I've learned a lot of things while working in a Fortune 100 company for the past 9+ years. I've learned to swallow my pride, take big risks, lead through influence instead of position, and how to find the joy in unpleasant situations.
The biggest lesson by far came from a lady who was training me to become her replacement. I had 4 partial days of training before she retired. I tried to soak in as much of the steps, procedures, and processes as possible. Once she left, there would be no one else to help me. She was the ONLY person who knew how to execute on those deliverables. Once she left, I was on my own.
Her parting words were these:
"Honey, you need to take care of yourself. The company will always take whatever you are willing to give. You need to take care of yourself."
What I understood from it was that I was responsible for myself. I was responsible for my well-being. I was responsible for my development.
I was responsible for my career.
The moment you accept responsibility of YOUR career, you take OWNERSHIP. And that is when magic happens.
8 months, 2 re-organizations and 3 bosses later, I had become the most senior member of the group I had joined and helped my new manager through our quarter close procedures. How was I able to do that? Because I took ownership of my choices and my career.
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Remember to smile, laugh & love!