After the shitty day on Tuesday, Wednesday sort of redeemed itself. We had a day-long event from 10am to 6pm at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. I cast all my cares upon the Lord. My confidence was still sinking by then.
The event itself was interesting. It started with a women’s brunch. I realized that it’s normal to feel awkward and out of place at first. I think in time, I’ll start to feel like I fit in more. Until now, it’s time to just do my best to learn, to absorb, and to be present. And to focus.
I sat at a table with two of the people that I worked with during my internship. They were actually part of the reason why I wanted to switch industries. Particularly, there was one who really intimidated me. However, she ended up nominating me to receive a book at the table and she called me Ophie… it was shocking. I see her a lot differently now. Most of the intimidation has turned into a kind of fondness for her.
During the market meeting where many of the CIPS partners and leaders were present, I got to stand up and receive applause because I was one of those who passed my exams. Additionally, I got introduced as a new hire and they got to learn about my hobbies and whatnot. It was interesting.
One pet peeve I have is when people expect you to treat them differently or to kiss ass. I told this face-to-face with the director I met today – who’s been with the firm for over 15 years and has actually been invited to be a partner several times – “I just don’t kiss ass.”
Whether you are a partner or an intern, I treat you the same. With respect. Unless the economy is doing really badly, I won’t grovel and kiss ass.
So I was just sitting there minding my own business and jotting down notes when the guy next to me asks to borrow a pen. I smile and say, “sure!” and hand him the pen. He gives me a sarcastic smile and says, “Yeah, well, this pen is for a manager so I’d definitely say yes to that too.”
I turned my head and looked away. Like, seriously.
It’s like that last Toastmasters meeting I went to. One of them mentioned a partner at the firm and it seemed like he was waiting for me to fall over my feet so I could network. If anything, I think the best bond I can make with a partner, a manager, or anyone else is by having a good quality of work and being a good person.
(Except for that one partner I met during Launch.. who is an amazing individual)
I also briefly saw my relationship leader – who is quite a reserved woman. Reserved and definitely a hard-ass – but not necessarily in a bad way. She didn’t really seem interested in getting to know me. It’s kind of a disappointment because my relationship partner during my internship was the total opposite. My relationship leader is more of a cut-and-dried type of person. She seems like she definitely tells it like it is.
My relationship partner was warm, vivacious, and energetic. However, I didn’t know if I could fully trust him or how fond he truly was of me. He told me at the end of my internship that I could call him anytime I needed help and that he wanted me to be on all his engagements. However, I don’t know how genuinely he really meant that.
My relationship leader on the other hand… I’m meeting her for coffee this Tuesday. For 20 minutes. By her choice, of course. Hey, it’s 20 minutes to start with.
I got to meet some people at the market team meeting event. I sat a table at a women’s brunch with the US leader of my industry as well as a senior manager. I totally fucked up. I don’t want to talk about it… but I fucked up.
My buddy is okay, I guess. He has this habit of walking away when I’m talking to him. Like, mid-conversation, he’ll just walk away like he doesn’t care. I feel like he has a lot of contempt for me… but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. I mean, we’ll be working together quite a lot… so yeah -__-.
Today, I went to another one of the Chief Auditor trainings. Once again, I wish I had spoken up. I felt intimidated about having the wrong answer. It’s in contrast to this audit class I took which was taught by an actual chief auditor (who’s also the head chief auditor of OC if I remember correctly).
During our final presentation, we were talking about accounts receivable confirmations. The other team had failed to answer a question about two different set of accounting standards. However, I had thought of that question last minute and decided to research it before the presentation. Although I still got the answer wrong, the class applauded me for actually having an answer and the teacher seemed to accept my answer.
Even though I had the wrong answer, it was enough that I spoke up. However, is the world so kind? Is it better to be quiet and not say the wrong answer or to speak up and give a wrong answer?
Either way, the director who was leading the training today actually worked closely with the chief auditor I met for coffee later on. They worked on non-profits together early on in their career. The director was the person who I felt blew me off (and not in the good way) in my last post. We had a very, very nice conversation and he actually remembers my name now.
God is so interesting that way. Whenever I don’t answer questions in class, when I’m afraid and I end up being quiet, I really start to hate and punish myself. However, God is teaching me something. I’m not sure what it is yet… but He’s definitely making a big learning opportunity for me…
After training, I bumped into a friend on the 11th floor. We caught up while I ate lunch. I found out that we have the same relationship leader and she asked him to help her with a task. I was a bit disappointed that she did not ask me but at the same time, my week has been very hectic and pretty busy.
After quickly eating lunch, I hopped into my car and drove for an hour to Orange County to meet the director. I got there an hour early – perfect- and the wifi was super fast. I got to talk to a new friend at the firm through Google Chats. She is absolutely adorable.
Then the director came. I gave him an awkward hug and he bought me a tea. We sat down and started to chat. He gave me a lot of great career advice. Honestly, it felt good to talk to him.
He is someone who uses compliments quite sparingly in my opinion. This is versus my relationship partner – who was really warm and enthusiastica bout me towards the end of my internshi pbut who I truly wonder if he really liked me. How do I know? Well, the HR manager said that my relationship partner and I were quite a ike. She said, word for word, “you and Sean are a lot alike.”
One thing I do is I give a lot of praise even when it’s just to encourage the other person. Not when I necessarily mean it. It’s a thing I am working on… because I don’t want to hand out compliments meaninglessly.
So… was Sean doing that? Who knows. He’s a national partner so he’s actually more situated in the Vermont office. I think he is fond of me but not enough to meet me for lunch if it doesn’t suit his schedule. By that, I mean because he – like my relationship leader – is INCREDIBLY busy.
And that’s why I am okay with the 20 minutes coffee with my relationship leader. And why I am grateful for the hour that I got to spend with the director today. As a new associate who’s unassigned this week, I pretty much have TOTAL flexibility with my schedule. However, they have incredibly hectic schedules.
A manager also offered to take me on a tour of the client’s office tomorrow and have coffee afterwards. However, he ended up cancelling because of a meeting. I totally understand this as well because I’m living the chill life right now. I’m sure in a few years, I’ll be in the same place.
The director I met today was known among Orange County schools for being a bit intimidating and frosty. I first saw him in 2015 and I would NEVER have imagined actually meeting him for coffee today.
So when he said that he was absolutely sure I’d do well, I was super encouraged.
At the same time, there’s this huge feeling of fear and lack of confidence in me.
This week, I got to attend trainings meant for those who have more experience than me. I got to meet with a director who helped develop the firm’s audit program. I got to sit with US leaders at a champagne brunch at a golf club.
However, I feel a little bit like I am walking on a tight-rope. That I might slip and fall at any moment and my mask will slip off and people will see me for who I feel like I am inside: not good enough.
And this feeling has really been affecting my faith. Going in, I gave God a TON of lip service and said that it was all about Him. However, my faith is being put to the test. God has presented me with an opportunity to demonstrate trust in Him. I can either trust Him and be more forgiving of my fears and mistakes… or I can trust myself and get a stress-induced ulcer.
I truly and prayerfully hope it will be the first option.