Archive for work

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.

Whirlwind Calm

Posted in quotes, random, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by afuntanilla

Last Sunday, I traveled to NY for long week of work. My days began early and ended late and there was a lot of sitting involved. A tough recipe for this active body to deal with, but…that’s the way it goes….

My work, in general, is dominated by males and by nature, is a very “aggressive” or “masculine” occupation. What do i mean by this: the occupation is very outward, high energy, with much focus on goals, accomplishments, etc…It’s nature is Outward. It’s the Yang (yin/yang) I enjoy my work and am pretty damn passionate about it. If you hear me talk about it, you will probably get that about me….at any time, it can be complicated, every changing, dynamic, challenging, maddening, enthralling, and very gratifying. It is not simple, easy, comfortable or boring. Thank Goodness!

My whole week was spent planning, strategizing, evaluating, reviewing, etc…all about the future and creating what I want and creating a plan to execute. And I loved it. It was mentally tiring and physically draining, but it was full of valuable nuggets for me to implement. It was a week long cram session.

Friday, I flew home to SF from NY and if you travel that route, you know it is a looong flight. Around 6 hours. + the travel to the airport in the morning and the travel home from SFO. Add on another 8.5 hours of sitting. ARRGGHHHH!!!!!! After a week of lots of sitting and little time for exercise. ARRRGGHHHH…..My body was dying for movement.

So, I arrive home about 9pm on Friday night and by 9am on Saturday morning, I was at a DAY LONG MEDITATION RETREAT CENTER. This was already planned into my schedule and when I realized it was the day after my trip to NY, it’s not like I was too excited for it since it involved more sitting!!

However….as the Gods would have it, it ended up being timed PERFECTLY. As I arrived at the beautiful center and settled in for our 1st of many meditations, I was quite thankful for this day and this opportunity. And I was enormously struck by the complete and utter contrast to the environment I just left….

This day was going to be 8 hours of SILENT MEDITATION. Surrounded in an environment that was gorgeous, restorative and nurturing. This was the feminine, the YIN, the INNER.

I was struck by these 2 opposite places and events and how I involve myself in both. I am passionate about my work and I am passionate about caring for my soul, my spirit. The 2 are not dis-connected. I weave them together. I can hold both.

“Sit. Feast on your life” – Derek Walcott

is it spring yet?

Posted in road with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by afuntanilla

So, I guess this past week was the 4th run with the now growing group from work. Week 1 = 2 people. Week 2 = 4 people. Week 3 = 3 people. Week 4 = 9 people. 9 people! THAT IS A BIG DEAL. I was thrilled. And it was a cold, windy day, no less. We have been running the same 3.67 mile loop from our office and back, but i think i am gonna change it up this week so we can avoid some of the heavy car traffic. A route change also means it might be more challenging due to the hills. But, hey, challenge is good, right!! I will keep you posted on the group’s reaction. It will also be interesting to see how many people show…as weather is supposed to be about 39/rainy…coldest day of the next week. Hmmm..

On the last run, we had 2 that struggled. I backtracked twice to run, run/walk with each person. I just wanted to make sure no one felt left out. After my first backtrack episode, i went ahead and was almost in a dead sprint for 1 mile to catch up with the leaders. Man, that was tough, but felt GREAT and INVIGORATING! I finished with the lead pack and then circled back to go the rest of the way with the remaining 2. Another good group session.

I had a good week of running. I’m purposely only running 4 days a week and not 5. Due to the “success” i felt on my last half-marathon & full-marathon, I’m more relaxed about “schedules”, etc.. I am learning what my body can do on what amount of training. I am learning, for me, it might not be about QUANTITY, but OVERALL QUALITY. I’ve read about so many running programs that show high mileage for training and for my body, I think I am finding something different that can work. Yesterday, I ran a hilly 12.5 miles through the streets of Atlanta. I had wanted to go out to Silver Comet Trail for just even a bit of nature, but it just didn’t work out. I look forward to getting to some trails though soon…i need some nature time, for sure. After a route with both uphills & downhills, the last 1-1/2 miles I deliberately incorporated the toughest hill i could find. I think that’s how you know you are dedicated…when you deliberately & purposely put tough things in your training path. These hills now will make the flatlands of Los Angeles all that much sweeter to run. right?

Went bowling later that night. Sucked, big time. Our group had major gutter balls!!

Decided NOT to layer up again for the cold/wind today and took it to treadmill instead. 5+ strong miles as I sweated out the cocktail toxins of the bowling evening. Felt pretty tired at first, but then just settled in and got stronger. As the time and mileage increased on the treadmill, so did my strength. I could feel my back strong, my arms strong, my legs finding another gear….a good weekend.

Whoever you are and whatever you are doing, whatever you are aiming for, I wish you all the best! GO TO IT!

