Every morning, before I get out of bed, I always check Twitter and email.
Usually my email has nothing interesting. It was not the case on this day in early June.
“Hi Josh,” the email read. “How are you? Guess what? One of my PR Coordinators is not working out…Are you still interested?”
The email was from Moody Gardens — and it was exactly the opportunity I was hoping for.
I originally applied for a PR coordinator job at Moody Gardens back in September. I was called in for an interview and I felt like it went really well.
However, the job went to someone that used to intern at MG. While disappointing, I understood why that decision was made.
In April, I received a call from the Marketing Director again. There was an opening in the marketing department and she was calling to offer me a job.
Apparently I made such an impression in my interview in September that they sought me out. She told me she saw after my interview that I was more than a sports reporter and she realized I would be a good fit for the team.
There was one issue — I had moved to the west side of Houston. I was spending a crap load of money on gas and tolls visiting Boogie and Yeh-Peu-Dah all the time, so I decided to bail from the Clear Lake area when my lease was up. I loved my new apartment, and even if I didn’t, my lease wasn’t up until October.
I thanked her for the call, but I just couldn’t accept. A 65-mile commute one-way just didn’t seem logical at the time.
I made sure to tell her it had nothing to do with working at HCN. If I still lived in Clear Lake, I would have accepted it on the spot.
I was extremely honored that she had sought me out about the job opening. I thanked her several times for that, and told her if they had an opening again, to please contact me. Maybe at that point, the situation would be a little different.
When May rolled around, I realized my mistake in passing on that job opportunity.
We had a meeting with the soon-to-be owners of HCN detailing our benefits and how the transition was going to go. After that meeting, I knew the time to try to leave the newspaper business had returned.
The first thing I did when I got home was email Moody Gardens. I knew the chances were slim, but I had to see if there was an opening. There was not…
I was definitely bummed out and kicking myself for turning down the job when I had a chance. It was on to Plan B, which was hoping I could get an interview somewhere despite my sports journalism background.
Two weeks later, I received that email from the Marketing Director. I was pretty sure what I needed to do, but I called Yeh-Peu-Dah just to get confirmation.
“You’ve been regretting not taking that job,” she said. “You have to do it this time.”
That was exactly the response I was hoping for, and was glad I had the support from her to do it.
Again, the only negative for taking the job was going to be the commute. However, I said to myself if that is the only reason for not taking it, then I just needed to suck it up and drive. This opportunity probably wouldn’t come again.
I called the Marketing Director back, and within a few hours, I had officially accepted the job. They were willing to be flexible with the hours I worked because of my commute, which was a big plus for me.
It’s a long drive — about an hour and 15 minutes one way — but it really isn’t too bad thanks to Bluetooth and XM Radio. I know the gas is going to add up, but it was totally worth it to get the opportunity to move into the Public Relations world.
I’ve been on the job for almost a month now, and I absolutely love it. It’s different writing from a PR perspective instead of a news angle, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
So far, I’ve got to travel on two media tours, making visits to Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi and San Antonio. This last one to Corpus and SA was interesting, because we traveled with a macaw and a python in the van with us.
The best part of the job, however, is the positive energy in the department. Everyone has a good attitude and a great work ethic. They all have good sense of humors, too, which goes well with my sarcastic attitude.
Being in the newspaper business for so long can turn you bitter. All you get is negative feedback and it starts to wear on you after a few years. Now, I go into an office where everyone is smiling and genuinely loving their jobs — and it feels great.
I still pick up a few sports side jobs here and there and I’m going to be back on the sidelines for Friday Night Football on SportsTalk 790 this fall. That gives me my sports fix to remind me of my old life.
However, I am excited about my new career and what the future holds for me. I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun and interesting ride.
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!