I fondly remember when we used to have spelling pre-tests in elementary school. They would be short and sweet--a mere preview of the tests to come later that week. I was quite fond of being a big dork, the kind that leans to the left (I'm right handed) and covers her paper with her left arm as she furtively writes in the words announced by the teacher and used in a sentence. And even when I found out the scores didn't matter and it was just a push to remind the less attentive students (aka slackers) that they needed to study for the big test - I knew it counted. Of course, it didn't.... but it helped me prepare for the actual test and it pushed me to study, prepare, and fail that test would I not!
And then I started working, and the tests (post CPA certification) were long gone. In its place were annual reviews but besides contributing to some subjective decision about the compensation package I was to have in the subsequent year, I wasn't privy to much of my file. I was told how I did and given a brief synopsis of things to improve on... but there was nothing tangible for me to grasp. So does the day to day stuff not count as much? Or what does count?
Last week... I counted my lucky marbles.
I was tasked to notify all those I have close working relationships with, particularly the partners and senior managers, of my two weeks notice. They were not difficult conversations rather they were enjoyable and conversational. In fact, almost all four conversations started with some catching up and me giving them an briefing on the joys of Southern cooking (I was in South Carolina all last week for an assignment) which consisted of buttered, fried, re-fried and did I mention... butter? Everything was slathered with butter or if not, was sitting in a tub of melted butter. I think you get the point.
p.s. Not very conducive to the new goal of slimming down for the wedding I am in come November.
I told all of them about the state of mind I had been in for a while. It began about a year ago when I was looking for another opportunity and the chance to go to San Jose for six months fell into my lap with the Learning and Education ("L&E") group. I went with high hopes and though I found the gospel, spent much needed time with the BFF and found myself - I also learned L&E was not for me and client service seemed a much better fit. Upon coming back... I quickly realized the passion I once had - the excitement at each planning, update and teaming meeting - had vanished. In its place, I grew bored and dull by every acronym thrown at me, at every FAS - wait they are codifying it!!!, and every technical alert revealed. And with the boredom, came the indifference that led to an unproductive and inattentive worker by the name of Daisy.
I told them I had analyzed the things I liked and disliked about the job in detail. I liked the people, like the Firm, like organizing, managing projects and teams, and liked interacting with everyone. I disliked the hours, the commute, and the technical aspect (which only grows to be more and more with each passing year!). But most important, the job didn't seem to be in line with my long term goals. I didn't tell them I had long planned to leave and become a school teacher back in 2006 - that was unnecessary. My plans had fallen through and at the time, continuing to work was the best option. Plus, I was still learning! I was still challenged! And I was still having fun! I also didn't tell them how low morale had gotten in light of the recent economic downturn. There was no need since it was pretty obvious and as corny as it sounds, we really are lucky to have a job despite the lack of salary increases this year (beats a salary cut).
Many friends (who are greater than acquaintances but less than close cronies) have often commented on the shock they find when I tell them of my utmost priority of having a family. I've been asked - but if you're good at this, why would you not do it. And what? I ask. Stay until partner? It's for some people, but it's not for me. If I can be a good associate or senior associate, I can be an amazing mom. Trust me... the latter is definitely harder. Even when I shared the decision to quit without a job, I was told, That's very unlike you Daisy. Upon explaining the plan of action I had ... some agreed it was best and some remained silent as indication of a polite and reverent disagreement.
It wasn't a quick decision. It wasn't an easy decision. It was long and thought out and extremely difficult. I talked to family. I talked to friends. I talked to Church leaders. I talked to people my Church leaders introduced me to. I weighed all my options. I prayed. And then... I made a decision.
I took that decision to the Temple two weeks ago...
I asked simply... for confirmation that this was the right thing to do.
I immediately felt a shiver... followed by what I imagine as God reaching out to hug me and comfort me that the decision was right. Rest assured by the embrace and touched by such a powerful and immediate response, my eyes filled with tears of joy.
But I was still nervous. I still had hesitations. And I had nothing. I mean.. in all honesty, I had a few business ideas and things to do, but it was a 100% pay cut and it was risky.
Despite the faltering anxiety, I trusted my friends, my family and most importantly, Heavenly Father.
Flash forward to the two weeks notice talks. First ... a partner asked me if I'd be interested in recruiting. I'll be honest, I thought - man, those hour are going to be just as bad for at least 6 months with all their night time recruiting events! But I wanted to keep my options open so I said sure. A day later, I got the news that there was a spot (hooray!) but another candidate was being considered and he/she was more qualified than me (sad face and ellipse).
Second... the senior manager asked me if I'd consider another non client service internal role. I told him the truth - it wasn't something I'd considered prior to quitting, it wasn't my intention when I gave notice - but yes, I'd be interested in hearing more. On Saturday, he called me back and offered me a role within the Firm which deals with deployment of teams and projecting revenue. It was a people heavy type role and my background with client service would help, the hours would be better and I could start immediately but.. (there's always a but) ...there was one small caveat. Given the recent turnover frenzy, I'd be asked to stay for four weeks for one of my client year-ends. I had already considered staying but knew my heart wasn't in it and my work would be questionable. Given the new situation, I had an incentive to do well!
Nothing is final yet .. but the recent turn of events made me realize how much it always counts. It being anything and everything and nothing doesn't count. Just like this mortal life is the time for us to prepare for our eternal lives... everything - little or not - what we do here in this life, prepares us for other things in this life and ultimately all the little things add up to that great day of judgment.
I am so grateful that someone noticed me and realized, I would be a good fit for something besides client service. There might not be anymore "official" pre-tests, but everything counts. Everything helps. Everything matters... even the small things.
Moreover, when you feel dejected about your honest and true efforts to do good or feel neglected, know that He is watching, He is noticing and He cares. His hand is in our lives... so trust Him and know that He blesses you for the righteous and good things you do... and in the end....that pure heart and mind you have committed to, the determination to keep His commandments, to recognize a wrongdoing and commit to change for the better, the service you provide to others, the helping hand, the caring support-- it all matters and... it always counts.