A few weeks ago, I forgot how old I was. Seriously! I felt like 23 flew by, and it honestly took me a few minutes to remember that I’m 24 now. I was upset for a moment because I didn’t feel as though I had set any goals for “by the time I turn 24, I hope to have accomplished _____.” Feeling myself spiraling, I had to take a step back and reflect on what I accomplished during my 23rd year. I found this quote on Facebook awhile back, and it sums it all up pretty well:
I did all of those things, and it was an amazing year, no doubt! Now I know I shared briefly how I got my current job, but as always, there’s more to the story…
Last Spring I was working a front desk job in Scottsdale at one of the most popular luxury resorts in the valley. I maintained my place among the top three highest performers in room sales every month, and eventually began training all of the new hires. While I enjoyed interacting with guests and training our new team members, I didn’t feel challenged and the gossip culture was rampant, even among the managers. Now I pledged honesty when I started this blog, so I’ll admit I wasn’t always the best employee. I had a tendency to pick up a new project on my own accord, but didn’t always follow through and complete it. My intention was to stay productive and motivated while improving department functions, but the lack of support was obvious and it became difficult to stay motivated. On multiple occasions, I confronted my own supervisor and manager upon finding out they were spreading rumors about me. Once I had finally left the hotel, a friend shared with me what she had overheard them say, and what I knew deep down was true: they were never going to promote me.
As I mentioned in an older blog post, my dad met my current boss on an airplane. He sent me a photo of her business card, and I was on the phone with her 30 minutes later once I went on my lunch break. I sent her my resume and the following week I had a phone interview with the sales manager. When she told me they were interested in flying me to Miami for a formal interview, I couldn’t believe my luck!
Working overtime at the hotel, it was difficult to accommodate a trip to Miami. I shared with my department manager my opportunity to interview for a new job and requested a day off. (Sidenote: Just a few months prior I had taken some interest in the rose-gold hair trend and I told her “I love working here so much, I would only leave for a job where I could dye my hair pink!”) Curious about the opportunity, my manager asked me what the job was and I shared that it was a regional sales position in hospitality design. Throwing my words back at me she said: “Hmm, doesn’t sound like a job where you can get away with dying your hair pink.” I’m sure she meant it as a joke, but I found her sarcasm unkind. Regardless, she accommodated my schedule and gave me Saturday off.
I worked until 10:30pm on Friday, hopped on a red-eye flight to Miami, checked into a hotel for 3 hours to freshen up and prep for my interview, and then headed to lunch with my manager-to-be. Afterwards, I headed to my boss’s Ritz Carlton condo to meet her and discuss the position. I had printed spreadsheets of my sales reports for the last six months and copies of my resume, but she and I spent the first hour together instead watching “Band of Brothers” and discussing Hamilton the musical. Luckily I used to be a huge American history nerd, so we had plenty to talk about. She then turned to me and said “So, I need you in Sonoma in three weeks” and that was it. I was offered the job and boarded my plane back to Phoenix a mini bottle of champagne and two hours later (after a trip to the beach, of course!). I got back home with enough time to sleep for 2 hours….before heading in for my 6 a.m. shift at the hotel. It was much easier going into my shift knowing that better things were just weeks ahead.
My teammates were ecstatic and incredibly supportive. The management team was polite in passing along their congratulations, however as soon as the door closed, they didn’t hesitate to say: “Huh….I’ll give her three weeks and she’ll be back.” While disappointed to hear of their lack of faith in me, it was clear that leaving the toxic work environment would be for the better. The way they reacted only encouraged me to work harder, just to prove them wrong. I’ve now been with my company for 9 months, traveled to more than 25 cities, attended 7 trade shows and conferences, so guess what? Despite everything my old team had said, I accomplished something huge for myself…and I even dyed my hair pink after all.