Happy as a Kid at Christmas

I’ve worked with Christine over the course of several years. We focused on how she could navigate her way through the various challenges she faced in redefining herself in the job marketplace. She is a Renaissance lady, with many passions and a big toolbox.

Christine is a seeker and, as you will note when you read her story, a deeply spiritual woman. Her abiding faith served as the foundation for her search for the right career fit. That’s not to say that Christine expected a job to fall into her lap. She used her creativity, her commitment to helping others, and her ability to connect with her network to break through the success barrier.

Please read and enjoy!

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Christine Span

My journey began when I worked as a marketing communications manager for a European company striving to build a presence in North America. Though the company had a 20-year history, it operated more like a start-up in the U.S.  I was doing the kind of marketing I enjoyed.  Specifically, marketing communications.  It was fun for me to write websites, product brochures, press releases and the like.  I was able to use my graphic design and event planning skills.  In a few words, I could use my creative talents and they were appreciated.

That all changed a few years later when the third largest provider of business software in the world purchased our company.  After a total of eight years, I came to loathe everything about the job.  Several changes in business strategy left me reporting to four bosses over the course of one year.  I was unchallenged, under utilized, and unengaged.  I often cried during my drive home.

I’d pray that something would change.  Either the situation would improve or I would find another job.  But I knew nothing would change.  And I knew I wasn’t ready to find a new job.  I was suffering from burnout and there was no way I could walk in to a new employer and be excited.  Eventually I started to pray that I would have a break from the rat race.  I prayed that somehow I could exit the company and collect unemployment.  In my heart and soul, I knew that this was the only way I could afford the time off while I recuperated, and in December 2010 my prayers were answered.

I used the time to decompress.  I enjoyed time with family and friends.  I investigated self employment options.  Sure, it was scary.  There were times the panic would set in.  But then I would remind myself that I asked for this.  I had to trust that things would work out as they should.  Once I was able to enter that mind frame, I felt better.  And happier. And blessed because I felt like “The Universe” was working for me.  Though often it seems to act a lot slower than I would prefer.

After about five months I knew I was ready to find a new job.  But at that time I wasn’t finding any marketing opportunities that excited me.  And honestly, I was feeling the financial pinch as I knew my unemployment compensation would soon expire.  So I prayed some more, asking God to send the right thing my way.  And He did.  I was hired as a senior executive assistant.  It was a far cry from my 20 plus years in marketing, but the company was growing and I thought I could work my way into their marketing department.  But as I approached my first anniversary with this company, there were no signs of this happening and I found myself searching once more.

This time I tried a different approach.  I knew I wanted to re-enter the marketing communications field.  And I was able to define a list of conditions that would be available at my ideal job.  I wanted to be within 10 miles of my home.  I wanted to work with people of the same mindset as me.  I wanted a good salary and excellent benefits.  I wanted to work in a fun environment that would challenge me and with people who would respect me.  I wanted responsibility and accountability.  And I wanted to do the marketing tasks I enjoy.

With all of these things in my mind, I made time to meditate often.  And every time I found myself doubting that I would find such a position, I would turn away from the negativity and focus on the positive by saying, “Lord, help me find a position that meets [insert list of criteria]” or “It will be so wonderful when I find the position that offers me [insert list of criteria].”

Additionally, I wrote letters to Jesus.  I’d begun hearing a lot of talk about the key to success relying heavily on expressions of gratitude.  So I’d begin my letters by thanking him for working in my life, for something good that had happened or for the overall blessings I’ve received.  I’d go on to express my current frustration and what I thought I needed for things to get better.  I always left the outcome to God’s will.

It wasn’t long before I secured an interview for a company that seemed to meet every condition on my list.  As I prepared for the phone interview and subsequent personal meeting, I truly felt God’s presence.  He even gave me an idea that seemed to secure my eventual hire.  I’d prepared a press release written as if the new company had already hired me.  After reviewing my portfolio, I handed it to them saying, “I want this to be the next item I add to this book.”  They loved it.

So here I am, seven days into my new marketing position and I’m as happy as a kid at Christmas.  For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.  But I don’t want to rest on this.  I need to make sure I show gratitude every day.  It brings positive energy and spreads good will amongst the people you come in contact with.  And these are the things that breed success.

—Christine Span

Comments

Comment from Rob Ree
Time: July 25, 2012, 5:34 pm

Awesome success story. Way to go on “re-inventing” yourself.

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