My last year of employment with the company I’d worked for for the past 10 years, was probably my most successful. I had learned how to find my niche in a market where big banks ruled, I’d learned how to market myself as the go-to person for community banking and the money the office had on deposit was more than it had ever had since its inception. All of this despite the fact that I had been going through the most tumultuous times with upper management who upon taking over, had decided that I had to go and that I didn’t know how to effectively run my office even though none of them had ever worked outside of a traditional banking environment and had no clue what was involved in running a bank located inside of a supermarket.
Add to their ignorance of how things operated, they quickly realized that my employees were some of the best trained and began to use me like a Major League Baseball farm team and move my fully trained employees to their favorite offices giving me what they thought were problem employees but were just employees that didn’t fit their mold or were people they were unable to “control”. I called them on it more than once even going as far as to use the “Farm Team” analogy just so they knew that I knew what was going on. It wasn’t until we went head to head on a lie…and they lost, that management backed off.
In the time that I was granted a reprieve, I was able to focus on my office and do exactly what was needed to make myself and the office successful. I become a more community minded member of the business community but my community involvement was strategic and specific to the needs of the office. Knowing that I did not have the flexibility to promote my office the way a traditional Office Manager did, I took to becoming very involved with the local Chamber of Commerce. I positioned myself to become their go to person to promote/sponsor events in conjunction with my office and strategically sponsored community events, school events and the local college. Within three years the office went from having, as low as, $6 million on deposit to having $20 million on deposit- a feat never before accomplished by any Office Manager at that particular office. Oh and did I mention that most of this was accomplished while working with a staff of two people? Half of what the office should have had working in it to run efficiently.
All of this success, while marginally recognized, meant nothing to upper management. After months of being undermined and not receiving the support that was not only needed but considered mandatory, by said management, finally caught up to the office and as the head of that office me-the hammer dropped and when questions about who was ultimately responsible for the issues the office had (which were mostly due to having insufficient staff) the answer started to become clear that there were decisions made above my pay grade that contributed to the office’s failures. It became obvious, very quickly, that in order to save face, someone had to go and that someone became me.
Even though I was fired and more importantly, ready to go, I am glad that I can look back on my work with pride. While I was unable to see my vision through to completion, I am able to say that despite the setbacks and the underhandedness, my office was more successful than it had ever been and I was able to walk away with with the knowledge and the know-how that can be applied to any future endeavor and it was all a result of my hard work and dedication–a feat that no one can ever take away.
Starting over is hard to do but it could be the beginning to a whole new you! I know…it sounds corny, but why don’t we embrace starting over? I guess it’s because starting over represents change and change is sometimes scary but what if change meant you were about to embark on finding a better you? We all talk a good game about wanting to “Find ourselves” but when the time comes for the hard work to begin, we balk and sometimes run from the very thing we claimed we wanted.
I am no longer running. For years, I have talked about wanting to write and I always managed to talk myself out of it by using my favorite excuse of–“I’m too tired because I’m always working”. This was a true statement, I was ALWAYS working but really, I was ALWAYS procrastinating! In a previous post, I talked about my propensity to procrastinate and how it has affected me my entire life but what wasn’t discussed was why I was procrastinating. If I did what I claimed I wanted to do, which was write, I would have to first believe in myself and more than anything, that is what I was lacking.
I knew I had the talent to write but because I didn’t believe in myself, I blocked my own blessing and it took the Lord to step in and save me from me. It’s crazy that I had to get fired in order for me to realize what I was supposed to be doing and it’s even more crazy that even after I got fired, I still procrastinated by saying that I had to have A, B and C in place for it to be right. A, B and C never fell into place.
What did fall into place was my being faced with running out of money. Now I know that starting a blog wasn’t going to lead to immediate riches but in order for me to become the writer I wanted to be, I knew that blogging was the medium I was supposed to use to begin my career as a writer, so it is funny that even knowing this, I still put it off. I didn’t fully believe in me.
