I resigned ….. because I am sucky

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I really enjoy recruitment.  I love finding out about people, and I love finding out what companies do and how they function.  Though not a great people person, I like the mix of people and administration that is recruitment.

I unfortunately am unable to sell.  Cold calling is more painful to me than that time I lost a tampon and had to go to my male GP to retrieve it.

I would rather do that every day than pick up a phone and try to convince someone to use my services.

I misjudged how uncomfortable cold calling would be, and how much of a loathing I would feel for it.

I would spend hours staring at the phone.  Just staring at it.  I was physically unable to pick it up and call someone to try to convince them to use me as a recruiter.

I tried various techniques.  I contacted a trainer who had worked as a recruiter, and asked her to do a one on one training programme with me. I figured, this was a skill I could learn.  Right?

It appears no.  I am not comfortable in social situations with new people.  I have severe issues when it comes to trying to sell anyone anything.

Which I may possibly overcome if it is a small part of my day.

Starting a new desk, with no history, unfortunately means that selling is a large part of my day.  Every day was painful and made me feel physically sick.

I was forcing myself to do something I hated doing, that I could not do, that used to make me feel sick — I would freeze and do nothing, because I was so scared.

This had gone on for a while, and it was not getting better.  My boss and I had spoken about “my alarming inability to make cold calls” and time was not making it any better.

I believed in the beginning I could do it.  I was wrong.  I can’t.

I am fantastic as an account manager – I am great with clients. I am efficient, organised, and anal retentive about detail.  Great account manager material.

Shitty/Hopeless/really should be doing something else sales person.

My boss spoke to me and said that he would need to give me a “poor performance letter” which I understood.  I got this letter.

There was nothing in it that was not true, or inaccurate.  It was however quite alarming to see it in black and white on 80grm bond.

He set some targets and gave me four more months to get myself organised.

I was stunned he was giving me another four months.  I had been sitting at a desk that was not generating any money, and was costing him money each month.  If I was him, I would have escorted me to the door with a thank you note, and a swift kick.

When I read the letter again later in the day — after another painful day — I realised how much this “failing” was affecting me.  How much it was starting to erode my “sense of accomplishment” in all other things.

I had been making cold calls – I was forcing myself to make 10 each day come hell or high water.  I reflected on the day and how much I was hating it, and that tomorrow I would get to do it all over again.  And I was not going to hate it any less.

 

I thought about the situation and what the options were.

1.  Continue forcing myself to do something that I was physically unable to do.  I had a physical reaction to it and hated each day.

2.  Stop forcing myself to do something that I was not good at, hated, and was starting to flow over into other areas of my life and find something else to do.

 

I chose option two.

I received the letter on Monday morning.  By Monday evening I knew I needed to resign.  I did not want to do something rash.  I cannot afford to be unemployed.

I do not have a mystery benefactor who is funding my lavish lifestyle of white break and peanut butter.

Even with the fear of facing financial uncertainty could not deter me from the path of what was so obvious.  Necessary.  Vital.

I sat with it for a few days. By Wednesday afternoon I went along to my boss and explained I was going to resign.  He was pleasant and supportive.

I stayed for two weeks — but here was the twist.  I was given a project which required a lot of calling and sourcing people.  I was on the phone pretty much all day – but that did not scare me.  I wasn’t having to sell, and I actually really enjoyed the last two weeks, because this I could do, this I enjoyed.

My last day was Friday before last — I have opted to return to my little recruitment business which I started nearly four years ago, and which has been running really well.

I continued to run whilst I returned back to the formal recruitment position, and for that I am very thankful.

I have some ideas about how I am going to grow it and make it have some other revenue streams.

I am so glad to be back doing something that I enjoy, where I am not consumed by anxiety and fear of impending poor performance, and where every day hangs over me like a guillotine.

I know I made the right decision, but as with all things I am nervous, scared and panicky about how this is going to pan out.  And whether I can get and keep my shit together to do it.

 

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Happiness is … I actually have no idea …. none

I am always reluctant to mention that I am feeling happy.

My thinking is then people start to think that “happy” is a permanent state of mind.

