Getting Back In The SaddleJuly 26, 2016
By Kylee Hawkinson, Designer
Hey there! I’m Kylee, the newest addition to the design team at Fast Horse.
When I was thinking about what my introductory blog post should be about, I figured it might be interesting to share the story of how I ended up here. This is titled “Getting Back in the Saddle,” first of all because I wanted to make a pun (couldn’t pass up that opportunity), but also because joining the incredibly awesome team at Fast Horse marked the end of four long and anxiety-driven months of unemployment for me. Be forewarned that this isn’t the fluffy intro you might have been expecting, but rather a peek into a negative life experience I had that fortunately led to many positive life-changes.
Let’s start at the beginning. Back in February I had the biggest shock of my life: my position at my previous workplace was one of many eliminated due to some serious client losses. I didn’t see it coming and I was happy there, so I was devastated when the reality of it all set in. I had only been there nine months — and I hadn’t even been graduated from college for a full year at that point. While I understood that I was the least experienced and newest on the team, it was still difficult to come to terms with the fact that the hard work I did to get there in the first place was all for nothing. Or so I thought.
It didn’t take long for me to give myself a serious reality check. I knew that I should use my time and energy to buckle down and do what I needed to do to find another job instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. The good thing was, I knew I wanted to be in Minneapolis and I knew that I wanted to find work at another agency.
With the help of friends and former colleagues who made introductions for me, I was fortunate enough to explore what other opportunities the city holds. I visited several agencies and firms and was able to meet with many wonderful people. (Thank goodness for informational interviews!) This process helped me discover what I truly want out of my life and career. I was able to analyze what I felt strongly about regarding what I hope to learn and experience in order to grow as a professional.
My situation also pushed me to explore more of the Twin Cities via coffee shops (great places to get things done) and creative professional-development opportunities (networking gold mines). I opened up my life to cool new places and experiences that I wouldn’t have sought out previously. I was also forced to put myself out there to meet new people. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Eventually, through this process I met with the design team at Fast Horse – and then we all know how this story ends.
Overall, I learned a huge life lesson from this experience. No matter how much you plan and prepare, and no matter how hard you work, sometimes life will drop-kick your plans right out the window. While it’s terrifying to be thrown into a situation you were not prepared for (mentally, emotionally, financially, etc.), there are ways to cope and roll with the punches life throws at you. I found a way, and because of it, I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over again. As the saying goes, “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
Now that I have been at Fast Horse for a little over a month, I can honestly say that things couldn’t have worked out better. And I can’t wait to see where this ride takes me.