This post is more of a plea really, and maybe a current strategy-share too. As of a few weeks ago, I decided to make a fairly drastic change. I have been on a path to, and through, the education world for over a decade now and have been teaching for 6 years in a variety of schools. I have loved being Mr. Garcia for a long time. But, I have always felt a bit of a tug away from the classroom and the life of a teacher for a few years now. Really ever since my son was born, I felt a weird sort of tug of war that I struggled to balance. I can’t say that I never want to teach again by any stretch. I loved my students and I love the mission. I just felt interested in other options as well. I think I was also curious about who I’d be as a father and a husband who wasn’t also Mr. Garcia. I knew it had to be something that seemed perfect. I didn’t ever want to leave for just some “job”.
I accepted a fantastic position as Research Associate with Arete Partners. I get to work wherever my computer is, and whenever I know I can get the job done in the time it is needed. Total Freedom. Or as long as I can balance appropriately, it should be. In addition, I get to work with a tremendous team of people at the same time, albeit in another time zone. I am a very fortunate person. While I know I add value to the company through my many experiences as a teacher and Construction Manager, not many companies would take a chance on a guy with a resume like mine. We do executive ‘Retained and Contained Search services for (Sr) Manager, (Sr) Director, and VP level positions. [We also provide] Contingency Search for key individual contributors to accelerate [a] company’s success.’ Look at my LinkedIn profile, clearly, I am not from the Recruiting or Executive Search world. I am lucky that a good friend gave me an amazing opportunity. A chance to show my ability to read people, my ability to learn, my ability to work independently and to grow quickly in a world I am about as unfamiliar with as a person could be. So, now I am in this world attempting to stake my claim.
Having landed here, I am learning a tremendous amount every day. KPIs, SOC, GRC, and a slew of other acronyms that still are fuzzy to me. I never knew there were so many facets of Marketing, or just how varied an Engineer’s world could be. Color me ignorant, but damn things are way different than the construction world I used to live in. Back then, you were either in the field as a Superintendent type, or in the office as a Project Manager type. Other than that, all that changed was seniority. I mean, I knew there were other roles like Marketing, Business development, Operations, etc. But I haven’t ever been involved there. Now the question is how do I find my voice here? How do I find that confident guy who was, at times, probably bordering on cocky in the education world? (That said, this past school year humbled me to no end, but I digress.)
My answer at the moment is ironic. Education. I reached out to mentors, I ask a lot of questions, I read a lot, and I have taken my old teacherly advice: Youtube. I have an analog journal along with my digital one, and I am working on mindfulness as well. And I am reaching out here. I need tips, tricks, advice, or ideas to help me find that voice, find that vision, and get to that next level in my new world. I certainly don’t expect to be there already, but I want to be there faster than the average bear.
Luckily, I am having a ton of fun so far. Granted, it is all new, and new is always exciting and fun. That said, I love to learn and this job feels like it will always require a ton of learning. That will especially be true as long as companies continue to innovate and disrupt and transform. So, I am tremendously excited about my future, and the freedom that comes with this new world. I would love for you to join me on this new venture and throw your advice my way at the same time. Cheers!