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Saving the World Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely

I had a succession of jobs in the year after college: receptionist, data entry clerk for diesel engine parts company, and sole paid staff person at two tiny non-profits.

Non-profit A was in office suites above a movie theater. My boss was a former Boeing exec who used his funds and connections for disaster relief. I had a whole room to myself. It smelled like popcorn and I could feel when the action movie previews started. I formatted some damn good e-newsletters.

Jessie and Bailey at Gas Works in April 2006.

Jessie and Bailey at Gas Works in 2006.

For Non-profit B, I worked either at the executive director’s kitchen table or my own. We were on a mission to rid the world of a particular evil. Although I did have to pick up dry cleaning, I also spoke to a couple low level celebrities on the phone. I got to sleep in a bit when I worked at home, and only slightly more important to me at 22, I got paid to make the world better.

But I was lonely in my new city. I had moved to Seattle with a few friends from college, and I was not prepared for how hard it would be to meet people in “the real world.” I certainly wasn’t meeting anyone through work. When I’d been entering seven digit codes for cylinder heads, I’d at least had coworkers. Or when I was a receptionist, crazy stuff would happen like someone would get stuck in the elevator or young women would mistake me for the Planned Parenthood receptionist down the hall. I had no stories to tell after a day of working at home with the dog, and now, I have very few memories of that time.

So I put saving the world on hold and got a job at a pet store so I could meet other people. I made friends, started dating, and was so much happier. Coworking as we know it wasn’t available yet, but it would have made my transition into the Seattle workforce much smoother. I now co-own Works Progress, a coworking or shared office space, in Greenwood.

Maybe you can relate to my experiences if you work for a tiny non-profit, are new to the city or are just tired of working at home. Come try out working in our space. You’ll immediately expand your social circle by 17 humans and one fluffy dog (pictured). Keep saving the world (or doing what you do). We’re here to keep you company.