Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Did you ask?

First, let me say that I. am. tired.! It's been a long and trying two weeks and I can honestly say I'm ready for a break (not that I see one coming any time soon). But, no worries; I am truly grateful for each opportunity to succeed that I have been given. My Facebook status tonight mentioned that I am now in my third position at my company - and I've only been there for ten months. Crazy, right? It's been a whirlwind of excitement and pressure, tears and anxiety, new friends and, unfortunately, new people to avoid. With each challenge is a lesson - it may not be a new lesson, but its importance is still there. And one thing I was taught in college was to "lift while climbing" (or help others along as you climb your ladder); so, with that, I would like to share one of my life mantras.

It's a simple one really: "You never know unless you ask." One of my favorite Bible verses as a child was, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Luke 11:9. (*psst, it was one of my favorite, because when you say the verse and the reference immediate after, it rhymes! lol)

Well how do I apply the verse (which refers to asking my Heavenly Father for something) to corporate America - or to life in general, really? Let's take my recent job assignment as an example. When I was told that my rotation program was ending early, due to reasons out of my control, I was not as happy as my recruiter had hoped I would be. The end of my program meant that I was suppose to have some idea of what I wanted to do next:
      But, I wasn't ready.
            I didn't know what I wanted.
                    I freaked out...but only momentarily. Because in the end, freaking out did me no good.

What were the facts? I had a month to figure everything out; I had many business contacts across the company (from my time as an intern and as a college hire); and, I had three positions available to me that were opened specifically for college hires in my "predicament." 

What was my problem? I didn't want any of those three positions. (Yes, I know: some people would be glad to have any one of those positions and I was in no way foolish enough to think I was too good for any of them. They just were not things I could see myself doing long term.)

So I sat down at my desk and typed up an email. There was a manager I had worked with during my initial rotation and I knew he'd be able to give me some guidance (plus, his team was suppose to expand in the fall, which meant he would eventually have open positions). The email led to a one-on-one with that manager in which he explained he did have an entry-level position but it was already filled; but if I wanted it bad enough it was still early enough in the process that things could change... I had a few follow-up one-on-one sessions with that manager, his boss (who happened to be my former boss), and with an HR contact. Four weeks later, I'm proud to say that job has my name on it.

Don't let anything or anyone confine you. I was given three options - I made a fourth; because I define my success and because I wasn't afraid to ask. Remember:

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." Dave Brinkley.