I had driven by the curiously named PERQ headquarters dozens of times before ever learning what it was. And that knowledge came when I stepped in the doors for a job interview. I’d been a small-town newspaper reporter for seven years. It was a profession I’d come to enjoy and respect. In an era when one only sees older people, typically retirees wearing fedoras and gigantic glasses, reading a newspaper, I was the exception. As a 20-something, I understood and appreciated the vital role a local paper plays in the community. But not everyone recognizes the importance of a local paper, and reporting jobs are consistently at the top of the worst-jobs-in-the-country list for their low pay, tough hours and high stress. And one of these reasons unfortunately had me looking for employment elsewhere. Enter: PERQ.
My friend Kelly had been working here for several years, and she loved it so much that I was curious. “They would have to pay me to leave,” she said. There were a couple of job openings, and even though I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than writing, I applied. About three months later, here I sit in my cubicle in Indianapolis’ PERQ headquarters. It was a tougher-than-expected transition, as being a reporter had become a part of my identity. But though it has been difficult, it has also been a positive change for me.
I went from a stuck-in-the-‘70s office to a very modern and relaxed atmosphere. Relaxed, but busy. I was drawn to the company because it seemed to be one that really took care of and valued its employees. I’m enjoying being a part of a place like that.
“But though it has been difficult, it has also been a positive change for me.”
And then there is the work I am doing. It would’ve been difficult to go from reporting to anything else, because reporting is so unique. But I am very glad to still be working with newspapers, and I was surprised to learn how much I enjoy the new role. I am working with clients after they place an order to ensure that order is seen through successfully. And by order I mean print jobs, largely from newspapers, from things like advertising inserts and magazines to brochures, business cards and banners.
Among other things, we work with newspapers from all over the country, including the one I left to come here, which makes me smile. I’ve also worked with papers from locations that create my past — from the newspaper of my hometown in Kentucky to the one from the city my family and I vacation in up in Michigan.
PERQ is aptly named because if its, well, perks — the people, the atmosphere and the culture of innovation being a few. I’m glad to have found a home here, and I’m excited for what the future may hold for me.