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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The New Girl

It’s been two and a half weeks since I started my new job, so it may be a little premature to say this, but I’m going to anyway. I’m glad I made the decision to leave my last employer, when I did.

Don’t get me wrong, the Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC) is an amazing place to work, in a multitude of ways. Namely, the mission. A mission I felt (and still feel) very powerful about. How could you not? Staff at CAPC is working hard to reduce, if not end, child abuse and neglect in Sacramento County and especially amongst our most vulnerable residents, our children. In my capacity, as the Child Death Review Team (CDRT) Project Manager, I managed a multi-disciplinary team of professionals working in the children services/public health and safety fields to review the death of each child that died within Sacramento County. The work was daunting, but very powerful. And I learned a lot. I made great connections, and I’m eternally grateful for that. I’m most grateful for the friendships I made during my four years at CAPC. Many of whom I will stay in touch with as I begin my new path at the California Department of Boating & Waterways (DBW) as an Associate Governmental Program Analyst (AGPA) in the Legislative/Public Information Unit.

I was very hesitant about leaving CAPC and I didn’t know how long I would stay at DBW. I namely thought I would use this opportunity as an “in” with the state, but as I form new friendships, learn an abundance of new information regarding the California State Legislature and the government in itself, I find myself interested in staying. I thought I would lose myself working for the state. That I would become just another “lazy state worker.” Thankfully, although I’ve had some slow days here, I have learned that this agency is not really the place for “lazy state workers.” These folks are busy. And the work they do is meaningful. I was afraid I was going to lose that here coming from an agency that was making a HUGE impact in so many people’s lives. That hasn’t been the case. I get to analyze legislative and policy related issues regarding California’s waterways, and that includes keeping recreational boaters safe. I’ve been able to review work regarding the Wear It California campaign, which was created to educate the public on the importance of wearing life jackets. I get to use my statistical analysis experience, my report writing skills and my “sociological lens” more so than I thought. Not to mention, the increase in pay, better benefits, retirement, etc. etc. etc. – makes a huge difference. I was afraid that taking this job for those “grown up reasons” I just listed was going to bite me in the ass and as it turns out, I’ve started to change my mind. I feel at ease with my decision especially now that I’ve made friends and I’m not just the “new girl.”

I have a feeling I’m going to learn a lot here and I appreciate that my feedback is taken seriously. I get to make decisions and my thoughts on matters brought to my attention are taken more seriously than in the past.

I’m enjoying that. I’m enjoying the change and I feel very fortunate.


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