“I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
I feel that this quote set the foundation for my career with TitleMax® early on (thanks to my manager at the time, Dickson Sipemba!) What this means to me: be flexible and embrace change with an open and positive mind! Prior to working in the Dallas Corporate Office, I was a General Manager in the field. To say it was an adjustment is an understatement. I was so used to the everyday chaos that consumes a General Manager, that I struggled with the change in pace. It differed so much that I asked my Director for more work. #regrets. I think anyone changing careers or switching jobs can relate to this feeling. To the person looking to launch their career at the Corporate office – hang in there; it may seem slow paced at first, but I promise you that will change soon enough!
Prior to my career with TitleMax®, I worked for a competitor where I started out as a CSR and worked my way up to Store Manager. It felt great helping people, but something was missing, so I set out to find it. I began exploring new career opportunities when I came across a General Manager position with TitleMax®.“Competitive pay with the potential to grow your career!” BOOM! This was it. The door was open!
I moved to the ‘big city’ and began training for my role. During the first few weeks of training, I remember thinking, “wow, the culture here is infectious!” People run to the door to greet customers, my District Manager is engaged in my development and passionate about my success. He’s not just here to complete a store audit. This company believes in me enough to allow me to run their business and even better, rewards me for doing so!
In that moment, I knew I had made a step in the right direction for my career growth. That was just the beginning. I tell you all of this to set the foundation that you are in charge of how far your career can go. When you believe in yourself and step outside of your comfort zone, you open the door for opportunity. And when you believe in yourself, others believe in you as well!
Helping people is my passion. I thrive when I can make a difference in others’ lives. In the stores, I helped customers when other places would not. I’ll never forget the Saturday afternoon when a single mom walked into my store crying and completely defeated because she had been turned away 3 times before coming in. She had recently fallen ill and gotten behind on bills. Her electricity had just been disconnected; she had no local family to turn to and a one-year-old baby. Not only was I able to help her get her electricity turned back on, but I earned a customer for life.
Throughout my tenure as a General Manager, I positioned myself in the spotlight through performance, leadership and confidence. Above all, I worked HARD. Anytime there was an opportunity to take on more within my district, I volunteered. When something extra was asked of me, I did it. I’m not saying you have to be a “yes” man, but when an opportunity arises for you to take on more than your current job description, think about the big picture and your goals. Leaders notice leaders and you can achieve anything you want when you work hard enough for it. Are you putting yourself in the position to be recognized by staying in your current lane?
In my current role as the Store Operations Training Manager, I get to use the tools that I learned in the field along with my passion for helping others to mentor General Managers, District Director, and Regional Vice President level trainees during their training and development. In turn, they get to help our customers succeed in life. If that’s not full circle, I don’t know what is!
Change is how we continue to grow not only as a Company but also as a society. To the person looking to further their career and take the next step: believe in yourself, work hard, go the extra mile, and embrace the opportunity when it arises. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities, be an expert in your role, position yourself to be noticed by as many people as possible, and GO FOR IT!
Above anything else, be the leader you want leading you!