Thoughts from a Newcomer
With Wilma tied up in national sales meetings this week, I thought I'd fill in...
After retaining my post of seven years as a Sales & Marketing Administrator/Executive Assistant for a family owned winery, I had become very comfortable in my job. I was the "go to person" for everyone from the owners to the part-time Tasting Room associate. I became very well groomed and versed in my responsibilities. The people and company I worked for, for better or worse, defined who I was professionally. My work ethic and integrity were already a part of me but because I loved what I was doing, it was an easy job to wake up to every day.
So, on that dreadful day last spring I suddenly found myself a Âstatistic.Â I had lost my job due to a merger with a larger firm who wiped clean the executive and administrative slate that consisted of dedicated, hardworking employees. Sadly, in the wine industry today, this is not unusual.
The very next day I went to work full time. My full time job became, finding a job. I was full of anxiety and motivation. I took stock and decided that this could be a very good thing. The wine industry is somewhat incestuous; over the years you see a lot of the same faces making their rounds from one winery to the next. I had developed some great relationships and contacts over the years. I was confident that my skill set and network of "wine" friends would land me on my feet. Well here I am, over four months into my new job. I am in the very same field with almost the very same title. The differences are simply geography and the faces with whom I am now working. Same game, different players; after 15 years in the wine industry this is the conclusion I've come to, and that is not a bad thing.
I have had the good fortune of landing employment with a company that is not that dissimilar from where I was. Dry Creek Vineyard has all the qualities that fit my criteria. It is family owned, produces a relatively small production of hand crafted wines with care from vineyards they own and or manage, have longevity in the industry and a passion to make it work.
Although I bring experience to my new job, it is the little things that are so new to me. I am assisting the Vice President, who also happens to be the Director of Marketing, who also happens to be an Owner, who also happens to be Wilma. Phew! I am acutely aware of how much I will learn from working with her. My predecessor was in this position for ten years. I have big shoes to fill. The hardest part is that I want to have the knowledge you get after seven years, right now.
I feel valued and I am encouraged. Is it hard to look for work after being at the same job for a long time? Yes, but as I have found out, it is rewarding in so many ways. My day is not mundane and I do not feel complacent. It may be the "same game with different faces" but how lucky I am to be working and in one of the most fascinating industries in the world located in one of the most magnificent locations in the world.
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
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The Dreaded Family Meeting
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Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?
The Case of the Overweight Bottle
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The Heroes of Our Industry