By Bridget Kang
When I thought of writing a blog about gratitude, I made a mental list of all of the things that I’m grateful for. Of course, it’s the usual things — my health, my children, my family and friends, my book club, and all of the small communities that surround me, including the old British men that I chat with in my coffee shop on the weekends. I’m lucky in so many ways, but with Thanksgiving finally here and I reflect on this year, professionally, it has been a rollercoaster.
At the beginning of 2019, I was fairly comfortable in a job that I really liked, but things changed, and I found myself looking for new opportunities in February. I found a great new job at a company I really liked. A new job means all new processes, new schedules, more travel, lots of calls, stress, new health insurance, new coworkers, and it takes time to settle in. By the time I was settled and started to feel comfortable, an opportunity for my dream job fell right into my lap. I had been at my new job only 109 days.
It was a dilemma. I started to ask myself so many questions: Will they be mad if I leave? Will it hurt my relationships there? Am I ready to start the new job stress all over again? But ultimately, I had to ask myself, Will I regret it if I don’t take it? And the answer was YES.
I took the dream job at Telarus. I had been interacting with Telarus for years while working for different suppliers, so I had some acquaintances that I had spoken with on the phone. On my first day, we took a tour of the office, and I saw a familiar name on a desk. I didn’t have time to introduce myself – she knew who I was by my voice, shouted with delight, and gave me a huge hug as if we were old friends. That’s the moment I knew I was in the right place. It didn’t end there, either. Every person I met in the office was warm and friendly and treated me as if I was a part of their family.
When I was younger, I spent a few years working in state government and police departments. Several times, I received feedback that I got comfortable with my coworkers too quickly. It takes more time to become friendly with people. Earn your keep first, wait for people to accept you, don’t assume that you’re friends. For years, I thought that this was a professional environment and that I was doing it wrong. You can’t just HAVE friends. You have to wait for the friends to find you and let you in; however long that takes.
My time in the channel has let me know that this is utter nonsense. I want to accept all of the people around me and for them to accept me back. It’s totally possible, and I have that now. I feel at home with my coworkers and partners. Now when people ask me what I do for a living, I generally tell them that I am a professional friend-maker, and it’s the best job in the world.
This year, I’m grateful for the courage to take a risk. I’m grateful for the people around me who supported me in this whirlwind of a professional year. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take my dream job and all of the new friends I’ve made while doing it.
About the Author
Bridget Kang is a Senior Partner Development Manager at Telarus. She has been in technology sales since 2006, and in the channel since 2014. She is one-part professional friend-maker, one-part mother to two phenomenal kids (11 and 9), and at least 37 parts enthusiasm for just about everything.