Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been MIA.

I’m sure you’ve missed my beautiful face in your comment sections, or my witty repartee on Twitter. Or maybe you haven’t, and that’s OK too. To those of you who have commented on my absense, I’ve promised “I’ll be back soon, pinky swear! I’m just busy at work!”

And while I have very much used the “I’m busy at work” excuse when I’m really not, this time it was a real live true story.

Remember a few months ago when I was all like WAAAHHH, things are changing at work and it’s scary and I’m ANGRY! And then I laid down on my blog and threw a toddler sized fit over it? It turns out that change is one of the best things to ever happen to me, career-wise.

Monday, June 4, me and the rest of the team of web developers and SEO geeks and a mild-mannered web trainer gave birth to a baby. A web baby. Meet ufandshands.org. I love it. I think it looks just like me.

The developers on this team built an infrastructure for this website that would cost an organization a half million dollars, I bet, and they did it all in-house. Any feature the content people asked for, they could give us. It was the right people coming together at the right time.

I was part of that. It’s one of the biggest projects I’ve ever worked on.

You know, I rarely blog about work. I don’t know, I mean, I’d gladly tell you in stunning detail everything in my underwear drawer, but I’m wary of talking about my job. Maybe it’s because the underwear drawer can’t fire me (and also doesn’t pay my mortgage.) But today I feel like talking about it.

I’m amazed and humbled how a single decision can turn into something hugely amazing. In 1997, I signed up for a dual credit class through my (future) alma matter and my high school. It was web design. I got my first email address and learned basic HTML.

I spun my love of HTML into a web journalism class in college, where I fine tuned my passion for information architecture and well-written content.

I got a job in newspaper advertising, where I explored the potential of Internet advertising.

My next boss was a client at the newspaper, and hired me for his web design company, where I learned how to develop websites and manage content.

All this brought me to my job at Shands doing what I love: writing for the web, marketing the website and eventually social media. Life brought me to my current position…or maybe it was fate. Whatever it was, I’m thankful. Eternally thankful.

My experience, knowledge and passion rolled together, gained momentum, pushed me further in my career, like a tiny snowball starting an avalanche. There’s no end to this ride in sight. I am truly blessed to love my job. It’s amazing and inspiring and uplifting and just plain cool. The pixels of individual decisions are coming together, slowly, steadily, to give me an increasingly clear picture of what I want to do.

It all started with that one class.

So, that’s where I’ve been….the past few weeks and then the long version you wished you never knew. Where I’m going? That’s still being decided, but I’m excited to find out.

Where is your path taking you?

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7 comments to Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

  • I’m pretty sure I have also thrown a tantrum or two that turned out okay…

    And I am SO happy for you and your web baby.

    She has your eyes…

  • Mazel Tov! Your baby is beautiful!

    I know only very basic HTML and know nothing about developing web sites, but I love writing for the web, marketing web sites, and social media. I’ve been pushing to do more of that at my job for years, but continue to be limited and/or shut down by the VERY old school network around me. So, color me jealous… but also very happy for you!

  • It looks GREAT! Congrats on completing such an awesome project. My tiny-decision-that-made-a-huge-impact was in college when I lived in Ohio and had the choice of doing an fellowship in Indy or Phoenix. I chose Phoenix (to see someplace out of the midwest). Eight years and 3 jobs later, I’m still in Phoenix in a PR job that I love, married to the guy I met when I first moved here. You never know when following your gut can change your life so drastically and in such a positive way.

    I’m very excited for you on your accomplishment!

  • I love when the backwoods-scary path ends up leading somewhere amazing.

    Blaze on friend.

  • It looks awesome! Isn’t it great to be paid to do work you love?

    I don’t like to talk specifically about work on my blog either, but I’ve had so much going on at work the last three months or so I’ve been tempted. But I don’t think accounting work would ever be exciting to anyone else. It’s definitely tougher to fit in blogging as a working mom when the whole work thing is taking over.

    Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished!

  • Love this post, Amanda! And the website has never looked so good. Congratulations!

  • Congrats on the big accomplishment!

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