My New Journey With Follett Corporation
Disclaimer: For those of you that know me, don’t be alarmed by the amount of blue and white in this post…..I still love my BOILERS!!! #BoilerUp #Sweet16
I am a planner. It makes me anxious to not have a set plan in place to follow for just about everything. I calculate in my head the exact time I think I’m going to need to complete something or what time I need to leave by to arrive early. So back in February when I made the difficult decision to abruptly leave my position at Starbucks, I was so surprised how relieved I felt instead of freaking out by not having a backup position in place. Who knows, maybe it is because Jon and I are budgeters and knew that we could make it work without me having a job for a bit of time. Maybe it was because I was so beaten-down and stressed that I had turned into a grumpy, anti-social mess. All I know is I was taking the chance to find something I could truly enjoy and would afford me the opportunity to focus on my family and grow my photography business. Jon stumbled upon the listing for a store manager position at Franklin College with Follett and everything I hoped I could have with a job has come true. Here are some of the simple ways this new position has helped me find my joy again:
1. Less Stress
Now I am not deluding myself, I know that with every job comes some amount of stress. I am sure once I am at my own store and working to figure out things on my own, I will feel stressed. It’s part of being a manager. But it’s nice to not be gripped with crippling anxiety that I am going to get a call about my store. Constant worry that everything isn’t perfect or someone is going to call off and derail the whole system. I am not expected to be on 24/7. To rush back to my store to fix what might be wrong or be the go-between for an auditor. To answer texts and calls at 2am because some of my partners didn’t understand boundaries. To continue to give 110%, only to be told it’s not good enough time and time again. To never stop. The stress of that job made me into someone I never want to be again. I have two beautiful babies and an amazing husband and I am choosing to make them the center of my life. Follett gives me the opportunity to do just that and enjoy myself while I do it. My first week of training was week one of the NCAA Championship, with Butler competing, and it has been a great experience! The managers are having a good time though and are not worried about perfection. For the last few years, this has always been one of my weaknesses as a manager, looking like I have it all together to avoid ridicule from the peers who should have supported me. But the managers coach me to make mistakes and support me in learning how to change them. They’re truly focused on exceeding our customers’ expectations and taking care of the employees. Speaking of employees, they understand what it means to STAFF a store to meet customer expectations. Yes, there might be someone standing around, but not for long and our customers never wait to have questions asked, help finding an item, or to be checked out. It’s been an amazing, low-stress environment to learn in and be a part of!!
2. Work-Life Balance
Well, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag….I have always secretly wanted a 9-5 job, especially after having Jackson and Harper. Something that was more a match to Jon’s schedule so that even during the busy times, we could still have time together as a family. I WANT to be able to go and support my husband and what he is passionate about! I cannot tell you the number of times I had to drop what I was doing with my family and head in for my job. It breaks my heart that I often chose work over respecting my own time with my family and letting others guilt me into doing the same. My store consumed my mind and my time to the point that it was all I could think about. I hated when family asked us to make plans, I certainly didn’t make plans with friends and I was constantly watching the clock for the next deadline I needed to meet. Never again. My personal time is respected and I can be truly focused on my family when we are together. I was able to go to a bridal shower this weekend without the dread of being an hour away and having a back-up plan in place in case something went wrong at the store. It has been amazing!! And to all my friends that I have been horrible about making or keeping plans with…..WATCH OUT, I’m coming for you! 😉
3. They’re Investing in Me
Follett has made me feel valued from day one. I have been paired with a seasoned manager and am going through a structured training program. No short-cuts, no “well we need you to do this right now, you’ll figure it out.” The team of managers at Butler have been nothing but amazing. They’re letting me do the standard, boring computer work, but also pulling me in for practical experience to become comfortable with the processes. I’m not just left alone to figure it out on my own. If I ask a question, I’m not just told to go ask a peer or talked down to for not knowing the answer. It is great to have a group of people I instantly feel comfortable and can be vulnerable with. Even their student workers are so eager to help me learn and to make sure I am ready to move to my own store. I know that I will make mistakes, but to have a peer support group who will be there for me no matter what has been a refreshing change and I cannot wait to see how our stores collaborate in the future!!
So there you have it! I have a couple more days of training at the Butler store before I head off to my Franklin location for good! I’m so very grateful for the time I’ve had with this great team!! Here are some snapshots of my time there!!
The Bulldog Bash to celebrate Trip’s birthday!!