CHEERS!!

Feb 28: 5.10 miles – treadmill

Feb 27: 12.5 miles – outside

Feb 24: 5.0 miles – treadmill

Feb 23: 4.4 miles – outside

you gotta be startin’ somethin’…

Posted in motivation, random, road with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by afuntanilla

A couple of weeks ago, my work/office decided to do a version of The Biggest Loser. While I don’t need to lose weight, I decided I would participate anyway…just for fun and also for a way to be supportive to others in the office. I was happy to see this kind of “event” take place in our office because, as you know, I am an advocate of fitness and health.

I have worked in my office for 6 years and during that time, i have tried to get others to run local road races with me. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. By successful, I mean that 1 or 2 other folks would join in. I was happy about that but always wished for more participation. sigh….  Obviously, over the years, many people have come to know me as a runner. They may not know anything else about me on a personal level, but they know I run. Often times, while in the breakroom or elevator, someone will ask me, “so, when is your next race?” That always feels good, ya know.

Well, the time has come and we might just be on to something here…Once the Biggest Loser contest was announced 2 weeks ago, I decided I would organize/lead a running group after work one day a week. I had no idea if anyone would be interested but I wanted to put the offer out there nonetheless. I decided I would run alone on those days if no one came. I got word out to the office about the run, mentioning that it would be a run/walk 3-4 miles on Tuesdays at 5:15pm. I put run/walk to encourage people even if they didn’t or couldn’t run the entire way.

Our first run was last week and it turned out to be myself and one guy. I was shocked when he said he was running with me. The main reason was because I have not had any real rapport with him or anything in the past. I thought if anyone were to come along, it would be people who I have talked to a lot of are pals with in the office. Me and this guy have barely exchanged 3 sentences over the past 4-5 years. I was shocked, but pleasantly so.

So, he and I headed out and we went slow. He admitted he is out of shape and trying to lose weight for his upcoming wedding. We chatted a little but not much. He needed to stop at 2 different points to walk a bit and I stopped with him. I truly felt so happy to be out there with him. I could tell he was struggling, but wanting to push through…and when it was too much, he had to stop. There was something about it that was vulnerable and humbling. Does that make sense?

We ran from our office building and back. When finished, he thanked me and i congratulated him. I then went on to run 1 more mile at a faster pace.

I really got a lot out of it and I feel like he did too. For me, it was nice to run with someone else and go directly from work. And then the big plus was feeling like I helped someone else just by being there. He seemed very appreciative afterwards and I was happy for him because I know he wants to lose weight and be healthier. Win, Win!

When people in the office heard about our run the next day, we got a few more people interested. Well, Tuesday rolled around and it was about 40 degrees (colder w/ wind chill) and drizzly. I figured those that had been interested would cop out. Well, I was wrong. 2 gals joined us so us 4 ran the same route as the week prior. 3.67 miles. All together. This time, the fella who ran with me the first time did not stop. Not once. Happy for him. Kudos to them all for being willing to go. It would have been sooo easy to let it slip away and take refuge inside on a treadmill or not exercise at all.

Today, people were asking about our run and more seem interested to join in next Tuesday. I could not be more thrilled.

Like I said…we just might be on to something here….

central park & office park(s)

Posted in races, road, travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by afuntanilla

haven’t had too much time or energy to write. on some whirlwind days right now and will continue to be up until race day this coming sunday. i am trying to take as good of care of my body as i can.  work/travel stuff going on. good, but taxing, ya know.

had a good week last week. obviously, shorter runs as race day approaches. arrived in NYC on saturday, checked into hotel, and went for a 7.6 mile run through central park & back to hotel. was a gorgeous fall afternoon; a scattering of changing leaves sprinkled throughout the park, a slight breeze now and then whenever my direction headed south or southwest, an array of people from various ethnicities doing a variety of activities; running, walking, skating, cycling, some walking just for pleasure, others for the sole purpose of a workout, kids playing in their designated areas, soccer games in session….LIFE in NYC on a FALL saturday. what a pleasure it was to be able to run there. My first time.

Decided to sleep in on Sunday and ran in the early evening after i checked into hotel in new jersey. my hotel is situated in an area flush with office parks and streets w/ no sidewalks. I slipped my iPOD on and headed out for an easy 5.4 miles. Flat as can be. After being in the heightened frenzy of the city, it was actually really nice to be where i was and run on a very quiet sunday among a whole lotta nothing. Very good for clearing the head and being with the Self. I know you know what i’m talking about…

Today, Tuesday, ran another 4 in the office park area. My body is fighting off a bug. Taking Emergen-C and hoping to stay strong. Just get me to the starting line. Pretty excited about the race and running in the city by the bay, my hometown, San Francisco!

Stay Strong. Restore the Roar.