I think I’m getting good at something

So here’s a confession: I’ve never felt like I was good at my job. I never advanced past concessions at the movie theater. I found working a drive-thru at Diary Queen overwhelming, and the swirls on my cones always fell apart. As a copy editor, I made too many mistakes. As a page designer, I felt like a failure. But lately I’m starting to feel confident in my skills — at least some of them — and that’s a feeling I’ve waited 26 years for. The other day, I got a brief mention from a blogger at Barstool Sports who thought my tweet for @presscitizen was amusing.

My goal is to make readers think of the Press-Citizen as their news source, and that means it has to sound like a real person is running the place. But that person has to be professional and unbiased, too.

@BarstoolTrent‘s crude (but ultimately harmless) joke was at first just an opportunity to make someone smile, but the response I got made me think I might be doing something right.

Oh, and analytics. I’m getting good at predicting what will attract people to our website, and even better at using the data to support my decisions. Since I joined the Press-Citizen almost a year ago, our traffic has increased nearly every month. In 2013, we exceeded each of our monthly goals for video views, which were set higher each month. And it feels good.

Of course, I didn’t do it alone. My new boss, Stephen Schmidt, has been hugely focused on goals since he took over in October. We also have a new tool, Chartbeat, that gives us real-time insights into who’s looking at what on our site.

It lets us see which tweets and Facebook posts work and which don’t, which platforms are readers are using to access which content, and which times are the best time to catch someone’s attention.  I love it more than I love anything that isn’t a person or a sport.

I still make mistakes. Like, a lot of mistakes. Maybe even too many. And like a lot of people with ADHD, basic things like managing time and following directions are a struggle — so I may never be a model employee. But after a lifetime of feeling like a loser, I finally see myself as competent. And that’s huge.

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