“Accidental Entrepreneur”

I was very proud to be working for a company that was number two in its industry and known for its highly technical capital equipment and professional service department.   I had the pleasure of getting to know and build relationships with wonderful people while serving their Human Resources needs. 

It is one of the few remaining companies where people spend the majority of their career and work towards retirement.  At year-end, we would distribute years of service awards and I was always amazed at the number of employees who received their Rolex watch for reaching 25 years with the company.

There were as many as four Human Resource staff members at the height of the company’s success.  However, over time, one staff member left after the next and because of cut backs these positions remained empty.   This resulted in more and more responsibilities piled onto my plate.   I was overwhelmed and frustrated on a daily basis.  I prayed for a new opportunity, updated my resume and began having some conversations with headhunters and friends to get the ball rolling on obtaining new employment.

Unfortunately, with the recession and the changing environment of the industry the company began struggling with reduced sales year after year.   With reduced sales and failed cost reduction programs, we began the reduction in force(RIF) process.   Implementing the RIF program is the responsibility of the Human Resource department and I must say that it was one of the most horrible parts of my job.   We conducted two rounds of RIF’s over a year and a half and then, lo and behold, it was my turn to sit on the other side of the table (watch what you pray for).   As many termination meetings as I conducted, when it came to MY meeting I was hurt, shocked and really did not know what to say.   I did not say a word, I packed up my desk, headed out the door and called my sister (who worked in the same building).

I admit, I was down and upset for exactly one week.  After that week was over I shook it off , focused my mind and went to the outplacement service provided with my severance package.   The outplacement company had a great group of experts  to help guide you through your career transition.   I also had the pleasure of connecting and building new relationships with other individuals in their career transition.   As I came to grips with my unemployment and began to explore all of my options I realized that my head and heart was leaning towards owning my own business.    Since I had not put much thought into working for myself prior to being laid off I considered myself an “Accidental Entrepreneur”. 

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned to months I felt more and more peace, joy and excitement surrounding being able to put my passion, hard work and experience into my OWN business.  Thoughts of my past work environment of performing at least three positions within the human resource department kept running through my mind as I prepared my business plan.  Looking back, I’m now extremely thankful for every job responsiblity.  If not for those real life, hands-on experiences I would not be in a position or equipped to offer my current level of expertise.

Last week, I read a press release that my past employer filed for bankruptcy.  I assume that some portions of the company will be sold off but no matter what happens, they will no longer be the strong force  they once were.  I am sorry for  the employees as some are still good friends.  These are sure to be very scary and uncertain times.  

Realizing the truth, I no longer call myself an “Accidental Entrepreneur”

I no longer regret any of the hard overwhelming work or feel bad about being laid off.  By the way, this is the second time this has happened in my life.  I worked for Arthur Andersen and was laid off with severance about two months before they ran into their trouble and closed their doors.

I know now, without a doubt that every day and every situation prepared me for this exact time in my life. This was the plan all along (answered prayers).  I thank God that I have gained valuable experience and training at top companies and that he took care to remove me from two failing companies with severance to sustain me while preparing my next adventure.  

Look for additional information about TCM Professional Solutions coming January 15, 2012.

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1 Comment

  1. dwilliamspr

     /  December 4, 2011

    Nice post

    Reply

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