Archive for Career

A story

Posted in motivation, random with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2014 by afuntanilla

Years ago, I wanted to progress in my career. I was an assistant for a long time and I worked for people who had positions I wanted. I was passionate about the field, the profession, and I studied as much as I could and learned as much as I could on my own time. I observed and soaked in all I could from those around me who had the position I wanted. I was on the outside and I wanted to be on the inside. I wanted to have a greater impact, to be more influential, to be more significant to others. I wanted my own office, not a cubicle or desk. I wanted to hold the responsibility of taking care of others assets. I wanted to make the call, be held accountable. I wanted to put myself on the line, day in and day out. I wanted to show that I knew what I was talking about, that I could bring value.
I kept wanting this….and kept wanting this….
Finally, one day, I approached my sales manager at the time. A fellow female. I told her of my ambitions and she had me take a “personality” test to make some sort of initial assessment. I took the test, nervous I wasn’t answering the questions correctly, worried I should be answering “in the way I think is expected” rather than what was true for me.
She came back to me a few hours later and simply said, “you didn’t pass the test”.
That was it. No feedback. No follow up. No suggestions of other options. No other avenues to explore. No further discussion.

My ambitious, hungry heart was crushed. Devastated, really.
I went though all the “I’m not good enough, I’m not capable of this…” Bull in my head…and I finally told what happened to a couple of male colleagues. They simply said, “what does that test prove? Nothing! Don’t let it stop you.”

I held off a bit, but then refocused my energies and pushed and pushed and got the position I wanted. I worked hard and kept going for what I knew I wanted, what it knew I was capable of. It was far from easy, lots of obstacles had to be overcome but I did it. That was about 5 years ago.

I continue on in my same career, more successful and more driven. My ambition has not waned, but has become stronger. I think back to the woman who didn’t give me even 1/10 of a chance and that continues to motivate me every day. I think about where I came from in this world and see how far I’ve come and I’m proud. And I want to keep going. I feel like I am just touching the tip of the iceberg. I feel like I have so much more to learn….so much more to give…

My desires have not changed. I continue to want to be of value, of significance. This is my definition of success. The financial part will take care of itself. My focus is the same. My ambition is stronger.

Far from satisfied.

And, THAT, is a very good thing in my book.

Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. Most of all, yourself.

Full Throttle

Posted in motivation with tags , , , , , , , on July 14, 2013 by afuntanilla

Growing bit by bit. You know that thing that kids do sometimes to track their  height progress… Find a wall, stand there and mark your height…come back 6 months, a year later to track it again….and see the new height, the higher height.

Well, I feel like I have this invisible height track monitor at work and yesterday, I noticed I had grown. A lot.

I had a meeting that I had been anxious about earlier in the week. After much preparation and some encouraging words from a friend, my anxiety was almost zero.  I prepared diligently and the meeting went great. And while it was happening, I saw myself, I heard myself and I couldn’t help but be proud of me…because I saw how far I had come in my career. And later in the afternoon, I started to reflect on the recent past.

It’s been 1 full fiscal year of transitioning and re-creating myself and career here in the Bay Area. It has been one full year of being a true solo practitioner instead of a junior partner or an assistant. It’s been about 18 months since I walked away from a work situation that no longer suited me, professionally or personally. I made the decision to jump out of a nest that felt like it was strangling me. I left a “house” that had definitely served a purpose for some time, but as I got “bigger”, all indications were that it was no longer the place for me. And it wasn’t just the external factors that were holding me back; part of it was me and my own reluctance to truly step out and up, to truly be at the helm of my own ship. Like anyone who has tried to step out on their own, there is a fair amount of fear and apprehension that must be addressed and dealt with… All part of the territory.

When I first had the guts to try to get into my career, I was an assistant and went thru the internal protocols to apply. I was then essentially turned away because I didn’t “pass” the required “personality” test. Confused, dejected and angry. I waited and tried again with new management. My 2nd time trying was met with some unusual circumstances that led to a very political and company rule book, “no.”  Crushed. I was crushed.

I waited. I tried again and was hired by the skin of my teeth. It really shouldn’t have been THAT difficult, but it was. The main thing was I was IN! I was ecstatic. To finally put my skills to work and see what I could really do!!

I was doing what I wanted to do, but I was still in a “junior” role and while it served me well for a short time, it became increasingly difficult to not be the driver of the ship. I knew I could do it. If you have been in this situation before, you know how frustrating it can be to sit back, be quiet and watch someone else do all the navigating….when you have lots of other ideas about how it can be done. One of the important lessons I have learned that when you are in partnership with someone, whether personal or work related, if you are going at different speeds, their will be conflict. I wanted to operate at rapid speeds. There was conflict.

I came to a point in my partnership where something had to give and something did give.  There was major discomfort, upheaval and dissension. I was miserable and had to break free and I did. It was not without fear, but I did it. I took the leap of faith.

And, I am doing it. I moved back home to the Bay Area and restructured my career. I have been going full throttle this last year and it has paid off! With accountability, care, dedication and focus, I am making it happen. I am enjoying a wonderful level of fulfillment that I only expect will continue. Of course, this is a not a situation without difficulties or tough times; I expect that too! And yet, I am confident in my ability to steer this ship, whether the waters are smooth, choppy or whatever they may be. I have been given the opportunity and I am making the most of it.

I never gave up on this…never gave up on this that was so important to me. I suffered setbacks and had so many reasons to walk away and try something else, but I didn’t. There were times when others doubted me and I was crushed; times when I doubted myself and I was paralyzed; times when life just didn’t go the way I had hoped…..and every time, I had to re-group and re-assess how important it was for me to keep going forward. And, I think that is what it boils down to: how much do you want it? How big is your desire? Doesn’t matter what the IT is….job, relationship, any goal…any thing. How big is your desire and what are you willing to do? Those answers lie within you. Have the courage to look with honesty and compassion. And go forward.

Hungry. Determined. Passionate.

Onward.

P.S. Dear mom and grams, I hope you both can see me from the heavens above and I hope you are proud. When I toast my success, I am toasting with you.