Carpe Diem: I set my nerves aside, grabbed hold of that shred of self-confidence and pressed “send”.

I’d been adamant I would not attend any future industry conferences.  If you’ve caught the few posts (and tweets) where I lament about the strains at work and the feelings of anxiety about my career, 2013 (thus far) has not been good.  I don’t know if this amounts to a ‘mid-life crisis’ or what.  What I do know is, “ain’t nobody got time for no mid-life crisis” because this roof over head and these utilities are not going to pay for themselves, Sallie Mae wants their money back and my 5-inch heels — even on sale and with additional percentage off coupons — needs to be paid for in full.

Several months ago, I confided to a colleague at another company (who has been doing this professional services marketing gig for a helluva lot longer) that I had no desire to attend an upcoming marketing conference.  After a very long discussion, I was encouraged to re-consider.  If I didn’t attend, it would be the second year in a row I would have missed the conference.  She didn’t think it was wise to give the executives to whom I report the satisfaction of having their highest and sole marketing professional unaccounted for at a setting where I deserved to be.  I ask them for very little.  Actually, I ask them for a lot for their benefit, but I ask them for almost nothing for me personally, and the least they should do, as she drove home the point, was to make sure every year, certain activities were not a “May I…?” but an “We expect…”.  In other words, industry conferences, seminars and the like, for example, should be a given — not a request (or akin to begging).  Yes, it had come to this.  Why?  Because they claim poverty.  They claim poverty for not having the money to invest in training and development.  They claim poverty for not having the money to update and upgrade infrastructure.  They claim poverty for not approving the hire of a junior marketing staff person to assist me.  They claim poverty for not paying me what I should be paid, at the level where I am, in a market where I am and for all the years I have been a loyal (and obviously, foolish) employee.

This colleague and Momma Rockstar (my BFF) have snapped me out of my “loyalty” crap good and plenty with their tough love talks from time to time, and I am forever thankful and appreciative for them being by my side.  This disturbing “loyalty” has done nothing but stagnate my growth, lowered my self-esteem and kept me professionally paralyzed.

Yes, the truth hurts, but truth is truth.  No-one is fooling anyone here.  I accept much of the blame.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So, last week, I attended an annual conference for professional services marketers.  Although much of what I heard I’d heard before, it was good to be present.  Yes, I deserved to be there.  I picked up a few nuggets of information and reconnected with other marketers who I hadn’t seen in some time, met some really intelligent professionals, but most of all, the conference was a tremendous confidence booster.  Tremendous.

During one of the sessions — on sales culture in marketing (yep, that), I had an “A-ha!” moment.  Positive energy rushed to the surface (I’m not kidding).  I was almost overwhelmed with emotion.  I thought:

I can do this.  I am good at this (marketing).  I may not know it all or be perfect, but I’ve always been a quick read and a fast learner.  I deserve more than what I’m receiving and being given.  I don’t owe this company one iota more of loyalty.  I am truly am done.

This was a carpe diem moment.

In the middle of this interactive and very spirited presentation, I jumped on my LinkedIn and fired off an e-mail to the presenter.  (Note: I’d met this person about two years ago, but I suspect they would not have remembered who I was.)  I was direct.  I needed a fresh start in a new environment, would they have any suggestions about moving forward based on the credentials I had, and was it realistic to believe I could transition without necessarily starting from the bottom?

Would you believe, within an hour after sending that message, the presenter responded?  We are to connect this week to schedule a call to discuss.

Yes, carpe diem.

If I’d sat back and did nothing, not fired off the message when it moved me, I may have missed a golden opportunity.  I set my nerves aside, grabbed hold of that shred of self-confidence and pressed “send”.

Stay tuned…


5 thoughts on “Carpe Diem: I set my nerves aside, grabbed hold of that shred of self-confidence and pressed “send”.

  1. Good for you chicky. I have been feeling like you and I hate this feeling and today just did some cursory browsing to see what was out there. Glad you had the courage to take back control.

    • Thanks. The courage comes in bits and pieces. It’s this feeling of being in a new place, learning how to do things “their” way versus the way you’ve done it elsewhere, dealing with new people, knowing who plays nicely in the sandbox and those who will do anything to throw you under the bus. It’s the fear of the unknown. It’s a lot of things on your head and either you’re jumping in with both feet or you’re not.

      My call with the presenter is scheduled for next week. I’m prepping this weekend. I hope I can get my thoughts together well so that the time I spend speaking with him is not wasted one bit.

  2. Good for you girl – taking life back into your own hands. Keep this post going -hope all is well at home and the rest of the family

    • I hope someone is watching over me. I need the guidance and support. I neglected to send the e-mail to the presenter today (first day back at the office; it was hectic), but tomorrow morning, I’ll fire off one within the first hour of my day — guaranteed.

      You’ve been on my mind many, many, many times. I really should be better about picking up the phone and calling…sigh. *hugs*

      • no need to feell that way as we are never far from each others’ lives – nothing can get in the way of our relationship – just concentrate on yourself. Give big hugs to the extended family for us and maybe one day we will get together-xoxoxoxoxo

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