Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
Well, obviously the day that I met Nick my life took a turn, and especially when we got married. I will be a bit more personal to myself though. I feel like my life took a significant turn when I got my first career-type job.Without this first career job, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
My first job was a Barista at the local coffee shop, but I didn’t consider that as a career. I enjoyed it, and, of course, it could have been a career eventually owning my own shop or whatever. It’s not where I wanted to be headed. At that time, Nick and I were living in a small apartment complex. One month while paying rent, Nick asked our apartment manager if she needed any help around the complex. Nick began doing light maintenance work, and painting the interiors of apartments for new move-ins. Knowing me as resident, and a working relationship with Nick, our apartment manager asked if I would be interested in helping her out as an assistant. I was thrilled! It sounded like the perfect opportunity so I jumped right in!
I pride myself with my work ethic, I work very hard and diligently. I am very much a people pleaser and strive to make everyone happy. I excelled so well as her assistant, shortly after I started, I began to work as the sole apartment manager at our small 40-unit complex where we lived. When I started there were 13 vacancies and within three months, the complex was completely full. I took a no bullshit approach to new and existing residents, it resulted in my trustworthiness to them. I recently received one of the best compliments “Forever, you will always be the best landlord I have ever had!”
However, my managers were a different story. The owners of the property were horrible with money and began sinking themselves and the properties they owned. It was burning me out with their drama. My saving grace was that the property that I managed was sold – with the condition that I stay as the apartment manager! I got to happily stay where I managed and get rid of the horrible owners! With the new owner came a new property managers. They were wonderful – professional – and shared the same work ideal as I did. I could have worked with them for the rest of my career.
In 2007, Nick got orders to Cape May, New Jersey. Months before moving, I did endless research and was sad to learn that there was hardly any apartment complexes. Unfortunately, furthering my career as an apartment manager wasn’t going to happen. With my management history, I ended up taking a job as a customer service supervisor for Bed, Bath and Beyond. The change was good and reinvigorated my customer service. I loved my direct co-workers and developed good friendships, but I hated working there. I worked there the entire 3 years we lived in New Jersey. One thing that it taught me was that because you spend a good majority of your life at your job, you need to be happy where you are. You only live once and there is hardly any reason to stay at a job you aren’t happy at. It effects everything professionally and personally. I will never again spend another shift at a job I hate.
When we moved back to Washington in 2010, I stayed in retail for the convenience of being able to immediately find a job. After a year, I was burned out. I was unhappy. I needed another change something fierce. Working in retail can bring you down. It truly taught me the golden rule ‘One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.’
I really consider myself lucky within a week of searching for a new job, I had accepted a job as a part-time receptionist for AGS Stainless, Inc. When I applied and accepted the job, I honestly had no clue what they did! What the heck was cable railing, glass railing? I had no idea, fake it ’til you make though! They liked me so much they offered me the position full-time! I can’t say enough positive things about AGS and my job there. I truly loved it, and was happy to go to work everyday, not very many people can honestly say that.
Nick received orders to Michigan and I regrettably gave my notice. It was the first time I didn’t like being a military wife, I really did not want to leave AGS. I recommended my friend Laura for my replacement and, because of my recommendation, she was hired almost without hesitation. Even though I was happy she was replacing me, I still had a really hard time letting go. Being a receptionist for AGS was perfect for me, everything just meshed well in every aspect of the job.
AGS loved me as much as I loved them. I already had been managing the social media and blog as time allowed. But, I was completely surprised, happy, excited that they created and offered me a position as their social media specialist. This is something I can do from home wherever I live! I am, happily, still part of the AGS family. I do miss being the office though.
I believe that without having the fortunate luck of having my apartment manager take a chance on me, I wouldn’t have the career that I have today. I am still learning everyday how SEO and social media works, but I am happy right now, which is the most important. This is a career that I am loving, am excited about, and anxious to learn more about!