I started a new job about 5 weeks ago, and I’m loving it so far! Didn’t realize it’s for-profit ’till I had been there for a week. I also didn’t know about the three-day weekends until my first day of work. I spoke with a colleague about working the following morning (my first day was on a Thursday), and she asked what I was coming in for. I said “To work?”, feeling confused and she said “Oh honey, we don’t work on Friday’s”. And to think, I almost stayed with my former employer!

I was shocked when she told me this–so much so that I asked my boss, just to be sure. “Maybe Ashley’s off on Friday’s but I probably have to be here”, I thought. Needless to say, I was in total denial. But sure enough, John reassured me that no one works on Friday’s. I thought I was going to cry, I was so effing happy. I already planned on treating myself to Origins, since my favorite place to drink is like a half mile away from Support, but news of the three-day weekends brought my excitement to a whole nother level. I would’ve started on Wednesday had I known, but it was still nice to take a day off in between jobs for self-care purposes.

There’s so many perks to working for a for-profit versus nonprofit. I’ve been doing nonprofits for 6 years, and it was time for a change. I find it super coincidental how badly I wanted out of nonprofits to unknowingly working for this place. And I’m not even ashamed to admit I’m out of the nonprofit realm. It may sound anti-altruistic to serve a for-profit agency, but we are able to do so much more for our clients; it’s unbelievable.

Navigating my new position as a behaviorist has been interesting to say the least. Depending on the client, I either talk with them directly or act as a support to their Family Caregiver (FCG) or Host Home Provider (HHP). I still have more to learn, but I’m soaking it all in as quickly as possible.

I’m also lending a hand to our Facebook page, as it needs some serious love. So now I’m the new administrator, and it’s fun to get creative. My boss approved a software program for us to make flyers for our agency. I cleaned up our page, changed the cover photo, updated our bio and contact information and asked friends, family and coworkers to “like” our page, in an effort to increase our online visibility. We started with 247 fans and have made our way towards 300. So far it’s going great! We consider Facebook as a wonderful tool to educate consumers and inform clients of upcoming events. Between this and volunteering for our BACPAC program, I am absolutely loving my job.

I miss my old coworkers tremendously, but do I miss the agency itself? Not really. The threat of micromanagement hung over our heads like impending doom clouds, but little did we know, we were already being micromanaged, especially community based therapists and case managers. I want to be tactful on the one hand, but then again, I really don’t care at this point. In hindsight, I was incredibly unhappy at my last job. The agency was too big for my preferences. Initially I convinced myself how nice it would be to work in an organization that offers opportunities for advancement, only to find out that everyone wants to transfer and internal promotions are hard to come by. All in all, larger, corporate-feeling agencies just aren’t for me.

The Loveland branch is even smaller than our office in Aurora, and I love it. As soon as we hire a new coordinator, five of us will reside in downtown Loveland while another 50 or so employees are stationed in Aurora. Our “office” is an old Victorian house. It is beautiful, huge and possibly haunted. I arrived to the office one Saturday to grab some things, and the fridge was wide open. Two of my coworkers have heard whispers and a little girl laughing upstairs. Another colleague worked in the living room late one evening when the small glass doors on the fireplace flew open, and it wasn’t windy outside. There’s handprints on the outside of my window, one that’s very small and one that’s very large. It’s creepy, and I’m not brave enough to climb out the window onto the roof to wipe them off.

But despite all that, I love our location and the house itself. We have 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, and 2 conference spaces not to mention the storefront we hope to have up and running in the next year or so. My office is basically a bonus room in a Victorian house with windows large enough to support my love for plants.

Can’t wait to spruce up my office 🙂 I don’t know what to do with all this space!!

When I’m not at the office or in the community, I’m working from home! We work 10 hour days but are allowed to do paperwork from home. And, I get to take Buddy to the office on slow days. Last week Holly and I drove towards the east side of the state for our furthest home visit. We were only 18 miles from Nebraska, so we drove to the border just to say we visited Nebraska LOL. We also tried a divebar called Lucy’s–that buffalo burger hit the spot!

And last but not least, I love that Support uses Emergenetics. I learned a lot about my personality and behaviors and how my coworkers tend to operate. That way, we can all work better together as a team. First you take a lengthy quiz and then, your results are delivered in a fancy folder with a detailed cover sheet and several pages detailing your positive attributes and how to apply them towards your career.

New employees are required to take the test, followed by a 6 hour training which I truly enjoyed. Out of 9 of us, I was the only one that scored high in 3 areas and not just two: Social, conceptual and analytical. I expected to score high in the structural domain but not conceptual. This made me realize that I needed to exercise my creativity more often, and thus I volunteered to be the new Facebook administrator. I also offered to help with BACPAC, as I love to camp, hike and fish. Emergenetics has impacted my career already, and it’s only been a month. I highly recommend this tool for other agencies searching for ways to build their teams and stimulate employee growth.

As far as three-day weekends are concerned, I was honestly pretty lazy the first two Friday’s I had off. I slept in late, cleaned the house and that was about it. By the third Friday, I was feeling kind of bored–a stark contrast to my life this time last year. I helped a friend with her assignment at Starbucks, met up with Kelly and Cynthia for lunch followed by a light shopping spree at Ulta. My 4th Friday off, I took an informal coffee tour in Loveland and tried a few unfamiliar establishments. I also stumbled across a used bookstore, which I’ve been looking for months. I bought a gardening book for Keegan and I to get creative with our landscape. On the 5th Friday, I drove to Fort Collins to use a Groupon at Butters before it expired and checked out all the new Spring swag at H&M.

If you had told me when I was interning and working nonstop that I would have an amazing job with three-day weekends the following year, I wouldn’t have believed you. I hope to never take my weekends for granted; it baffles me that I almost applied for an inpatient position that would have required me to work swing shifts and weekends. I literally scoff out loud as I’m typing this. I can’t stress it enough…I am so grateful I wound up with this agency. Between my clients, FCGs, HHPS and coworkers, I am loving where I landed. My mood has lifted, I’m more relaxed, and I can tell what a difference it makes to work in an agency where I feel supported and appreciated.

So for anyone reading this that might be feeling stuck, just know that it always gets better! Apply for new positions and most importantly, don’t give up. Keep trying and trying till you get what you want.