Saturday, July 20, 2024

It Was Courage

I’ve always been a goal-seeker and an explorer – even if that meant exploring the intellect of my own mind.

I guess sometime after I’d spent a few years too long in college, I’d made-up my mind that I was going to begin building my professional resume through local job opportunities. I’d set my heart on becoming an administrative assistant, an entry point to corporate America and a great career-building opportunity.

The gig was on.

I began working over the summer for a real estate investment trust that owned and managed golf courses throughout the country (yes, Innisbrook Golf Club in Tampa Bay was one of them). The new job was only supposed to last a couple of months, as the company was in the process of liquidating its assets. I was efficient in my work – and proud of it, might I add – and before summer ended, I was asked by the controller to stay on throughout the end of the summer.

My time with them lasted on through ’til the end of the year.

Since I was in college, I had linked up with our Career Services (that’s how I found the first job) and decided to further explore career-building opportunities. I moved on to work for a family-owned business (or collaboration of businesses) whose services focused on masonry and custom home building, which was a perfect scenario because I wanted to be an architect.

They trusted me as a leader and organized employee having a skill for detail and a passion for organized management procedures. I soon find myself working directly with the owners and architect, organizing their processes, managing OSHA guidelines, and visiting job sites to ensure procedure delivery and follow through.

Efficiency could have worked in their long-term best interest; I would soon understand that, in their case, small family-owned business really did mean small, family-owned. They didn’t have the room or budget for a long-term employee like myself, nor the other interns and assistants that they’d hired. But, they did have need for a robust process which I helped create for them.

Exciting times.

Career Services at my college created a track record of having produced great jobs; but this time, I had experience.

I was a “machine” so-to-speak. I had lots of energy, natural intellect, critical thinking, a healthy curiosity, and the drive and will power to create. With my God-given abilities and my recent job experience, I looked for more inclusive jobs – ones that required the use of my knowledge, skill and experience. Ones with forward opportunity.

There it was.

Document Control Specialist.

Definitely mine. I met with Career Services on to fulfill their required information and resource counseling opportunity. Applied.

On December 6, 2003, I began working as the Document Control Specialist for T.Y. Lin International, civil engineering firm and bridge designer for the $531 million Arthur Ravenel Bridge project and $63 million Cooper River Bridges Demolition project. I received my very own shoebox office.

And, BOOM! Just like that, my career path began.

Sometimes life’s course can lead us through great accomplishments – whether or not we recognize the immeasurable growth that took place from the start.

I’ll tell you WHO knew what ordered steps that my path would require.

God did.

– P.S., Kaye –

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