Starting a new job is a lot like being the new kid in school. No one wants to be the new kid! The whole experience is nerve-wracking. Aside from the transition of organizational leadership, there was a staff to get acquainted with, unfamiliar office space to learn, and serious first impressions to make. The entire time, I was hoping I wasn’t sweating profusely, or that I wouldn’t accidentally drop an f bomb and I really just wanted people to like me.
Day one on the job, I was introduced to about 85% of the downtown merchants. By the end of week one, I had met so many people; I wasn’t sure what my name was. While I may not have remembered everyone’s name, I do remember the way everyone made me feel, and I felt welcome.
Growing up in southwest Michigan, I felt like a St. Joe guru. In my mind, the summer heat radiating off of the sand at Silver Beach, walking the pier on a breezy summer night and mindlessly wandering down State Street while window-shopping, was St. Joe.
There is a whole culture to be embraced beyond the beach. The people in this community are unparalleled in hospitality, generosity and civic pride. Austin Bock, Bound for Freedom founder said it best, “It’s a place of beauty, growth, rest, pursuing dreams, and self discovery.” That mind set is evident in the small business owners. They are pursuing dreams and growing everyday.
St. Joseph is full of like-minded, goal-oriented individuals that have successfully worked together to build this remarkable community. It is the people that make up St. Joe. In my new role, I want to introduce everyone to these people. I want everyone to feel how I felt when I moved here and started a new job. Turns out being the new girl, ain’t so bad!