From October 3, 2010
If I had been writing this post a year ago, I would start by saying how much I suck at setting goals, and how I’m not a goal oriented person. Since it is not 2009 though, I can tell you the exact opposite. Over the last eight months I have come to realize exactly how goal oriented I am, and how setting goals really does work for me.
Several times over the three years that I was in Sales and Service my manager, Rick, would periodically ask my what my long term plans were for my career, either with RBC or not. I had no answer to this, not having really thought of something. Around that time. February 2010 we were busy and I was in a less than stellar mood, my performance suffered for it. I really needed a change but didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then a colleague and friend of mine mentioned that he was applying for other positions within the company. Like in a story, this was really the inciting incident that had me thinking of the same thing. So that very day I applied for two positions: a credit specialist and an account manager trainee at one of the branches.
This was a spur of the moment decision and I didn’t really expect to get either position. Unfortunately at that time I didn’t get either position, but I was amazed to hear that someone from the credit department actually contacted my manager. At that time my attendance was rather poor, and since the credit department has fewer employees, attendance becomes more important. It was that which held me back. In retrospect I’m glad because I don’t think that I was ready for credit at that time.
This rejection made me reflect on what I did want. I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to become a credit specialist, but the feedback I received from my manager made me think long and hard about what I wanted to do. Attendance is such an easy thing to correct, and I didn’t want something as simple as that to hold me back from pursuing another career option within RBC. I worked diligently on correcting that, and even y-connected in credit a few times.
Still unsure of my career path, I wasn’t going to apply for credit in June. I was going to apply for an administrative position that opened up. Since we need our manager’s support I talked to Rick, and he said he would let me know. Later that day he told me he didn’t think I would be well suited for that, but that the Credit queue was looking for people either on a temporary basis and would I be interested? The salary wouldn’t change, but then it would mean that I would be better situated to get a permanent position should I want it later. I was like, hell yeah I want to go for that – because I was already starting to think about going to credit.
When the posting came up I applied and thought that this time I had a really good shot, though I was still concerned that my attendance might hold me back. This time I got an interview, and I thought it went rather well. After a week and a half I still hadn’t heard anything, but another friend of mine who had also been asked to apply got a response saying she got the position.
I was upset and pissed off. I was glad that Tracy got the position but she hadn’t even wanted to go over before Rick brought it up – at least I think, and I had. Turns out the reason I didn’t get it was because the credit managers had listened to some of my calls from May and said I was being too transactional and missing credit opportunities. I had already corrected that by the time I applied for credit in June and therefore was even more pissed off. But this feedback gave me a steely determination.
During one of our coaching sessions I asked Rick to find out exactly what would make a successful candidate to the credit queue. He found out right away: high referrals to credit, and a lot of y-connecting. As soon as I found this out I made this my mission. I now not only wanted to go to credit, I was determined to make it into that next training class. I had Rick arrange y-connecting for me every other week and though it was outside my comfort zone, I most definitely pushed referrals.
I guess you could say that I am stubborn. If someone tells me I can’t do something, my response is ‘hell naw, I’m doin’ it!” And the feedback I got spurred me to greater heights. My new determination was: “Give me Credit.” It was so much so that I now have the highest referrals on my team, and at one point (if not still) was in the top three in the centre for certain types of sales.
Fast forward to August or September, I can’t remember which now. There was a new posting for credit and I submitted my application. Several weeks went by, at least, and I heard nothing so I pretty much forgot about it. I knew that there was a training class starting in October so I didn’t worry about it too much. I figured either I would get the interview or I would not. But the thought of previous feedback kept me from getting too transactional on my calls.
One day, out of the blue, Rick told me to come and see him. As it was the second time in about twenty minutes – the first being a concern about a client – I was thinking ‘uh-oh.’ It turned out to be something great though. He said one of the coaches from credit was listening to my calls and came over to talk to him. She said that they didn’t just think that my calls were OK, or good, or great, but that they were ‘blown away’ and that the things I was bringing up with clients was exactly what they were looking for in a credit specialist.
To say I was completely blown away myself would be putting it mildly. I thought ‘ah-ha my plan is working.’ And the very next week when I came in I had an interview for credit again!
Oh I blew that interview so badly, so I thought. I walked out of there thinking that I had probably just talked myself out of getting the position, but my coach said that it was only one part of the process so that buoyed me up somewhat. I still decided that I was going to believe I didn’t get the position, that way if I didn’t I wouldn’t be upset like I was in June.
When I walked out of the interview on that Friday it was with the knowledge that I would hear something either the end of the following week, or the beginning of the week after. When I came into work last week and still saw nothing I was a little worried, and sure that it was going to be another no. However, when I came into work on Wednesday what did I find in my email? Something from the Credit manager I had my interview with. I hesitated before opening it, wondering if I wanted to, but as soon as I clicked on it I started to feel more hopeful. The email had been encrypted and I figured they wouldn’t go through the trouble of doing that if it was just a ‘sorry you didn’t get the position’ letter.
Sure enough, it was an offer for employment in the credit queue! I start October 12.
Who said hard work doesn’t pay off anymore?