I remember the first promotion I received which wasn’t expected. I had been working hard but only because I was a hard worker and while my ultimate goal was always advancement, I wasn’t, by any means, looking to advance having been in the job as an assistant manager for two years. There had been some rumblings that there was going to be movement in the office and all indicators pointed to me being moved to an office that was further away. When the news was delivered that I was not the employee who would be moving and that I was also being given the manager position, I was shocked to say the least. When I got in my car and processed what I had just been told, I said out loud–“Well…I didn’t see that coming!” When God decides you are ready to transition to your next calling whether you see it coming or not, it is going to happen and if God believes in you why don’t you believe in you?
I am finally ready to believe in me. No matter what is thrown in my direction to deter me from my calling I am going to stay focused and apply the same skills that earned me my surprise promotion. While it is scary to be starting over, I am excited about what starting over means and I look forward to the new challenges I am about to face because I know that where I am today is in God’s plan and there is no arguing with that!
We’ve all had that moment when we realize that our life has plateaued. That moment when you start to notice that no matter what you do, nothing happens. Whether it is career, financial, love or a physical transformation, your life just seems to be at a complete standstill…I am having that moment. My standstill is career related which has lead to being financially stifled and feeling extremely discouraged.
After being unceremoniously fired from a company where I had worked for 10 years, I decided to take some time to figure out what I wanted to do next. The summer of 2011 was the best I’d had since I was a kid. The family was able to take a well deserved trip to Puerto Rico and we were able to really spend quality time with each other. As time wore on, I seriously began to look for a job but I noticed that despite my qualifications, nothing I tried was working and I felt more and more like an undesirable candidate…for EVERYTHING!
I had always told myself that I wouldn’t go back into banking, which was the field I’d been working in for 13 years, but as I applied for positions outside of banking that made as much as $20,000.00 less than what I’d been making, I was getting nowhere. This went on for sometime. I finally buckled down and tried to get back into the field of banking, (I guess that is why they say never say never!) but it didn’t matter that I had given in and was trying to go back to something I said I’d never go back to…they didn’t want me! O.k…now what?
I should tell you that the entire time that I was trying to figure out what my new career should be, I was constantly hearing in my head that I needed to write. I had been saying for over 5 years that that is what I wanted to do but I always managed to have too much going on to concentrate on writing…at least that is what I told myself. Then, of course, I lost my job and had all the time in the world and again I told myself, “I didn’t have enough money to create my website the way I wanted.” So I kept looking for jobs that had nothing to do with the career where I claimed I wanted to work.
Finally, I found a job working in the insurance field. I had to jump through several hoops to show this employer that I was “worthy” of being “conditionally hired” by them and I did everything they wanted me to do. At first I was excited because I was FINALLY going to be working but as I started taking classes to learn how to sell their brand, the realization set in that I wouldn’t be able to give my all to yet another company. I had spent the last 10 years giving everything to a company that had no problem dropping me by the wayside and I no longer had the wherewithal to play the corporate slave game. “Now really…what the hell was I going to do?” This is the question I began to ask myself.
I made my daughter start writing a blog this summer so that she could improve her writing skills. I had told myself that that wouldn’t work for what I wanted to do (again with the procrastination) and I discouraged myself from what I said I wanted to be doing. My best friend, who was one of a few people who knew that I wanted to write, told me how to create my site the way I wanted for free…THANK GOD! No longer able to procrastinate, I set up my site and immediately started writing and something happened…the words just flowed…I was finally doing what I said I’d wanted to do!
It has taken me 5 years to overcome my issues with procrastination and self-doubt. The Lord knew I had to lose my job and be forced into the possibility of being unhappy working for another 10 years in order to make me realize my real calling. I am working to get past feeling stifled in my career and I now know that by following through with the plan I set up in my head 5 years ago, the financial rut I am in will also pass. It feels good to know that I am at a point in my life where I realize I can no longer just go with the flow…I sure wish I’d gotten to that point sooner but at least I finally did!