Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Beginnings

In August of 2009 I began an adventure.  I started working for a company that took me, literally, all over the world.  I was initially a data entry employee and eventually became a sales rep and then a team trainer.  Looking back on the 4+ years with ServiceSource, I can only think of good things…except the horrific commute into downtown Nashville.

On January 8th (I just now realized this new opportunity came my way on my birthday J) I was approached at church by Zack Bannister asking me if I was looking for a job.  At the time I wasn’t, but the more he described the position, the more interested I became.

On January 20th I had a lunch meeting with Jamie, the Director of Agency Sales and Marketing at Consumers Insurance, and Zack came along as well to ease any tension.  It was a very pleasant lunch and I left there feeling confident that this is something I definitely MIGHT want to do.  I continued the process with an open mind, but not 100% committed.  The reason for that was because I didn’t want to get my hopes up and then be disappointed.  Also, I wasn’t sure I wanted to change jobs because I was completely happy with my current position.

On January 31st I went in for my formal interview at Consumers.  Once again, I kept my answers and responses very open and non-committal.  I more or less really wanted Consumers to WANT me!!  Before I left the office that day I filled out the application and had to write in a start date.  That was probably the scariest part because it made everything seem so real.  I had so many questions regarding insurance and lapse of coverage, but Julie, the HR director, was wonderful and answered my questions with confidence!  Over the next few weeks I excitedly checked my phone and email religiously to see if I had any missed calls or messages from Jamie. 

FINALLY, on February 11th, while I was in a team meeting, Jamie texted me and said to give him a call when I had 5 minutes.  That meeting seemed to last FOREVER!!  I was so anxious and nervous to call Jamie because I wasn’t exactly sure what he was going to tell me.  Was he going to offer me the job?  Was he going to say he found someone else that had better qualifications?  As soon as the meeting was over I pulled a couple of my friends aside, who knew all about it and they said, “Call him now!”  So, I found a safe spot to call and talk and Jamie offered me the job!  However, he was still concerned that the only reason I might take the job was because of the location.  Did I mention that the office is in Murfreesboro?  Did I mention that it’s about 7 minutes from my house?  Oh and SUPER close to where Wren stays during the day, at my sister-in-law’s?  So, you can imagine that the entire time during the lunch and interview I mentioned how close this was to home and baby.  Jamie, rightfully so, was very concerned that would be the only reason I would take the job.  So, he requested that I look over the job description again and get back with him the next day as to whether I wanted to take the position.  I had already made my pro/con lists and Consumers won by a long shot!  Gary was giving me absolutely NO feedback on what he wanted me to do, which I found completely annoying, but it just meant that I couldn’t make a wrong choice.  He supported my decision 100% whichever way I decided.  As Jamie requested, I took the evening to read over the job description again and pray about it.  Oh I also forgot to mention that Jamie is a Christian, which was also a big deciding factor in my final choice. 

I went into work the next morning knowing what decision I was going to make…I had to give my 2 weeks’ notice.  I emailed Jamie to let him know I was accepting the offer.  I talked to Zack that Wednesday, who by the way had been ignoring me the past few weeks, and he let me know that Jamie was sitting right beside him when he got the email and was very excited that I accepted it!  That made me feel good.  Anyway, back to my notice…Talk about a knot in your stomach!  I’ve heard about people not liking their job or being ready to leave, but that was not the case for me.  This was definitely bittersweet and one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  I just knew I would cry my eye balls out, but I actually kept my composer as I met with several different people throughout the day.  Everyone was extremely supportive and excited for me, but also sad that I was leaving.

The next couple of weeks were crazy!  The management team asked that they be able to make the announcement, but I made sure they knew that I wanted to tell certain people myself.  The day they were supposed to make the announcement we had someone on our team pass away, so it kind of put my news on the back-burner.  Therefore, we had to keep the secret for another week.  Obviously, more and more people found out so when the big announcement was made not many people were that shocked.  I had just trained 18 new people and they all had no idea and I kind of felt bad for springing it on them like that. 

My last day, February 26th, we had lunch at Puckett’s and Wren came to work with me that day.  It was a wonderfully fun day, but I was sad when I left because I would never be returning…as an employee anyway.  Of course, the managers let me know that if this new job didn’t work I would be welcomed back with open arms, which will make anyone feel good when they make such a life changing decision.

Pictures and videos from my last day at ServiceSource:

Hanna and Wren...I guess she's the only one that got pictures with her that day :)

My first day at Consumers was Monday March 3rd.  I wasn’t supposed to be in until 9 because they wanted to be able to get all of my paperwork ready to go before I got in.  I got up, got Wren and Gary out the door and headed back to take a shower only to find that I had a missed call from Jamie saying the office was closed!  WHAT?!  Does this happen?  Snow day on your first day of work…good or bad?  I went with GREAT and called Gary to come back home!  He hadn’t made it very far because the roads were AWFUL.  He had to salt the driveway before he even left because he almost busted it.  So, he ended up staying home as well!!  YAY for a snow day!!

This is the only picture I got from the snow day.  I tried to get the snow outside the window, but it just didn't work.  I also have a short video of Wren touching the snow, but we didn't stay out long.  She wasn't a big fan.  We will try again next year :).

Take 2 – I went into work on Tuesday March 4th at 10.  There was another lady that was starting in a different department, so she and I filled out our paperwork together.  Her name is Connie and she is precious!!  After paperwork, we were able to go around and meet EVERYONE, did you read that right?  Yes, I said EVERYONE in the office.  It was so bizarre to me because I came from a company that was over 800 just in our office, not to mention world-wide.  We usually only met the people on our team, so this was something new to me.  Everyone was wonderful, very welcoming and kind!

The first week went great and I have enjoyed being at Consumers!  I look forward to coming to work and not having to deal with the traffic into Nashville.  This morning I heard the traffic report on the radio and thought, hmmm I don’t have to worry about that EVER AGAIN!!  What a nice thought!

My job title is: Agency Sales & Marketing Coordinator
We are in 7 states (TN, AL, VA, IL, IN, MO &  AR)
There are Sales Reps in each state
Just a few of the things I handle include: sales rep convention registrations, hotel (if needed) reservations and help with planning the yearly agent trip.  I'm pretty much an event planner and I LOVE IT!!  I also work on brochures and will be in charge of the company store!  

So, my last line will be a shameless plug!  If you don’t have/or are looking for new car insurance find a local Consumers Insurance agent near you!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Sounds like a great opportunity! - Natasha