Disclaimer: These two posts are more reflective and personal than I’d normally put up, but I felt it was relevant to where I stand in the career path so I wanted to put it out there. Please excuse the self-indulgence (and ridiculous length).
I’ve been thinking a lot about change. Change used to terrify me. I was so frightened to go outside my comfort zone as a child and teenager that my parents used to make fun of my inability to pick up the phone and call a stranger, or ask for ketchup at a restaurant. I think it was the unpredictability that really got to me. I like knowing what’s going on. I like to be in control. But these days change is on my mind, so here we go with Part 1 of my 2 part series.
Part 1: You Have No Idea How Much This Decision Will Matter
We’ve all made choices that have dictated the path our lives will take, whether its correcting course, totally starting over, or continuing strong. I made a choice like this in April 2008 when, on a whim, I fired off my resume to someone named Deron. He called me almost immediately, perhaps also on a whim, because he was about to make a hiring decision but figured he’d see who I was first. The timing was perfect, and it all fell into place.
The details of my work with Deron aren’t important. Instead, I want to focus on the relationship we formed and how much he has influenced my professional life. The decision to work with him was probably one of the most important moves of my entire life.
In short, I have never met someone who makes me want to succeed so much.
He consistently has lit a fire under my ass. He challenged my opinions and forced me to create solid building blocks of knowledge. He opened new doors into worlds I’d never known.I would not be the person I am had we never worked together. Hell, my passion for social media is entirely his fault. And he always, ALWAYS, gave strong, clear feedback. With him, I know how much not only my work, but me as a professional, are appreciated.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not all puppy dogs and rainbows: There have been times when Deron has totally crushed me, usually because I wasn’t doing my absolute best work. He would criticize harshly and I would be in tears (I know, I know…grow some skin)…but shining through the embarrassment would be a wildfire of determination to figure it out. To do better. To be my best.
I haven’t found someone else who makes me feel like that.
As I prepare for the impending changes in my life, I keep in mind three important lessons that Deron taught me:
1. Communication is key, even if you sometimes have to be redundant.
2. Mean what you say, say what you believe, and don’t be afraid to prove it.
3. Timing is everything.
I cannot wait for the day when Deron and I are a team again.