Time to Grow

As we come to the end of the first week of April one might think this post is about an upcoming landscaping project or preparations to plant a garden, but no. It is still winter where I live and it looks to be that way for a while.

I belong to a group on Facebook and the post today focused on reflecting on ways in which you have grown in life and share a thought.

As I reflected on this past year my “growth” was three pronged.

1. Intellectual Growth. It started 12 months ago when I took a new job. There was a learning curve associated with the switch from private to public sector but I have loved the challenge and opportunity to learn and grow. In my new role I have also been able to further pursue an area of personal interest – organizational development and change management. I’m currently on course to obtain a certificate in this area by June 1 and have begun leveraging my knowledge and expertise.

2. Spiritual Growth. Following our move last year the construction consumed all remaining free time over the summer. Last fall I set a goal to find a church to join. After a few months of church “shopping” (or hopping) we found one and will formalize it in April at the new member welcome and service.

3. Physical Growth. The job change threw a curve ball into my life. Because I ended up commuting for months I gave up my gym membership and trainer. For the past year, other than our construction project, I’ve basically been a couch potato. That ended a few weeks ago when I joined a Cross Fit gym. I’m loving every minute of it. It’s hard getting back into shape – physically and mentally. It is a community of regular people who support and encourage each other. You aren’t there to compete with anyone but yourself and I push myself pretty hard. I guess the same could be said for the other two areas – honing a new skill or connecting to a new community. You have a stretch yourself.

I’m sore today, and tired. But, I’m going to keep going. I’ve made a commitment to myself to continue to improve and that doesn’t happen sitting on the couch.

Lifetime Learner

This past week I volunteered as a course facilitator for those preparing for their professional certification exam. I was also there a few weeks ago for another class. I chose the topics of HR Strategic Planning and Organization Development and Effectiveness. As a lifetime learner I am very passionate about strategic planning and change management and you can’t have one without the other. 

When I spend time thinking about these topics I feel very proud of all I’ve done in my career up to this point. To make the content relatable and easier to remember, you tie it to stories. We had some really good discussions in the two sessions I facilitated. These are my peers albeit at various stages in their career. It is exciting to think about the impact our profession has in business and all the opportunities that still lie ahead for us. 

In my current employment I have education benefits. Thus, of course I’m thinking about “what else” I could take on…a new credential. Any additional expertise I can gain raises my value and gives me more knowledge to share. I haven’t found any adjunct teaching gigs since I moved but I’m hoping that is something I will have the opportunity to do again someday. For now I will continue to raise my level of knowledge and look for opportunities to share my skills with colleagues and industry peers.

 

What Was I Thinking?

The transition to small town living has begun. I just finished my first week at a new job. It was the one element of my life I didn’t intend to change. It was just in the cards. While we had been planning our move for close to three years I had always thought I would stay in my current role and just transfer to a different location. That changed a few months ago when an opportunity landed in my inbox that I just couldn’t ignore. I told my husband that opportunities like this one don’t come around every day and if I don’t at least apply I will always wonder if I could have got the job.

That was a few months ago. It was a very robust interview process. The interviews consisted of a nine person panel from across the organization. I had two interviews with them, one of which required me to give a 10 minute presentation. My final meeting was with the Executive Director. That’s when I knew that I could definitely work here! When word came that they wanted to hire me I think I was in shock. While it was a job I wanted, I hadn’t prepared myself for having to say goodbye to my current employer. I had been there well over 10 years. I had grown to be friends with many of my coworkers. Nothing up to this point could prepare me for how hard this conversation was going to be. Very simply, it sucked.

Looking back now, a week into the new job, it all makes sense.  Over the past two years I had the opportunity to hire 4 outstanding employees and build a very talented team. My departure provided them opportunity to learn and grow. It was also an opportunity for the organization to learn and grow. I had been in my role a long time. I built the department. It took two people to replace me.

During the final four weeks I tried to write down all the things in my head. It wasn’t easy. I worked until the very last minute of the very last day. I didn’t even have time to think about my new job until last weekend. Also, over the past four weeks, I took two trips to my new employer to sit on an interview panel to select and hire an employee in my department. That was incredibly weird. While I didn’t even work there yet, there I was sitting in my new office and participating in panel interviews. It was a unique opportunity and said a lot about the awesomeness of the organization I was joining.

Last week I got a sassy new haircut and dyed my hair back to its original color. I was pumped up and ready to go on Monday. The first week has now ended.  I am super excited about this wonderful opportunity to use my strengths to help a new organization. I’ve jumped in with both feet. I had several people ask me this week if I was drinking from a fire hose. The Executive Director even added in some humor, stating “we don’t let anyone drown, we just give you a longer snorkel.” This is an innovative, dynamic, growing organization. Some of it is like déjà vu for me and I will get to use my experiences to help shape the best part of the business – I’m in the people business.

office

Additionally this week I survived seeing my husband five days in a row. I say that jokingly. We are calling this the ‘transition period’ before moving in to the same house full time. Not only will I see him three days a week while commuting for my new job  (yes that is unusual) but we will also have to work together a little. We start laying stone at the new house next week.

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for some divine intervention and the village that takes care of things at home for me. The countdown is on…only two months left until the move. Tonight, a toast…to all the movers and shakers making big transitions in life!