A year ago, when I was living and working on my mom’s new farm, I would wake up to the noises of chickens, goats and sheep welcoming the day with their cacophony. I had alfalfa hay in every single one of my jacket pockets. Never would I have imagined that in six short months I would be working on the 13th floor in downtown Portland for a communications agency. Talk about a change of scenery!
Now my pockets house paper clips and sticky note reminders from my day’s assignments. My boots are clean. I get to stay inside. In the mornings my alarm clock wakes me daily with its prerecorded tones and punctual programming.
To reflect on this decently radical change in career path, I compared the daily tasks of farming with my position as an accounting assistant. Working on the farm– doing manual labor, tending the garden, raising animals, preserving harvests—provided a rigid outline of daily tasks with strict deadlines and immediate consequences. Accounting and administrative assistance requires attention to detail, focus and collaborative communication. You can’t fight against nature. You must work with it.
These two workplaces, farming and communications, have many similarities, even if they seem worlds apart. In the office, I’m reminded of when I would wake up with the sunrise to water the garden. Getting the chance to work on video shoots with Coates Kokes and our clients stands out to me as a great example of the underlying sameness. The effort and intention of production crew members, actors, consultants and clients is like a garden. Individual components can stand alone like soil, water, sunlight, seeds and temperature; it’s when they combine that growth happens, as if by magic.
A workplace necessitates teamwork the same way nature does. Whether it’s an office or a farm, I suppose the old saying is still true; the whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts. It feels very human to help something grow, to nurture, and to never stop growing yourself. From one human to another, look forward to all the ways you’ll grow and change. I know I’m looking forward to growing with Coates Kokes—I’m happy that I am planted here.