#Patheos5Yrs: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

#Patheos5Yrs: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! May 5, 2014

Patheos at 5Today is the 5th anniversary of the official launch of Patheos. Congratulations! It really is something to celebrate, because it is very difficult to start a website today and have it grow to the size and impact that Patheos has.

I have been working at Patheos for 2 years. I’ve been blogging here less than that, and the reason I started blogging is simply because I enjoy writing occasionally, and this provides a good platform for me to do so. But my real passion here is behind the scenes, working to make the site look good and keep our main pages updated.

When I started at Patheos, I had just moved to Colorado, where the company is based. My husband and I had decided that we were going to move so that he could go to school and start a new career. He was miserable at his job, I didn’t love mine, and we were ready for a new adventure. We couldn’t just leave, though, without one of us having a job in Colorado. I started looking before we moved, but I realized quickly that I really needed to be there in order to do an effective job search. So, I quit my job and moved to Colorado while my husband stayed in Wisconsin and worked on selling our house.

Before I moved, I was connected to Patheos through my aunt, and I had spoken with them but they just weren’t quite ready to hire someone new yet. They were in the middle of launching a new look and feel to their site, and just didn’t have time to train someone right then. So I told them I’d keep in touch, and I’m pretty sure I bugged the heck out of them. It was a rough job market at the time, worse than it is now, and it was my only lead after applying to more jobs than I care to count. I was given 6 weeks to work remotely at my job back in Wisconsin, so that was carrying me through the first few weeks.

I was told when the launch of the updated site was planned, so I waited a few days afterwards and contacted Patheos again, hoping they might be ready to hire. Turns out, sometimes the “squeaky wheel” does get the grease, because somehow I got the job. I am not even sure what compelled Patheos to hire me in the first place, because I had zero experience in the web industry, and it wasn’t immediately clear how I could help. I have a sneaking suspicion my only redeeming factor was that I had majored in religious studies with a focus on Hinduism and Buddhism in college. At any rate, I was glad to get the job, and fully expected it to be pretty temporary so that my husband could get moved and get through school. We’d figure out what to do next after that.

My first day on the job, it was still unclear what exactly I’d be doing. But I was willing to help with pretty much anything, and even though I had to be taught all the systems and how to work on the back end of the website, I felt confident I’d fit in somehow. My coworkers were pretty busy at the time, and were willing to hand off pretty much anything I was capable of doing, so I took what I could get. After trying a few different things, we discovered I was capable of learning how to do some of the HTML updating of the site. 2 years later, and several new duties added to my workload brought me to where I’m at now, and I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised at how much I loved the work!

I discovered very early on that I believe strongly in the mission and vision of Patheos, and I greatly appreciate what the company is trying to do. Although I don’t agree with all of the religious beliefs, political views, or opinions of everyone who contributes to Patheos, I do believe that the conversation is healthy, meaningful, and necessary to living together in this world. Congratulations to Patheos for building that platform into what it has become today.

As Dr. Suess so eloquently put it, “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” I’m looking forward to seeing what Patheos accomplishes in the next 5 years and beyond. I thank Patheos for not only giving me a job, but for helping me to better define my career path, for helping me to work through my own religious beliefs, and for bringing together people from all walks of life — those who may never have communicated otherwise. That, my friends, is a very important thing.

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