From receptionist to editor, my media journey continues

At 26, I started working at GeekWire, an independent technology and business news site based in Seattle. I wanted to work in media and explore that career path.

After seriously evaluating graduate programs, I determined working at a media company for two years would teach me a lot without the commitment and debt of a journalism masters.

It also left room for my uncertainty: I loved writing but might not want to be a reporter; I’d avoided a journalism undergrad degree because of the unpredictability of the industry; and the Seattle media market is small but I couldn’t imagine leaving my new hometown.

The role, “Marketing and Events Assistant/Advertising Coordinator/Membership Director,” offered a crucial opportunity to break into the industry. Although not obviously applicable to these new responsibilities, my past experiences aided me in a myriad of ways. Even my role as a receptionist and HR assistant at industrial boat builder Kvichak Marine. Those onboarding, phone and filing skills came in handy!

Nine days in at GeekWire, I irrationally convinced myself that no one liked me. Soon after, I found my groove, got to know the team better and loved it. When I started, I didn’t love tech, startups or business journalism but I am now well-versed in each of these realms and respect them in a new light.

I enjoy figuring things out, untangling the chaos. I thrive when organizing, creating solutions, brainstorming and above all: supporting a newsroom so they can report and publish great journalism. At GeekWire, I did that through office management, event planning, running a membership program, trafficking ads, editorial operations and more.

On a small team for six years, I did a lot. If you talked to me about my job, you might recall how hard it was to describe. Among the many things that changed, that never did.

At 32, I worked my last day at GeekWire. It felt more like graduating than quitting. I’m not “graduating” to anything bigger or better but rather continuing the path I started at 26. I know I want to work in media, even the wild west version of it, and now see the many facets of the industry.

In the past six years, I grew up and the GeekWire team witnessed it, from buying Capi to keeping plants alive. They know my future husband Andrew from our early days, cheerfully greeted him at every event and appreciated how we navigated the pandemic together on a 34′ sailboat.

We worked hard, started new traditions like GeekWire Sailing Day and muddled through a lot of uncertainty. Thanks for letting me be in the thick of it, Geeks.

Last year, I also “graduated” from a 100-day program for journalism entrepreneurs. Part of a 20-person international cohort, I explored a way to combine my maritime and media experience. The resulting project is Future Tides and this newsletter but my long term vision extends far beyond a fortnightly email.

Future Tides is the culmination of my interest and experience, I want to write about these topics for years to come and keep building my boat-y beat. However, I am pursuing this vision slow and steady so expect the fortnightly newsletter format to continue for now.

I am still learning to be a journalist, to build something new, to collaborate and to untangle the chaos of modern media. I am still growing as a writer, colleague, individual and partner to Andrew.

Thinking about my media journey from his perspective helped me distill years of details and moments. Since we started dating in 2014, Andrew witnessed my decision to pursue a career in media.

We were having lunch when I shrieked in delight at being invited back for another interview, and ultimately a job offer, at GeekWire. He laughed at me when I declared myself a failure on my ninth day.

He observed me hunched over a laptop for months in 2021, participating in an intensive virtual program and launching Future Tides. Most recently, he listened as I made the monumental choice to change organizations.

Next week, he will give me a hug and watch me drive off to my first day at independent public radio station KNKX.

As the new online managing editor for the station providing the community with jazz, blues, NPR and regional news, I am sure he will see me dive in and figure things out once again. I wouldn’t feel so excited or optimistic about this opportunity without his support.

Or for that matter, your support. Future Tides’ readers include members of my sailing, Kvichak, GeekWire and now KNKX communities. Thank you for reading and bearing witness to this new course.

Featured image: GeekWire Photo/Kevin Lisota