I haven’t written a blog in a while. It is my plan now that I do have a new beginning I will be able to write more often. I’ve promised myself on several occasions to set the times and dates of when I will blog. For now, I will just promise you that I will write more often. J
Today I want to talk about new beginnings. I’ve had several in my lifetime. Actually each morning is a new beginning. But I’ve had major events in my life that marked new beginnings.
The new beginning I want to talk about today is my career walk. I’m starting a new chapter in my life book with a new position at a new company.
A little background on how my new beginning transpired. Going WAY back to 1997 when I was let go from my position at a major insurance company. I was there nearly 11 years. When I lost my job, I was devastated and after some time I realized I had been freed from the prison I was in.
My life was a new slate. I could have any career I wanted. I could do anything. At least that is what my husband kept telling me. I’m so thankful for him and how he has supported, encouraged and inspired me. Because I had a brand new slate, I had no idea what I wanted as a career. I always just had a job to survive, pay bills and feed my family.
I worked a few temp jobs as an admin because that is what I knew. All the while exploring who is Kelli Conrad? What can she accomplish? How can she impact her world?
A ministry oriented company that makes curriculum worldwide for private schools and homeschoolers was right next door to my neighborhood. I applied there wondering what they did, what kind of job I could apply for, etc. They did an academic test on me (I was so scared of failing the test) and based on that test and my results determined the best fit for me was in the project management department. They hired me as a project manager in their Production Dept. This was a new beginning for me. They didn’t really have project management methodologies in place yet, but were working to build the department. I loved my job there! I loved the foundation of project management that was built inside me at this company. During my time there I created their standard operating procedures for project management, trained an entire department (around 60 people) on project management methodologies, worked with my co-worker (the other project manager) to put templates in place for projects. I didn’t realize I was at the top of the food chain in my position. LOL. I loved it! However, the pay wasn’t enough to take care of my bills and feed my children each month. I had to either get a 2nd job or look elsewhere. I was at this position for 18 months and made lifetime friends.
I did research on salary mediums for project managers and found the highest paid pm was ecommerce project managers. So that was my goal. To become an ecommerce project manager. I contracted for about a year at various companies before I accepted a position at a major bank. I was a contractor for 5 years before being converted to an employee in June 2005 as an Assistant Vice President (AVP). I was promoted 1 year later to Vice President (VP). I learned so much and gained so much experience at the bank. I was an infrastructure pm, but the infrastructure was built for ecommerce sites. So in a sense I had reached my goal. I reached my personal financial salary goal that I thought seemed so out of reach for me. Life at the bank was very stressful, major multi-tasking required and some days just extremely tough. I enjoyed my teams and most of the people I worked with. J I knew it was time to start searching for the next chapter in my journey. I spent 1 year looking within the bank exploring other departments and ideas for positions I could translate my project management skills into. Nothing panned out. I had a few interviews, but nothing came from it. In January 2013 I started looking externally, but I didn’t apply for every position that was open. I didn’t want to move from one position to another. I wanted to move somewhere I would have purpose and could impact other’s lives and my world. Seems a tall order to find such a position.
I’ve been praying a long time for that perfect position that God would have me walk in. I want to be on His path, fulfilling His purposes and destiny for my life. When the project/program manager position came open at the company I’m at now, I got a thrill in my spirit. I thought, this is it! This is the one! I applied 3x (I realized this later) and finally got a response back that they wanted me to complete an on-line application. I did that and they scheduled the interview with me for Monday, 2nd interview Thursday morning and I had a job offer by Thursday afternoon. God is so good and faithful!
The bank had started a new policy that VPs had to give 4 weeks’ notice. I wasn’t completely thrilled with this idea, but God knew the timeline I needed and it worked out perfectly for His good and mine. It took the new company 2 weeks to get the background check completed. I wasn’t worried, LOL, I had to go through IRS and USCIS security clearance at the bank, so I knew everything would be ok. They called and said, your background cleared, you can start 5/28. This is the date I was planning to start since I had to give 4 weeks’ notice at the bank. It also took 2 weeks for the bank organization to have a plan in place to replace me. God’s timing is always perfect. He’s never late or early. I now had 2 weeks to turn over my projects to the new pm. If I had only given 2 week notice, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do a proper turn over.
I’m now at my new position for 6 days now. There are many challenges and opportunities for growth for me. It’s not always easy or fun, but I’m a willing vessel for my new beginning and I want to move forward in this new journey to see what God has for me to do here and the impact I will make on this company. Challenges I’m working through are learning to relax and allow the flow to work. I don’t have to be demanding here. The culture here is family and collaboration. It’s a different mindset for me. I have to learn to change the way I think and the way I manage my projects and teams. Like I said…many areas of opportunity for me. I’m loving and enjoying every minute and soaking it all in.
I hope I’ve been able to encourage, inspire and brighten your day with my new beginning story. If you are ready for your new beginning but not sure where start, message or email me. I would be happy to help you get started.