The Lone Star State

I haven’t really been talking much about work lately.  Last year, I moved out of a role in Program Management, and into a role in Sales and Marketing, as an Account Executive working with our Off-Highway customers.  While living in Europe, I worked as an Account Manager in On-Highway, so I was familiar with the work and was really excited to advance my customer interactions and commercial knowledge.

However, in mid-November, my company announced that we’d be doing workforce reductions (a.k.a. “layoffs”).  This was the third layoff that I’d experienced with this company, so I knew that things were going to be in flux for awhile.  I wasn’t too worried about my position (though, anything can happen), but I knew that my group would probably take a hit.

So…imagine my surprise (and actually, I was shocked as hell), when I got pulled into a meeting with my boss and the General Manager to be told that, due to the layoffs, I was being moved into a new position, BACK into Program Management.  So…here I am, 1 week before Christmas, and I’m being told that I’m leaving the role that I just moved into a few months prior, to go back to a role that I’d left.

I won’t lie…it took a day or so for me to wrap my mind around it and to get into a positive mindset.  I was worried that I’d be overloaded like I was in my previous role, and the customer that I was going to be working with was notorious for being highly demanding.  Frankly, I was terrified my life was going to suck.

I’m happy to say, after a full month, things are going fairly decently!  I’m currently in Texas at a face-to-face meeting with the customer, and I’m feeling fairly settled.  It’s a lot more firefighting than I did in Account work, but it’s exciting.  The program launches in 2017, so I will be on this team for a year or so…and after that, I’m not quite sure.

That’s a little bit about what’s going on in my life currently!  I’m super excited because, on Friday, I get to spend the weekend with my BFF, L!  We’re going to drive to Waco and go to Magnolia Market (from the HGTV show “Fixer Upper”) and I can’t wait!  Plus, I will say, Texas has some AMAZING food!  Plenty to enjoy in this great state, for sure

Much love,
K.

Changes…

Life is always full of changes, some good and some bad.  I try to remember that change, by itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even though it can have bad results.  However, change always seems to catch me off-guard, even when I’m the one seeking out the change.

Recently, I’ve started re-evaluating my life.  We’re going through fertility treatments, which brings about a lot of stress, and work piles up on top of everything.  I love the people who I work with, including my boss, which is what has made this job as tolerable as it has been for as long as it has.  But, I’m quickly realizing that this isn’t a sustainable job for me, and I would like to look for a new role where I could be happier, more effective, and more valuable to our company.

Last week, I was approached by a colleague regarding a job opening.  She is looking for someone to work in sales and marketing, covering our Asian accounts.  It would involve international travel, and it would be more in line with the work that I did while living in Europe (which I was quite comfortable with and enjoyed).  It would be a good career move for me, and I know that I’d enjoy the work (as well as be good at it), but initially I still wasn’t sure.  I spoke with my current boss and with J, and they both encouraged me to go for it.

Yesterday, I applied.  I’m on pins and needles wondering if I’ll get the job or not.  I hate feeling emotionally invested in something, because it only lets you down if you don’t get it.  I need to stay positive and remember that the manager approached ME, not the other way around, which has to mean something.  I’ll keep you all updated, but I’m hoping that this is the first of many changes coming up for me!

Much love,
K.

One of those days.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like nothing you are doing is good enough?  I’m struggling with leadership at work, struggling with my relationship with my mother…just all around struggling.

Today was the final straw.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really discouraged at work.  I love my job, don’t get me wrong.  Love it.  But I’m struggling with some of the aspects of leadership and how that applies to my team.  I lead two different teams and each person has WILDLY different personalities…which really makes it difficult to find the best leadership style to use to get everyone on the same page.  It’s a lot to really juggle, and I really never understood how hard it would be until I was in this position.  Obviously, I’m not giving up, but I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching these past few weeks, to find a way to be the most effective I can be, while leading and encouraging my team at the same time.

So, this is all background.  Sure, I’m struggling at work, but that’s ok because it’s a hard job and no one gets it right all the time.  And if that were the ONLY area of my life I were feeling less than par in, well…well done in my book!  But, it’s not.  Ever since my mother found out that I’ve started the process of converting to Catholicism, she’s been incredibly discouraging, to the point of being downright mean (she’s told me multiple times I’m going to Hell).

So…today, after multiple weeks of being beat down at work, I’m walking through Lowe’s looking at tile and whatnot, and thought I’d give her a call.  I used to call more often (several times a week), but realized that every time I spoke to her on the phone, I’d leave the conversation bitter and angry because SHE is so bitter and angry…and I was internalizing all those feelings coming off of her in waves.  So…I still call…at least 1-2 times a week…which to me is PLENTY sufficient!  But anyways…I call her.  First words out of her mouth (after “hello”) is, “Well, you never call anymore.  What is this, the second time in two weeks?!”  I tried to defend myself (no idea why I bother), and mentioned that she hadn’t called me either (she never calls me, it’s my responsibility to call her), and she made the comment that when she calls, I never answer or I’m working.

Now, she’s right.  When I’m working, I cannot take personal calls constantly.  But how does she know that?!  SHE NEVER CALLS ME AT WORK!  I apologized that I couldn’t talk on the phone a lot while at work, because I was supposed to be, you know, WORKING.  She replies that “It’s not WORK that’s the problem.”  Which means, in mom speak, it’s back to the Catholic issue AGAIN.  I am so tired of having to defend myself to her!  I’ve explained my position again and again, and I (foolishly) wish she’d either a) be happy for me, or b) keep her mouth shut about it.  Then she goes on to say she’s not sure if we’re doing Thanksgiving this year.  Honestly, I feel bad saying this, but I’d rather we didn’t.  This way, I would be guaranteed a stress-free holiday with my husband, at home, where we could relax.  But, I know that won’t last and we’ll be expected to attend (once she gets over this snit, and before she gets into the next one).  I miss living overseas for this EXACT reason.

But anyway…the point to this is…I’m never good enough for her.  If I try to be good enough, she tells me that I think I’m better than everyone because I’ve lived overseas and have a few degrees.  If I don’t follow her exact plan to the letter, I’m a bad daughter who’s causing her so much stress and worry.  I truly cannot win, and I’m getting exhausted even trying.

So, there it is.  I’m tired of struggling with this feeling.  Work is work…I expect to feel this way at times.  But my own mother?!  I’m just not sure where to go from here with her.

Much love,
K.