on Fridays. Having come off a work-from-home gig, where yoga pants were the norm every day, I appreciate the break I get to take from professional wear once a week.

7. My desk is close to the break room and bathroom. It's the small things, but do you know how many times a day I get up to refill my water? And of course, that means extra trips to the bathroom. Luckily both are close but not so close as to be bothersome. At first I was worried about noisy conversations from the break room disturbing me, but then I remembered that usually any noisy conversations have me in it, so I don't have to worry. I'm actually the perfect person to have close to the break room, if you really think about it.

It's been a pretty great two and a half weeks.

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