Career News, Updates & Insights

How would Zach describe his daily day at CRA?

On my walk to work every morning, I can make a fairly accurate guess as to how my day will go. I’ll arrive circa 9am, and I’ll leave after about 10 hours. STATA will be the first program I open and the last one I close, and it will always be open on at least one of my three computer monitors. I’ll know what projects I’m working on, the people with whom I’ll be working, the meetings I have scheduled, etc. And at the end of the day, I’ll have a pretty good idea of how it’ll all play out again tomorrow.
I know that that doesn’t sound romantic. But wait! I’m not trying to argue that my job is boring. In fact, one of the most rewarding aspects of this job is my growing understanding of the distinction between what is “boring” and what is “predictable.” True, I am finding that adult life is jam-packed with way more repetition than I had imagined when I was in college. But what if I enjoy my routine? So what if I know what my day entails before it begins, so long as I’m enjoying myself? What if the things I’m expecting to do are things that I find interesting, like analyzing data, running regressions, and crushing (yes) STATA? There is tremendous value in the dependability of your work’s appeal.
I also don’t mean to insinuate that nothing ever changes around here – though my day-to-day experiences are generally similar from one day to the next, it’s not uncommon that my inbox greets me in the morning with news that I’ll be starting a project that is different from anything I’ve done before. Or that I’ll be working with someone I’ve hardly spoken to before. Or even that there’s a lecture or a Tech Lab going on about something I’ve never learned about before. Change is slow, but it happens, and I’m 100% happy with that.