A Courageous Change on the Horizon

If it seems I have been a bit distant in my blog writing as of late, I have.  There is a reason, and it is because I have been working harder on something else – searching to regain happiness in my work.  When I started this blog last October, it was during a time when I was feeling void of connection with people as a result of changes imposed by the pandemic.  Pineapple Courage has filled some of that void, but my everyday work post pandemic is still missing what I enjoy most.  I am making a change, a big one, and one that has taken significant courage.

The pandemic changed life as we know it and with that, my job also changed significantly.  I use to travel about 50% of the time, spending time face-to-face with customers or at our facility in Dallas with our team. This change left me with half of what I was doing, and I felt a major loss as the pandemic was still new in April of 2020.  I tried to fill the opening by picking up marketing for our company and reinventing how we interacted with customers through virtual innovation sessions.  While I appreciate all that I learned through that process, I also learned that Marketing is not something I am passionate about.  The one thing the pandemic has solidified in me is that I am passionate about people – interacting with them, learning from them, and most importantly helping others to love their jobs.  That is also why I started this blog.

After 15 months of searching for meaning, value and enjoyment in my position, I have not been able to recover it.  I asked for two different changes in my role, and they couldn’t be fulfilled.  I tried for months to hide my lack of happiness, but it was difficult to switch that off when I came home to my family.  They could see it, no matter how much I tried to smile through it.  I went through a myriad of feelings – loss of the job responsibilities I loved, anger towards the pandemic itself and guilt over not being happy when so many have lost so much more over the last year.  I was depressed for a while, feeling that I was letting my family down.  I had committed in my mind and said out loud to my family that we were going to be in San Antonio for at least 10 years.  I wanted both kids to be able to graduate from high school here in Texas.  The idea of making a career change and most likely having to move again felt like I was failing in that dream.  I also struggled with the idea of leaving my coworkers.  They are remarkable, caring people and I have felt the strongest sense of trust with them of any place I have worked.  After much consideration I realized that my decision is not personal or a reflection of anything that went wrong with relationships.  It is about happiness and not staying stuck in a life that doesn’t bring me joy.  

Getting through the emotions of change has been a long journey.  I am thankful to have my family.  They have stuck by me and supported me even when I was a bit unlovable.  I also started seeing a professional coach in March to help me sort through my emotions and more importantly, the thoughts and beliefs holding me back.  It has not been easy, but it has been worth it because I have decided to not be a victim.  I have decided to be accountable for my future and therefore my happiness.  This accountability included looking for a position that can better fulfill my desire to help others love their jobs while delivering outstanding business results.  My last day working in Texas will be July 13th.  We will be starting a new chapter and moving to Virginia by early August.  I am excited to be starting a new position in the food manufacturing industry leading a company, something I’ve been talking and dreaming about for over 11 years.  

I will share more about my new position through LinkedIn but wanted to share with you, my readers, the journey I have been on.  I hope sharing my story and being vulnerable might help if you are also unhappy at work post-pandemic.  It has taken a lot of courage to make this leap of faith, but I know that it is going to be great!


30 thoughts on “A Courageous Change on the Horizon”

  1. Well Natalie, I do not know you personally but saw your presentation at RCA+ this past year. Your candid comments permeates with a lot of us. For me especially. Certainly I can not speak for what you had been going through but wish you all the best on your move. Better things ahead. Onward and upward!

  2. I admire your strength in getting to the heart of the “challenge”, addressing it and doing something about it. You’re one amazing person – one I have believed in since we met. Best wishes to you in whatever you do next!

    1. Hi Laura, you have been one of my biggest supporters, especially early in my career. Without your encouragement I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thank you for believing in me!

  3. I’m excited for you, Natalie! Congrats on taking the necessary steps, doing the hard work of being introspective, and owning your feelings, and your ability to choose. I know that you will be successful in your new position and role and look forward to hearing more about it.

    1. Thanks Kevin! I’m so happy that we met along the way. I’m blessed to be friends with you and Steph. Both of you inspire me with what you have built and endured in the time we have known each other. It takes courage and perseverance to make your dreams come true.

  4. Follow your heart and you will find your happiness. Remember that the Lord is with you every step of the way.
    I love you!

  5. Hi Natalie, You have amazing passion, drive and talent! Wishing you much success in this next chapter of what we call life! Turn the page……..

  6. Natalie,
    You will do amazing wherever you go. You’re a professional and you’ll develop yet another great high performance team.
    Thanks for your friendship and inspiration. I have a lot of the same post pandemic feelings you have and I also want to be accountable for my future and happiness. The best to you and your beautiful family in this new adventure!

    1. Thank you for the kind words Ely. I too appreciate our friendship and I wish you clarity and courage in your journey!

  7. Natalie, amazing courage to be your authentic self in today’s workplace, thanks for sharing this and all the best in the next venture, I’m sure it will be a success!

  8. So happy for you — and proud to know you. Your situation sounds so much like Simon Sinek’s WHY. He also left a good job because he wasn’t passionate about the work. I’ve been blessed to love what I do and would encourage everyone to have the vision and courage you’ve demonstrated.

  9. Thank you SO much for sharing your open and honest feelings during a time when many needed to hear they were not alone. I’m so honored to have met you and wish you all the best in your new adventure. You and your lovely family are wonderful!! Coming from an Army family, I can tell you one thing about moving away when you didn’t intend to is… you will all become stronger and cultivate new friendships. Thank you for being one of the best neighbors I’ve ever had.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Amber and congratulations on your courageous move to a new company in the midst of uncertainty! You were an awesome neighbor and I’m so glad we’ve stayed connected.

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