Most of this blog is filled with stories of Skyler and the joys and challenges of our life with her, along with a few random thoughts of my own. But today, I’m going to carve a post out for both my husband and myself, because in all honesty, for all of our hard work, we deserve a little blogtime!
First up, Ronnie: His energy and ambition have finally paid off!
About a year and a half ago, shortly after we found out I was pregnant with Skyler, Ronnie threw in the towel at his state job – case worker for Division of Social Services. Everything you’ve ever heard about how much that job sucks, is 200% true. But when Ronnie quit, he didn’t quite already have another job lined up (which I was thrilled about). He had recently obtained his real estate license, and was going through the interview process to become a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness. His plan was to do both, and see which one took off (assuming it would be real estate – haha, yeah, funny now with the market how it is).
Both jobs required the building of clientele. Both jobs involved commission, and neither job had a base salary. Both jobs involved non-traditional business hours. And both jobs lead to us basically living on a single income (yep, mine!) for a good part of a year. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make bad money, but when you are a young couple, in a fixer-upper house, with two car payments, student loans, some credit card debt, and a baby on the way that you weren’t “trying for,” living on my income alone was less than ideal! And then, the real estate thing just wasn’t working out. Ronnie was working his butt off, showing houses to lots of apparently non-buyers. While the broker he was working for was providing him with leads, he was basically giving him the “bad” leads, and keeping all the good leads that would be easy closes for himself. Obviously, that didn’t last.
Ronnie went full-time personal trainer. Each month had been better than the one before, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Fitness is Ronnie’s hobby, so being able to work in that environment (at the same gym he’d been working out at for years), was extremely enjoyable for him. However, it was still a financial struggle for us, and while things were improving, his paychecks were inconsistent so we had no good way to budget. Finally in January, things picked up as they do in that business b/c people have New Year’s Resolutions to get in shape. From there on out, Ronnie’s business has exploded. Besides the season picking up and Ronnie getting experience under his belt and a good clientele base, he is truly an excellent trainer. He is one that believes in what he teaches, and practices what he preaches (and I’m a poet and don’t know it!).
Earlier this year, he was asked to be the Assistant Fitness Manager. His club had no actual Fitness Manager position at the time, so he would assist the Club Manager but also take a a more active role in leading the personal trainers. That lasted all of a few months until the Club Manager and District Manager asked him to be the actual Fitness Manager of their club. They recognized a drive and energy level in him that they felt their club needed. Of course he took it. He was officially in that role at the start of July. He gets to continue personal training, but has to cut back his hours so that he can spend time working with the other trainers to develop their skills, as well as spend more time doing sales. It’s on him now to motivate the team to meet certain sales goals. It’s much more challenging, but he’s up to the task, and as a reward, he can earn some fantastic bonuses!
Needless to say, while it was a rocky career start, Ronnie’s found his niche and excelled at it. And I couldn’t be more proud!
Luckily, my story is much shorter! I’ve been at my current employer for just under two years now, and was hired into a newly created position. There was one other in this position, hired about six weeks before me. Now, our team consists of ten people! It’s been an incredibly fun job, I’ve learned so much, and I can honestly say that most days, I look forward to going to work! Well on Friday, I got called by my “original” teammate (who is now our team manager) to go with her to our Chief Interactive Officer’s office. Basically, he’s one of the company Board Members who is the head of our entire department. He’s really not usually an intimidating person. I mean, he’s in his early 30’s, is a diehard KU fan, likes beer, and is generally just a cool guy. I could totally see him as one of my brother’s friends. But still, the reality of getting called to his office, based on his position in the company, is ALWAYS nerve-racking. We walked in to find him, as well as my other main boss who is the Vice President of Interactive (so like, maybe a notch below the CIO in the company totem pole). Luckily, no one seemed particularly grumpy on this Friday morning, so I was hoping it was just an impromptu meeting about the websites I manage, as they had been showing some promising growth as of late.
While they teased me for the first little bit, my uncertainty didn’t last long before they told me that they wanted to promote me to Senior Site Manager! This is a title that I’ve been working toward for over a year now, when my first manager mentioned it to me in my 6 month review as a likely possibilty due to my attitude and quality of work. But other circumstances, like several changes in management and maternity leave kept prolonging this, thus leading me to believe that maybe it was just a carrot being dangled in front of me, the hungry rabbit. So now, it’s real, I earned my promotion. I think it’s actually better this way, because I truly feel I’ve earned it. I’ve overcome a few challenges along the way, and since my “new” position in the department is now more established, I feel like it means more now than if it had been given to me over a year ago. The promotion doesn’t mean much change in my day-to-day job. I’ll have a couple more meetings to attend, in October I’ll see a pay-raise, and overall there will be a higher level of expectations. They said this promotion is mostly a recognition of my work and knowledge at the company. I gotta say, it makes it easy when I work with such great people doing something I truly enjoy!
Well, I thought mine would be short, but then I got all rambly. So, that’s our brag time, both for Ronnie and me. We’ve had a roller coaster of a year, and it seems like we’ve got Someone lookin’ out for us!