professional development

I Owe It All to My Designer Shoes

The day we chose our career path based on our college degree, I marked out two fields in dark black marker with a vengeance. 

The first I marked off was accounting. I had recently switched from an accounting degree to a finance degree after the former almost made me forsake my higher education forever. However, I quickly found out the latter had just about as much accounting. I had not done my homework.  So I was still neck deep in FIFO and LIFO, and ready to get as far away from accounting as possible. 

The second I marked off was banking. Because, well it was at the bottom of the income earning potential for the finance degrees.  And I had high hopes for a corner office, killer suits, and Jimmy Choos. So duh. I marked it off too. 

Here’s where it gets good. My first job out of college was as an adjunct professor of FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING. Hilarious God. Really. Really. Funny. 

My second job was in, you guessed it, BANKING. For crying out loud. What a great planner I turned out to be. 

Have you experienced something like this?  Your best laid plans, suddenly go awry. As if your opinion on the subject was ignored. 

Does this sound familiar?  You’ve worked for the promotion. Done everything by the book. But you’re passed over without even a glance. 

You’ve given your heart to a company, only to have it ripped up when they “rightsized” your position. 

You’re working along, pleased with your salary until you find out the guy next to you doing the exact same job (not as well mind you) is making more than you. 

So what’s a girl to do?  Give up on her dreams?  Throw in the towel and forget the Jimmy Choos?  I hope you’re screaming a resounding “No!”

You see, all the little side bars. All the frustrations. All the hurdles. They make you who you were meant to be. 

If I had never had the accounting job, I would have never known I loved to teach and speak.  Nor would I have been asked to be a credit analyst at my local bank. 

Later, I wouldn’t have been able to understand my banking clients’ needs as their loan officer, helping with financial decisions to run their small businesses. I wouldn’t have been able to understand how to help manage the assets and liabilities of a three hundred million dollar bank while on the board as the President at that bank. 

And as a leader in a growing bank, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to train and develop leaders. I wouldn’t have known the hurdles that women in particular often face in the workplace while balancing their career and personal life.  

So what does this all ad up to?  Here's the bottom line. 

What you are doing now matters. Nothing is wasted. Please read that again. I mean it. Nothing is wasted. 

If you are in what seems to be a holding pattern right now, it’s possible and even likely, that you’ll one day look back on this season and say, “Oh, I get it now!”  

So don’t waste it. Be smart while you’re waiting. Learn all you can. Keep a positive attitude. Help others succeed along the way. I bet you’ll come to appreciate the path you’re on. And hopefully you’ll be rocking a killer pair of heels.