If like me, you have never been “happy” for very long, you realise that “happy” is not a normal state.

It is something that flits in an out of your life, without any certainty or more importantly an ability to hang around for very long.

So best not to rely on it.  When I get “happy” I immediately get suspicious. I start to wonder what it is that made me feel like this, and I start to look at the reasons for why it will pass.

A friend,Sue,asked me the other day how am I.

I always take it as a very loaded question and I start over-thinking and over-evaluating when I know the right answer is “I”m fine, and how are you…?”

Lately I have been fine. I have actually been more than fine. I have moved to a state of being “content” for much of the time.

I am not going to get all “Kum ba yah” on your arse, but I have felt more settled, less anxious and just more “quiet” in my head.

My answer to Sue was “Great actually!”

Sue, being Sue, pried a bit more and wanted to know why I was feeling great.

The short answer was because I am no longer running to an office to be on time.

I am no longer running around like a mad thing trying to be all things to all people.

I no longer feel like I am always late for everything.  I no longer feel that I am missing out on everything in my life, and my kids lives.

I feel far more in control.

I feel measured, and I am doing things that give me joy.  Small things.  I read more, I watch less television.  I have gaps in my day where I can do things I want to do — and not in a mad rush, with the accompanying guilt.

I am not suggesting I do not work hard.  I do.  Starting a new business, and trying to penetrate a market where there are existing and well established competitors, is challenging.  It is not all plain sailing and great bank balances. It is often work for no money, and making some questionable decisions, but I learn.  

And I get better.

Much of what I do pushes me far out of my comfort zone.  I am not a natural sales person.  I am not a natural people’s person, but I work hard at ensuring I return calls, I sell myself as much as I can, and I make sure I interact with clients.  

I work long hours, but I structure my hours around my “other things.”

I have started volunteering at Ubuntu House recently. I did the volunteer course some time ago, but I just never got there.

I volunteer at the House and am aiming to do two mornings a week.  It was such a humbling and wonderful experience to be at the House, and hold the babies.

I thought it would be sad.  I thought I would be trying to smuggle a baby out under my jumper.

It wasn’t.

I loved holding the babies and rocking them until they went to sleep.  I realised (again) that I don’t know any songs or nursery rhymes, but the babies do not seem to mind.  “Ten Green Bottles hanging on a wall ….” seems to work like a charm, I could start at a hundred bottles and not one baby complained – bless their cotton socks, or onesie socks.

I officially became the “baby whisperer” I put three babies to sleep singing my off key little song and rocking them just like so.  It is such a lovely feeling to have a baby fall asleep in the nape of your neck as you rock them.  That heavy feeling that comes over them. The deep breathing … it is so gorgeous and intoxicating.

Why am I feeling great?

I am great because I feel less chaotic. If I want to go to Mr Price for two hours, then I go.  If I want to go to an art exhibition then I go.  I just take more time.

I work the hours back later.  

I really feel so much less anxious and less rushed and just less manic than before ….. I think for me the answer is “not to work for someone else …” and “not to just get a job so you can work…” – I should have “gone out on my own” years ago, it would have saved me a bundle on psychiatrists and medication, and a few breakdowns along the way.

I love what I do …. most of the time.

I still do not get to sleep late as I have the school morning run, get home, make myself a cup of tea and sit down and work until 16h30 and then dash out to fetch the kids.  I get home after collecting the kids, and I usually do an hour or three of work.

I think I am one of those people who “working in an office and ensuring you are there at 08h00 and then leaving at 17h00” is just not suited to me.  

I work hard, I am self-driven, I like to manage my own time —-  but if I cannot do it at 17h00, then leave me to do it at 19h00 or 23h00.

Rushing to an office and trying to juggle three kids at school can be a bit …. well a bit enough to drive you to a mental facility.

I don’t want to say I am  happy.  But I definitely feel content, and a little bit happy…. inside … quietly …. shhhhh don’t tell anyone.

{my hair dresser decided to put curls in my hair today … I said “okay”and then I came home with curls …. true story – this by the way is a “selfie” so don’t get too judgmental on the lighting and the mood music ….}

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