Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Significant Debt

I've been going through some big changes in my life recently. I'll be on my third day of a new job tomorrow; a really incredible job with a great organization that I moved from the Portland, OR area to Washington, DC for. I'm (finally!) advancing my career and my life in the directions I want them to go.

And while I feel every confidence that I've earned it, I know that I owe my budding success to a few people who simply must be acknowledged.

First, of course, friends and family. Particularly my boyfriend Geoff, who is willing to endure several months of separation (he still lives in Oregon) so that I can pursue my (our) dreams. We are all the product of those around us.

Alison Green of askamanager.org gets the next big applause. She hired me! She showed me everything a great blog could be, and taught me so much about good management through it. She took a chance in hiring me sight unseen, based on a cover letter (for another position, no less), my comments in our little internet niche, and this blog. And she continues to be a mentor and idol of mine. If my other 300 links to her blog haven't convinced you to read it yet, go do it now.

Rosetta Thurman is a force of nature in the non-profit world, and her intelligence and savvy are a big part of why this blog is as good as (I think) it is. Her 31 Day to a Brand New Blog is a rigorous exercise to put your blog through, but it pays in dividends... ultimately, that exercise got me the job I have today. Plus, Ms. Thurman is a font of inspiration on everything non-profit, and is a gleaming example of the possibilities our generation bring to the table.

And finally, I cannot exclude my former place of employment in this list. While I don't want to name them here (I did, after all, electronically sign rigorous confidentiality agreements which I'm pretty sure I haven't violated at all, but I want to cover my bases), I can tell you they are a major fast food chain that, in many ways, changed my philosophy about how the service sector can work. This chain was the first to offer health, dental and visual benefits to all employees, regardless of level or part-time status, after three months. They have a strong training program. They promote from within. They build a sense of company loyalty in employees that, in my experience, is unprecedented. It's really a shame that our franchisers so completely ignore the basic philosophies of their corporate counterparts, but that's all in my past. I just hope that those who remain in my store keep fighting the good fight, keep giving them the feedback they don't want to hear, and keep working hard to prove that they are worth the trouble.

I learned (and still learn!) a lot from Alison's management blog. But being able to apply it there made everything come together. Fast food is not a segment where managers keep up on the latest management blog. In fact, by and large they don't get any real training on management at all. I don't know if I made any kind of lasting impact, but I do know that I saved at least two jobs from being axed without warning, and mentored a wonderful employee from discussions about firing to being my replacement, just by helping her show the talent and drive she had all along. I will miss working there, especially the people and some of the customers, but I definitely won't miss the burns (I got myself particularly badly my last week there), the customers who spit on your face because you're out of an item, or the office politics. It was an important part of my life, but I am ready to move on.

I just have to figure out how to afford to take the Metro every day :s

Again, thank you all. And thank you to the readers, even the ones that didn't offer me jobs. :) Be assured that I eagerly look at my pageviews and gain immeasurable gratification from each and every one of you. You leave wonderful comments, and we've had some good discussions. And I hope to gain more of you as I move to the next phase of my life!

I can't tell you how grateful I am to all these wonderful people in my life.


  1. "I saved at least two jobs from being axed without warning, and mentored a wonderful employee from discussions about firing to being my replacement, just by helping her show the talent and drive she had all along."

    This is awesome.

  2. Congratulations! Well done! I wish you much success in your career :)