Thursday, July 18, 2013

It Can Be Done

I started my health care career at a small agency that served emotionally disturbed and physically abused children. It was a place that cared deeply for the residents who had to live away from their families due to their complicated circumstances and behavior. The staff were committed, I was thrilled to be part of an organization, and was happy to take a 25% cut in pay from my previous job (seriously, I was) to be part of the front line team.

I quickly realized two things: I found the right industry for me; and, I wanted more. I wanted to somehow move into a leadership role someday.

I wondered if it could be done.

Get A Plan
I quickly surveyed the leadership team and discovered they all had the same thing: a Master's Degree. So I enrolled in graduate school. It was hard, took a huge amount of time and money, and I lived through it.

I also applied for an internal position that I wasn't qualified for, but I went for it with such enthusiasm and energy that the hiring manager took a risk and gave me the job. After six weeks in my other job.

I was starting to believe it could be done.

Loyalty is Great...Unless It Makes No Sense
Two years into my graduate program I left the agency that I loved. I had an opportunity to join a hospital as their Training and Development Manager. 

I wasn't fully qualified for the job; but it was in a rural setting, I was willing to commute and it was an amazing opportunity. 

I took the job with one year left in my Master's Degree program, and figured I could make it all work.

...and I felt like I was starting to get it done.

Risks = Success
Those early moves in my career set up a series of events that led me to larger and larger hospitals and health systems. I continued to take risks and move to where I could grow as a professional and meet my goals that seemed to get bigger as time passed.

Over the years I've been a sponge, soaking up the mentoring and guidance of people like Joanne Borfitz, Mike McNallyKathy Gillette, John Steele and now Pamela Paulk here at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

How About You
Today I'm the luckiest HR pro in the world. I'm blessed to work for a great organization, with the best mission on earth. I'm surrounded by an incredible team of dedicated professionals who actually come to work each day knowing that they'll have to put up with me. Amazing.

It can be done. Believe it for yourself too...because it's true.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.



  1. I have a similar story. While taking a break from my undergrad due to lack of a major, I took a full time position as a sales associate for a large electronics company. Immediately, I was intrigue by the level of training and incentive programs the company had for its associates. After discovering the HR department was responsible for these amazing programs, I enrolled back in school. After finishing my BS in HR, I took different jobs such as working as an admission rep for a local college to eventually becoming a recruiter for a staffing agency. I longed for a generalist type job. My town is not a hub for major businesses aka no HR depts. I did begin to get discouraged, but I didn't lose my fight. Needless to say, after some serious job hopping (millennial, hello!), I have my generalist position. Thank you sharing your experiences. It's very encouraging to know I am not alone.

  2. I can relate to this post. I had a plan and my loyalty to my mentor was without question, then I embarked on a risky new job challenge that suddenly became available. It allowed me to learn and grow to a point where my initial plan would have failed. "Follow your gut instinct," has been my career gauge and so far it has paid off greatly.

    Great post.