Growing up, my parents always told me to get a good job with a good company and I’d be set for life. My mom worked for Quaker State Corporation; my dad worked in the IT department for a company called Franklin Steel. Both worked at their respective companies for 20-plus years, and for a long time I thought they were right. But, then change came. Quaker State moved to the Lone Star State, and Franklin Steel turned off its furnaces. In their 50s, my parents needed to find new jobs to bridge the gap to retirement. It was devastating at first, and it required a move from northwest Pennsylvania to Cleveland, Ohio. But, in the end, my father found a better IT job with a company that deeply valued him and his expertise; my mom took on a fun job with a travel agency and they were able to enjoy the many great aspects of living in a metropolitan area that they did not have in their small town as they finished out their work years.
For me personally, change has been a major part in my life. In the past 26 years, I’ve lived and worked in 9 states, worked for 8 different companies and been married twice. (At Celanese alone, I’ve held 5 vastly different titles!) Throughout my career, I’ve been told my job was being centralized, decentralized, off-shored and eliminated. And, I’ve had to tell others theirs were, too. Regardless of the reasons, these kinds of changes are tough to go through, and I won’t pretend that they didn’t throw me off balance a little. But, having gone through these changes, I’ve also experienced the thrill of adventure, the excitement of taking on a new role and the joy of starting a new phase of life. I’ve learned that fighting the change only wears me out. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting. But, in surrendering to the change, really giving myself over to it, I have found unimagined happiness and fulfillment in both my personal and professional life.
My parents were right; I’ve had many good jobs with many good companies, not just one. I’ve learned to take each day as it comes — finding the joy in wherever I am or whatever I am doing — being open to all the possibilities; because, it ALWAYS works out in the end.
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