As reported elsewhere, I started a new full-time job this past Monday, after a full year of unemployment. I'm working as Adoption Coordinator for the Jewish Child Care Association, an agency that provides services to children in foster care, some of whom end up being adopted.
I'm really enjoying my new job so far. I'm learning a lot about foster parenting and adoption, and think I'll be able to contribute very well in this position. And, of course, every family has a story and reading about them is great for someone like me who is insatiably curious.
The people all seem very nice. The workplace is very touchy/feely, as one might expect from a place full of social workers. It sometimes seems a bit over the top to me, and it's very unlike anywhere else I ever worked. But I find myself amused rather than annoyed at the over-the-topness and some of it is quite nice. I like the warm and friendly atmosphere.
The commute is taking some getting used to. I'm allowing 1.5 hours to get there and I think that is plenty. If all goes well, it's more like 1 hour 15 minutes, but I need to allow for having to wait a while for transit. There's no way to go there that doesn't require switching. I can take either of two buses and transfer to either of two subways at a couple of different transfer points, so I've been experimenting with the different ways. They all seem to be about the same length, so I think I should just take whatever comes first. There's also a way to do it by subway alone, but it requires a very long underground walk to change subways, and I wouldn't try it in this weather. But when it's cold out I might do it sometimes.
Reading has always been what I do during the commute, but it's not until the last couple of days that I really settled into reading while traveling. Part of the issue was that I wasn't used to the commute yet, so I kept looking up from my book to see where I was. Also, I started reading this. It's very good, but it requires a little more concentration than I'm capable of at 7:30 in the morning and while traveling. I had only gotten about a third of the way through it in three days. I switched to light fiction yesterday and read a book and a quarter in the last two days. So I think I'll stick with that.
I'm going to try working 2 days a week in Brooklyn and 3 days in the Bronx and see how that goes. I'm working with people in both offices, so it makes sense to spend time in both. The Brooklyn office is not near my home - and also requires a bus and subway - but it's about half an hour shorter.
The next few weeks are short weeks because of the Jewish holidays. I'll work 2 days next week, 4.5 days the following week, and 4 days the week after that. So kind of a nice way to ease into it.
In sum, so far so good. The pay is lousy (I'm actually going to be making less than I was when I wasn't employed) but the work is good, there's health insurance, and I just feel so happy to have a job!