Today, I’m sharing a deeply personal moment that changed my career: the moment when a light went on in my head saying “you’ve got to make a change” and what I did about it.
I had been at a previous job for a while and been through a number of supervisors, some great and some not-so-great. The one who really set me off, and fueled my search for a better way to work ignited that drive with this moment.
Here it is, for the first time I’m sharing the ugly truth.
We’d had a few shake-ups in my area and I’d taken on some additional responsibilities. I’d stepped into them believing (perhaps naively) that it would be a month or two before a new person came in to pick up the slack. I had truly enjoyed many aspects of my job and in particular, my co-workers, before this point. So, I went on with rearranging my responsibilities and workload.
I’d been given permission to bring on an intern, and within a month she was allowed to join the team part-time (a huge help!), then I was allowed to have another team member jump in when needed for additional tasks. Here’s the big step: both of them were great to work with and I felt that we’d made an awesome team! Quickly, I went to my supervisor to ask to be considered for a permanent change: rather than seeking a replacement for my co-worker who had left, that I take over the combined role of responsibilities with my new staff as a full-time team. My ideal would have been to bring both of my new part-timers to full-time. I believed with evidence of the few events that we’d managed, that my new team and I could be wildly successful.
He laughed in my face.
Then he reminded me that I was a mom…and therefore that I couldn’t do that bigger job. I. Was. Shocked.
What would you do in this situation? He then told me that he’d consider my suggestion and that we’d meet at a later date. When I finally got to that day, he told me that he’d had no recollection of that conversation. I was again, shocked.
I went to his supervisor to describe the meetings. I spoke with others in my area and human resources. And in the end, since it was a conversation and he couldn’t remember (of course not!)…nothing was done to directly address the situation.
He hired someone for the vacancy in my area, and my responsibilities went back to what they’d been before this shake-up, but I had changed. I’d remembered how I could do so much more that I’d been doing, sitting at my desk, creating the marketing and communications that drove so many programs. I realized that I was much more than an anonymous writer. I could do more.
I knew I had more that I could do but more importantly, I knew that I had more to give to others. I had more talents to share, and had to bring my work to a broader set of people.
Within a year of this incident, I decided that I was ready to leave it all behind. I’d made some amazing relationships with co-workers which made taking this action and leaving them harder than I’d imagined. And yet, I did it. I tied up all of the loose ends that I could, trained other staff on my procedures for every marketing and communications piece in the pipeline, and set sail for the open sea of my next step in my career.
I didn’t have to wait long. In less than one week from my last day, I was on the way to my next adventure. It wasn’t an easy road but I’m so happy I finally listened to that little voice saying that I had more than sit at that desk every day.
I’ll share what happened in my next post.
What inspired you to take the leap to start your business? What circumstances, good or bad, forced you to take action? Comment below or share with me on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (I personally respond to every email!).