By JAMILA RIZVI
“This didn’t used to happen at my old job.” That’s what has been on my mind (OMM) this week. In fact it’s been on my mind so much that it has basically become my mantra.
Making the shift from the not-always-so-bright lights of Parliament House in Canberra, to the sparkly and neon post-it adorned offices here at Mamamia – has been a pretty big change.
Go Leisel go! We made this and it recieved more than 4000 likes on Facebook.
I knew it would be different of course. The world of politics is quite unlike anything else. Your life exists in a bubble because you live and breathe the stuff that everyone else only casually engages in as they watch the news at night or when they flick through the newspaper over a morning coffee.
So I expected to have to go through a period of adjustment. I was pretty damn excited about getting to BE the media instead of just trying to convince the media to write nice things about the Government. But overall I was confident it would be a not-so-difficult change to manage. Right?
Wrong. Absolutely nothing could have prepared me for coming to work at Mamamia.
During my first morning meeting we discussed Madonna’s nipple. Her left one to be precise. The one she flashed. At the final morning meeting at my old job, we had discussed the outcomes of the G20 Employment Minister’s Summit and how we could better support the long term unemployed into meaningful work. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.
In my old job, there was no ‘sparkle’ day. I think the Minister and I once wore identical Country Road suits to a media event but that was about as fashion coordinated as we got.
I brought ideas to those first few editorial meetings and other writers would raise their eyebrows at me and say “that feels like homework Jam, readers like to read stuff that is you know, um, not boring.” That would be followed by fart noises.
The strangest moment has perhaps been the merging of the two worlds. Having the Prime Minister visit the Mamamia office to engage with readers directly about child care. A little strange for me (!!!) but more than anything what a GIGANTIC compliment to the Mamamia community – it shows how switched on and engaged our readers are, when our nation’s leaders seek us out, anxious to hear your opinions. I have loved to be able to write about politics too and see the world that I was once a part of from the outside. It has given me a whole new perspective.
Each day we try and make sure Mamamia serves you up a tapas style platter, with a little bit of everything that is going on that day. And I love that. The site is as complex as all women are – our tastes are wide and varied and our conversations switch from politics to fashion to relationships to motherhood in a matter of minutes.
Most of all, I enjoy reading the great submissions we get about current issues that have that slightly different ‘angle’ to them - that’s what ultimately makes Mamamia different to other websites. Our contributors and writers have their own take on what’s happening in the world and it’s often one you might not have considered before. Coming from the world of politics where you have a standard line and you stick to it – that is tremendously refreshing and stimulating.
Mia and the team inquire about my love life daily. Yes, daily. The entire team’s personal lives are front and center of morning conversation – it’s a great feeling to be working with friends. I find myself saying things like “I’m going to post the semen now guys” and I have email folders called “sexy selfies” and “erotic fiction“. I’m serious. In my old job, that would have had me in breach of the Government’s IT code of conduct.
7 weeks in and I am still swimming rapidly towards the side of the pool, so I can grip onto the edge for dear life and have a quick break from treading water. But I’ve never had more fun. Every single day it’s a joy to come to work and I’m learning new things from fabulous people at a crazy, crazy pace.
But I am getting there. Only a week ago someone in the office looked up from their computer and asked “How long were Tomkat married for?” And I knew the answer. To the month. *Waits for applause* I’m still a little bit chuffed.
What new and exciting things are happening in your life this week? Are there new jobs, new loves, new obstacles or most importantly, new shoes? We want to hear all about it. What’s on your mind.
Calling all mums! To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August) our sister site iVillage want to know what breastfeeding means to you. And they want you to feel free to show them just how much it means to you AND your baby.
You can share your breastfeeding images with iVillage by posting your photos on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest with the hashtag #iVillageWBW or emailing your images to firstname.lastname@example.org
iVillage will create a gallery of YOUR images to go alongside these celebritiy mums doing what women the world over do every single day. What a great project to get involved with!