JenniferS: December 2010 Archives
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!
A Lifetime in Wine
Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery
The Dreaded Family Meeting
Board Meeting Jitters
Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?
The Case of the Overweight Bottle
Wine and Dementia
Wanted: Talented (Normal) Individual for Family Owned Winery
A Sea of Wine
The Heroes of Our Industry