As 2006 drew to a close, it seemed like I was coming to the end of me. The entire year seemed like a battlefield. I fought for identity after a devastating breakup. I fought for mobility as I rehabilitated a broken ankle. I fought for health as I chipped away at obesity. I scraped and denied my way to financial freedom. And I scratched and clawed my way through eight hours of soul-depleting work, five days a week.
Though I worked for a faith-based non-profit, there was something about the company or the environment that was crushing my spirit. There was something there that seemed oppressive to me.
In 2006, the vice around my soul tightened, as new leaders constructed policies and procedures to hinder, disrupt and conflict our proven methods. It was dictated to us, experienced professionals in our fields, what tools we would use to complete our tasks. Established, trusted leaders were pushed out of the organization. Seeing the writing on the wall, coworkers found better jobs, better pay, better leadership. Those who remained picked up the duties and kept things moving.
In November, upholding two full-time positions and coordinating the duties of a third, I asked my employer for more help. I was told that the burden of my work would force me to be more efficient with my time. That’s the last thing, and the first thing I needed to hear.
As with every part of my life, I beseeched the Lord for guidance, for a new job, for a new attitude, a new life. And that was it. He gave me one.
A former coworker who left in late November called and asked me if I was interested in a customer service position with The reThink Group. The first time he asked, shortly after leaving, I declined and continued to seek new employment—or a way around the oppressive leadership.
In late December 2006, the week before Christmas, my former coworker called and asked if he could give my resume to his boss—they needed a customer service person and he thought I’d be perfect. It didn’t sound like the same job he’d asked me about before, though it was. Desperation can change a perspective.
My resume was turned in. I was told the company owner and his wife—Debbie and Reggie Joiner—wanted to meet with me for dinner, two nights before Christmas 2006.
In a booth, in a dimly lit Cheesecake Factory on a Saturday night two days before Christmas, I was offered a position as a customer service representative for The reThink Group. I slept on the decision for one night, and on Christmas Eve 2006, I became a reThinker.
The day I submitted my notice, I was berated and told that I was unprofessional and leaving their company in the lurch. Decision, confirmed.
With reThink, I started as a customer service representative, fielding calls, and providing support via email. As the company grew, I identified a need for an internal copy editor—most of our editorial work was contracted. As my customer service duties allowed, I began reading internal documents and projects.
reThink kept growing.
Eventually, I moved from the customer service area and returned to my editorial roots, wholly. Months into this new position, Orange Leaders content management was added to my plate.
Over the last seven years, I have literally become renewed. At reThink, I found a place to settle in, find my strengths, develop my skills and grow. Rough edges have become smooth; tender sores have become healed; trust broken by poor leadership has been restored. For the first time in my career, I’ve caught a vision and a passion has ignited.
It’s not lost on me the expanse of change that has occurred in my life in seven years. It’s clear that God has granted me a tremendous blessing by providing me with a place at reThink.
On Christmas Eve Eve in 2006, Debbie told me that she hoped reThink would be a place where I could find healing. In being at reThink, God more than healed me. At reThink . . .
I found hope.
I found adventure.
I have a voice.
I have a community.
I have growth.
I have vision.
I have goals.
©2014 Jennifer Wilder. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.