This week I celebrated 7 years of being fully employed. It may not seem like a monumental point to have reached in my career, but I felt it deserved a moment of reflection.
In 7 years I have planned events across the country, written proposals that changed the landscape of the US, and met amazing people doing it. When I took a job in marketing I had no idea what it really meant. I was prepared for the writing aspects, and the strategy involved, but not in the way that your very personality adapts to what you do on a daily basis.
I have learned to stand on my own two feet, and to have my own voice and opinion. I have learned that admitting when you are wrong, or have screwed up, is far better than having to deal with people discovering it later. I have gained the ability to make myself heard; to lead a group of people who outrank me in every professional way. I know the value of myself, and what I can bring to the table. And most of all, I know that the job is just that – a job, and work. It doesn’t need to dictate or effect your personal life unless you let it.
When I first started working it was tight from paycheck to paycheck – living on my own, and eating ramen noodles and twizzlers for dinner. I scraped by, and eventually took a lesson a week, or maybe twice a month. Eventually I found my financial foothold and continued to grow and get where I am now, able to have horses in my life. I was even able to buy O due to my year end bonus one winter.
I believe that my career has crossed into horses in many ways – that as an adult I’ve been a more knowledgeable rider because of my experiences at my day job. You’d think I would’ve learned to listen all those years as a junior, but when it’s your own precious money and time on the line – suddenly things like absorbing a lesson are much more important. I have come to grips with finding and enjoying a trainer who appreciates my voice and opinions. I may not be the best, I may have really bad rides, but I do have value. That is very important in this uber competitive corner of the universe. And most important, I know I’m going to suck; I’m going to make massive, stupid and/or ugly mistakes in and out of the saddle. Owning them, and recognizing them as part of the process of learning makes every difference down the line.
So thank you to my 8-5 corporate job; without which I wouldn’t be the person or the rider I am today!