I think I reached a pivotable point in my life today or maybe yesterday. You see…I haven’t spoken much about my career thus far, other than I’m 32 years old and an engineer. For the past 12 months, I’ve been feeling slighted by my employer.
My former supervisor unexpectedly retired last year. He was the only reason I ever went to work for this company. It’s a very politically driven career field since it’s a small town municipality. And since I’m not from around here, I needed his support. For three years he took me under his wing and introduced me to everyone he could to help me succeed. He made sure I got paid well and was training me to take his place one day. He was not only my boss but one of my biggest cheerleaders in life. Other than my husband, he’s the only person who has helped me to see my real potential. And he wasn’t college educated. He was what you call “street smart”.
He would tell me all the time that he never thought he would ever hire a woman. He was afraid that he would have to watch his mouth as he often spoke with profanity. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to work with a woman without hurting her feelings. Basically, he was very old school, small town mentality…but I was able to convince him that I’m not easily offended and that my husband never met a curse word he didn’t like. It’s true. I had a history of working for difficult men and my father is bipolar so I’ve heard him say offensive things my whole life. None of that bothered me. Over time it was like he began to look at me like the daughter he never had. He has one son and that guy is his greatest joy in life, after work and before his wife.
My old boss poured a lot of time into me. He would tell me that I’m going to be the first female GM of our utility one day. He encouraged and told me I was smart and well spoken. He explained to me that I needed to be careful at work, that the others would become jealous and intimidated by me. He was a master of getting people to do what he wanted. He would stay up at night and think about work and plan his schemes. His motives were good but his tactics were not always what you would call “professional”. He worked all the time. Along the way though, he probably got a little too power happy and would exercise too much control on his guys. His counterpart/worst enemy was gearing up to challenge him to be the next GM.
For whatever reason (I suspect under some pressure) my boss removed himself from the equation. The “other guy” got promoted to Assistant GM and about 4 months later, I found out that I would not be getting my old boss’s position. They split my old boss’s duties between me and the former lead foreman. Basically our jobs didn’t change much at all. But the other guy got a much better financial and power gain than I did.
So why did they split it? I believe it’s mostly because I’m a woman. Our department needs one manager, not two equal managers. Now one of us (me) is responsible for results. And one of us (him) is responsible for assigning work. So how can I get results if I have no control over the people? The other two reasons I didn’t get the promotion is because 1) I’m not from around here and 2) because my old boss brought me here (and they are angry at him). Strangley enough, my old boss’s enemy (the guy who got promoted to Assistant GM) had a pretty bad stroke just a few weeks after delivering the news to me that I would be getting only a half promotion. And he was forced to retire early.
Honestly it sucks to be discriminated against. I have a Master’s Degree in Engineering. I thought I was entitled to the position. I also thought I was the best person for the job because I have the best understanding of the rules and regulations we must adhere to. But you know what???
Honestly, I can actually let go of the bitterness now. I am no longer going to work solely to keep up with the rat race! I’m going to work to buy assets!!! And those assets are going to generate income. And over time, this job won’t matter any more.
You see, after getting knocked off my high horse, I have spent my last several months working my butt off trying to help our company take it to the next level technologically. They didn’t have a clue how to get to where I’m taking us. Basically I’ve been channeling all my energy into doing a good job thinking that this would build my resume and allow me to get a better job somewhere else. The people I work for are not intelligent enough to understand the value I bring to the table. I am extremely proud of the work I am doing and am constantly meeting with different people in our company to encourage them and further sell them on my vision. We are a governmental non-profit but I still want us to the the best we can be. I get sense of pride from seeing my company succeed and it’s very hard for us to succeed when the mayor and councilmen largely control who we hire and who gets promoted.
I’m still going to work hard and do the best I can, but my “why” has changed. I will focus on eliminating my liabilities and begin buying assets in 3 years. I want to stop working for money and begin to build a portfolio that allows our money to work for us. The good Lord has blessed me with talents and a lot of motivation. I just didn’t see what he was preparing me for.
We will not fail. We will get us out of consumer debt. We will start to build assets and eliminate liabilities. We will become rich and wealthy in less time than I ever thought possible. My husband has been trying to tell me this for years. Only now have I realized that fear was holding me back from believing in his vision.