I was ready to leave the entire field of HR and Learning & Development because of a difficult boss and zero chance of promotion.
I didn’t want to go back to my job as a Learning and Development professional. Part of it was the job, it was very unsatisfying, and I felt like I had zero chance of getting a promotion. The other reason was the newborn in my arms, my second child.
Enrolling my second child in baby care was frankly depressing and as the days ticked by I became more unhappy about returning to work: my job was full of high pressure and little achievement. One day my partner came home and I told him how I felt strongly that one of us should stay home.
Well, we lived in the Bay Area of California, where two people have to make good money to afford a home. I swear, he only thought about it for 20 seconds, then said that, since I made more money, not only did I need to return to work, I’d need to make $10,000 more per year. He in turn would stay home with the kids and create his own business as a side gig.
It was true and I had to face it, I had to go back to work and make the job into something amazing, instead of quitting. It was the only way. That afternoon I put the kids in a giant stroller and walked to the library, coming home with 8 books on leadership, learning and personal growth. I went back to work determined to succeed with a fairly difficult boss, tons of pressure and no idea how I was going to make more money.
But I was determined to learn more every day and to focus on getting our department out from under that stressful pressure by designing excellent training.
I realized that no one at my company really know how to fix the problems we faced. So I really had to step up. I had to learn a lot about my profession, so I could help my own difficult and stubborn boss make a strategic plan. Though I considered myself to be shy and quiet, I had to start speaking up and I began to talk to the highest leaders in the organization in a way that convinced them to give me the support I needed.
Eventually, my logic won over and my boss let me guide him, so I could get him out from under a tremendous amount of pressure. I began to shpw exciting wins, and bit by bit, the incredible pressure were we under got better.i
My kids never went to daycare, in fact we upgraded to a newer and larger house due to a great promotion, and over the next two years I had increased my salary by $23,000! I realized I had the confidence, the skills and knowledge to get any promotion I wanted. In fact, I’d been so successful in solving organizational problems, that over the next six years, two more jobs were created for me just to keep me.
This is exactly what I want for you. I want you to know that whatever the difficult environment you are in, you CAN solve expensive problems for your organization, and position yourself for a great promotion.
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Katy Caselli is an expert in workforce development and educated in industrial/organizational psychology. She is the Founder and President of Building Giants, LLC, an author, speaker, coach and instructor.
A “people systems” expert, Katy works with Human Resources and Learning and Development to help organizations to be their absolute strongest.
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