SUCCESS: The Key to Change is Following Your Heart
When I took my first job after college, my goals and ambitions were pretty small. Words like executive, and CEO weren’t even in my wheelhouse. I just wanted to make enough money to be able to cover my part of the rent on the small apartment I shared with a couple of buddies and have enough left over for the weekend. A company called Life of Georgia had a position that met those needs. It was a job I hated and wasn’t very good at. Why they kept me on and moved me into a management trainee program is beyond me, but I’m grateful they did because it started a chain of events that changed the course of my life forever.
I worked at Life of Georgia for two years before I decided it was time to make a change. It was partly because I’d already made one huge change—I’d married the bright, talented young woman they hired to replace me when I moved into the management trainee program. I’d also decided to pursue my MBA and needed to have a job closer to mine and Loveanne’s apartment to make getting to Georgia State University after work easier. So I answered an ad for a business analyst at an insurance company called A.L. Williams that was about 10 minutes from our apartment. I was hired and the rest, as they say, was history. That company was later renamed Primerica, the place I spent the rest of my career.
But my story could’ve ended much differently. When I gave my notice at Life of Georgia, I was called into the office of my former boss, who was also a senior vice president of the company. His name was Gerald Padgett and he was not too impressed with my decision to go to work at A.L. Williams. Actually, his exact words were, “John, you’re a bright young man, but you’re making a dumb mistake.” I had a bright future with Life of Georgia, but, according to him, I was throwing it all away with a fly-by-night company that would probably barely last longer than the inspection sticker on my car. Here was this man who was much older than me with a lot more experience essentially telling me I was headed down a path to ruin. That is a lot for a 20-something-year-old newlywed to take in. If I’d called my new employer and told them I’d changed my mind and stayed on with the company I knew would be there for the long haul and would provide me with the income to support my wife and our future babies, no one would’ve blamed me.
Of course, I would’ve never been co-CEO of a major company. I would’ve never helped create one of the most successful IPOs in the history of the financial industry. And I would’ve never had a platform to motivate and inspire people all around the world. Basically, I wouldn’t have become the man I am today and I sure wouldn’t have been happy.
Change is an inevitable part of life. It’s part of growing and (ideally) getting better. And it’s almost never easy—even the really good changes, like marrying the love of your life or moving on to a better job. It’s human nature to wonder if you’re doing the right thing and to second guess yourself to a degree, especially when other people aren’t exactly supportive. If you aren’t equipped with the right tools to handle the situation, this stuff can derail your plans and cause you to miss out on great, life changing opportunities.
Read the rest of my post: http://www.success.com/blog/john-addison-going-through-a-life-change-why-you-have-to-follow-your-heart
This post originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.