You know how when you’re pregnant, they tell you not to make any big decisions because well, to put it politely, you’re just a walking hormone who doesn’t always know what she wants? Yeh well, I sort of said F.U to that idea, and handed in my resignation last week, after 4 years of working for the same company.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that at night, I work as a virtual assistant for an American-based company. I started my job fresh out of high-school when I was desperately looking for some sort of direction in life and up until that moment, I thought that I was destined to be a failure because I didn’t get to study at a university like the rest of my peers.
At first, I started out as the assistant to the assistant and slowly, over 4 years, I worked up to become the work-wife, the one who knew where everything was, the one to call when things went wrong, the one who weighed in on important decisions, the one who held shit together. People came and people went, but I was always there, I was the constant. Three years into working for the first company, my boss made the big decision of launching a sister-company which I was and still am very proud to have helped build.
My job has molded me into being the confident person that I am, today. It taught me to handle people – difficult, stupid, funny, ridiculous, incredible people – it taught me to be responsible, professional, consistent, disciplined, independent, and reliable. Remember that before this job, I didn’t know about the inside workings of a company, other than the ones described in my business textbook, and let me tell you, they failed to explain the roles of a virtual assistant.
No one really understands the challenges that come with working from home until you’ve done it! My textbook didn’t share how I will constantly be telling my family to STFU because a customer is calling, or how I’ll probably miss everybody’s birthday dinner except my mother-in-law’s because her birthday is on July 4th and Americans take their Independence Day very seriously! No one really understands that although I work from home, it is, in fact, a real job, with real people relying on me. I should know, I get paid real money that pays real bills! It isn’t always easy to be an adult – sometimes, you REALLY want to go to bed early, but you have customers calling, sometimes, you REALLY want to go on a family holiday but you also have bills to pay, at the end of the month, and going doesn’t just mean the cost of a holiday, but also loss of income while you’re away from work, same goes for when you’re sick or having babies.
My job has taught me A LOT. I am ever grateful for the opportunity and I owe the greatest thanks to the guy who took a bet on a kid, fresh out of high-school. Who knows what you saw in me, that I didn’t quite see in myself. I love that I got to spend the last 4 years chatting to people who were from, what seems, another world. Being exposed to American culture has made me even more grateful for the South African culture that so many of us take for granted. My customers – each one of you – you have driven me to the point of madness, you have made me cry and sometimes, I even invented new swear words after speaking with you, but each of you contributed to my growth.
I have finally reached a point in my career where I have a better idea of where I want to be, and in which direction I need to go. I feel that after 4 years, I have done what I can in this position and as much as I love it, it’s also time to step outside my comfort zone and seek out the new adventure.
After much deliberating, oohing, and ahhing on whether accepting a new job offer was smart, at 4,5 months pregnant, I went ahead and said yes before handing in my resignation. My old job was primarily handling admin and sales, whereas my new job specializes in Digital Marketing, which by now, anyone who spends 5 minutes with me will know, I am passionate about. As much as the high of closing a sale is my own drug, I am glad to be done with sales, at least for now. I am so happy to have done it – it taught me to be quick, it opened my eyes on how to read people, it showed me the importance of being in control and it showed me that I can sell you on something that I have never actually seen or touched IRL. I am beyond excited for my new venture – well, let’s be clear, I am scared AF – but here’s to growth, living outside my comfort zone and always learning something new.