Sunday, February 21, 2010
We're Not In Kansas Anymore
For the sake of this post, let's consider today opposite day, because unlike in The Wizard of Oz, I don't think I want to go back to Kansas.
I am now entering my fourth week with my new company, Signature Consultants, and I am absolutely loving it. I love that there is a company out there for me that really appreciates my knack for marketing, branding, and all things creative, and is giving me the opportunity to combine the things I love-social media, networking, technology, recruiting, and geeks. I liken my experience with my former employer to that with my ex-husband. It wasn't overwhelmingly crappy, but it also wasn't particularly exciting, either, and overtime, it became impossible to ignore the huge elephant in the room. I just wasn't happy and it was time to move on. (For the record, I did make one hell of a trophy wife. Barbie had nothing on me.)
The past three weeks with Signature really feel like I am coming out of a fog. I'm very relieved to see that there are other firms(*cough* Signature) that care about what they are doing on a day to day basis. Maybe it is because they are a smaller company, but it is beyond refreshing to wake up excited and to believe in my abilities again. I am often accused of being a "bleeder" in that I always want to do the right thing, even if it isn't the most popular or profitable thing. Signature operates the same way and focuses on the long term and serving their candidates and clients the right way. My dear readers, I think I found "The One". There is something completely genuine and honest about Signature. Above being a business, Signature is a family, and the incredible culture is infectious.
My first week with Signature consisted of hopping on a plane with my partner Susan and flying to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Charlotte, NC. Because everything happened so quickly with my job change, I first met Susan at the airport about an hour before our flight left. We hit it off immediately. She had IT staffing experience, too, and we both shared many of the same experiences with our previous firms. Like me, Susan was attracted to the culture and core values that Signature had to offer. Staffing can be a "shark tank" so a company that places so much emphasis on integrity definitely stands out.
We had training in Ft. Lauderdale Monday and Tuesday and flew to Charlotte at the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning. I was still on California time so I was beyond exhausted. I think in those three days, I logged about 14 hours of sleep collectively. Immediately upon landing in Charlotte at 8:30am, we reported to the office and were greeted by a swarm (seriously, a freakin' swarm) of smiling country folk...otherwise known as our Charlotte office. (And, I use the term "country" loosely and jokingly. They had accents, BUT also had all of their teeth, sported pearls and looked like they popped right out of the Brooks Brother's catalogue, and were all absolutely gorgeous. God Bless the South.) They actually reminded me of the munchkins in The Wizard of Oz because they were all so damn friendly. Coming from the fiery pits of staffing hell, this was so completely foreign to me...but I loved it! I got a few hugs, shook a ton of hands, and was immediately welcomed into the Signature family.
After the most exciting meet and greet ever, we got right down to training. Because I was about three seconds away from having a narcoleptic episode, this was pretty painful. Fortunately, our trainer extraordinaire, Princess Meggan of Charlotte (she is no joke, people), looked into our sleep deprived eyes and decided to take it easy on us. We had a nice lunch out with some of the office, and later, an even nicer dinner. One thing Signature knows how to do is entertain. I think I ate the equivalent of a small country in the week I was traveling. Thursday consisted of more training (thanks to Greg Detwiler for letting me shadow him a bit), and lots of eating and drinking (again, Greg, thanks for the drinks. My liver is still in detox.). I also got to spend some good quality time with my buddy, Paul, that introduced me to the position with Signature. Though I was ridiculously tired, I had an absolute blast.
Friday rolled around, along with my hangover from Thursday night's "team building", and we had a meeting at the office before we were set to fly back out to San Francisco. Though I was tired and not feeling particularly hot, I was over-the-top excited to see that Friday at Signature meant Chicken Mini goodness from Chick-Fil-A. I was not as excited to find out that in order to get my Chicken Mini fix, I had to share with the class (of about 50) five embarrassing stories about me. Technically this was not that hard to do (umm, have you met me?), but I was hoping I could go to the airport known as "that cool girl from San Francisco" and not "Megan from San Francisco that 1) wanted to be a deer when she was little and would graze in the backyard, 2) was Santa's elf at the mall for several years...when she was chubby, 3) passed out drunk in the Wendy's drive-thru line 4) dressed like Hulk Hogan (handlebar mustache and all) when she was little and 5) countless public transportation incidents involving homeless people and tears". But, alas, like any addict, I did what I needed to do to get my former chubby-kid hands on the Chicken Mini crack rock.
Since I returned from the Signature "world tour", we have had quite a few Signature faces visit us in San Francisco. We had Meggan (Princess Meggan, that is), come out for half a week, Scott (one of our managers), "Cherry" and his wife, and this week we have Kira, and Dr. Jay...the owner. I love that Signature is such an inclusive company and that it is important to the owner that we are all friends at the end of the day.
I remember my blog post I wrote about a month into the Kforce San Francisco transition and I can't help but laugh at how different I feel writing this post. My Kforce post was filled with so much apprehension and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. I tried to reassure myself in the post but I knew deep down I was lying to myself and things weren't going to be ok just because I blogged they would. Now, a month into my new job at Signature, I feel zero apprehension and doubt. All I feel is excitement, an intense desire to work hard and serve my candidates the best way I can, and gratitude for the opportunity I have before me. I finally feel like I am doing what I love again and that is a huge relief. I made some great friendships at Kforce and was fortunate enough to learn from some of the best in the industry. All in all my experience was positive, but after over three years, it was time to move on, and leave Kansas, so to speak. I'm very excited about my new "adventure" and can't wait to see what my staffing travels have in store for me!