An Open Heartfelt Letter To My Boss On Why I Choose To Stay
I was at the 2016 LinkedIn Conference, Talent Connect, a few weeks ago listening to one of the keynote speakers. The representative from YearUp was on stage and the words he said truly spoke to me, “…that they will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential.” That was me! I am THAT person he speaks of. He talked more about disadvantaged young adults living in poverty and every single thing he said resonated with me.
Melissa, I remember the first time I met you – it was Summer of 2010 and I remember walking through the sliding glass doors and entering a huge main lobby with ceilings as high as the sky. I arrived ten minutes early and wore a $3 cream colored blazer that I purchased at Goodwill and faded black slacks to my interview. The position was only for a temporary Recruiting Coordinator position through the staffing agency and I was reminded several times from them that this would only be a three month need (maximum).
When I arrived at HR, I was a nervous wreck but I had to act cool and calm. I was intimidated at the fact that the gaming technology company I was interviewing at was a giant, billion-dollar corporation. I answered the questions as best as I could, and I also answered several questions with “But I can learn quickly.” Oh boy, I thought I totally bombed that interview. At the end of the interview, you walked with me back to the main lobby and as I was about to exit, all of a sudden, I couldn’t remember your name.
I shook your hand and said, “Thank you, Whitney, for this opportunity! I look forward to hearing back from you soon.” Why did you have to have two first names?! Whyyyy?! I definitely was NOT going to get that job now! We laugh about that to this day when others accidentally call you Whitney too and I’m reminded of how I left my first impression with you.
“…that they will have access to the education, experiences, and guidance required to realize his or her true potential.”
You called me back the next day and offered me the job, and I was in such disbelief and yet extremely grateful that you gave me a chance knowing that I wasn’t near qualified for the position. I came from a real estate and mortgage background and had a very small amount of experience in Recruiting working for a boutique search firm. “The team and I really like you, and we feel like you could learn quickly and would do well in this role. It is a short-term contract position that will probably last about three months.”
I gladly accepted and six and a half years later, I am still here now as a full-time employee. We’ve had our ups and downs and I’ve learned so much along the way. We’re a solid team, and that YearUp keynote was my greatest reminder of how good I’ve got it and of the opportunity that was given to me. I’m paid well, I receive excellent benefits, my family and I now live comfortably, and I feel fulfilled and valued knowing that I’m partnering and advising leadership on finding the right talent for their needs.
I remember those hot mess days early in my career when Juliana was still a baby and we only had one car. That one car would drive us all the way to the Northwest part of Las Vegas to drop off the kids with my mother-in-law and then to Chinatown to drop George off at his part-time job while he attended school full-time to finish his degree. I would then drive to work to try and arrive by 9am to start my day, then go to lunch at 1pm to pick George up from work. George would then drop me back off to work and then to the Northwest to pick up the kids and study and finally back to my work by 6pm. Whew. This exhausts me writing it as much as it does reading it. I can’t believe we sustained this schedule and drive time for several years.
We were living in poverty at that time and really struggled, but I knew God had bigger plans for us if we just stayed loyal, faithful and worked hard. I’ve been with this company through many milestones, many heartbreaks, and many personal experiences. I can’t even count the number of memories made while working here — when Juliana turned one, when we were able to rent our first small one story home, when we were able to rent our first luxury home, when I began blogging as a side hustle, when George graduated college, when George got his first job as a project manager, when my father-in-law passed away, when my grandmother passed away, when I was diagnosed with several health issues and overcame them all, and when George took over our blogs and local businesses full-time. Through it all, you and the team were always there for me.
What it was like receiving my promotion.
When I received my promotion as a Sr. Corporate Recruiter, we cried together, because you knew about the struggles I had been through and what I had to endure to get to this point in my career. You wanted to do something about it and made sure I stayed on the right path to success. The moment I was promoted, we both cried because we BOTH felt victorious. You had a vested interest in my success because you cared.
Thank you for teaching me to stretch myself and grow with all your “growth opportunities” (this is what you’d call these challenging projects of mine with a smile). Thank you for pushing me towards higher goals. Thank you for your compassion and genuine care for me and my family. Thank you for giving us the flexibility to live a little and enjoy life. And most especially, thank you for setting an example to always choose to do the right thing – even if we have to fight for what’s right or even when it seemed hard to do at the time. You have groomed me into the professional I never thought I could be, and I am truly grateful God placed you in my life.
And although things could change in the future for whatever reason that may be (hey, you never know what the future holds for both of us), today I choose to stay. I choose to stay because there is no other place that could compare to my current workplace where we are like family and hold so many memories together. And whenever there are tough days (as with any job), God often reminds me of the day the twenty-nine-year-old-me first walked into that main lobby with my $3 blazer from Goodwill and my black faded slacks for an interview as a temporary Recruiting Coordinator.
And then days don’t seem so tough anymore when you realize how good you’ve got it in life and in your career – sometimes all we have to do is reflect on what life was like back then.