I got lucky. My dream job found me.

But the first 6 months in that job, it was anything but a dream. I had a supervisor who was known to be incredibly difficult and had been warned about him before I even took the job – including by the person who recommended me for the position. It didn’t faze me honestly, I’m not the type of person who makes a judgment call without my own personal experience. I had a wonderful interview and was promptly offered the job. I said yes without hesitation.

And then it began. I was the Employee Programs Coordinator, a reasonably new position created at Yum! Brands. (I state this here because you can easily read my profile and figure this out, plus, it has a happy ending.) It is important to know that I have high Ideation as one of my talents. Creativity is important to me. But I also have Strategic and Maximizer, so I don’t just go after any one idea, I thoughtfully select. I will admit, I can sometimes be caught up in the big picture (thank you, Futuristic) and not take time to see all the steps necessary to get there – at least at that time. And this is where I ran into problems.

I was in charge of creating internal events and motivational programs. I was often given free rein to create said programs. However, when I would present my idea at my 1:1 with my boss, I would be shut down and told something equivalent to, “No, do it this way.” Talk about demotivating. All I could think was, “Well, if you knew what you wanted, just tell me and I’ll execute.” After 6 months of this, the frustration hit and the waterworks with it. According to others in the department, 6 months was about right for the tears to fall. But I was not going down, I was going to make this work. I really wanted this job and had nothing to lose.

And that’s when the shift began.

I took a deep breath, asked for a special meeting and addressed the issue head on. I asked if we could please sit down and review our StrengthsFinder reports together – and additionally, if he would also take the DiSC. It was a revelation. I was spontaneous, he was deliberate. I learned by doing, he analyzed every detail carefully. I had the big picture, he had the steps.

What we learned from each other was invaluable and, no lie, from that day forward our relationship was never tense and always energizing. We learned to work with each others’ strengths and bring to the table what we did best. We became partners. He became a mentor for me. I still think of him as one of the most positively influential people on my career path.

And all because I took a risk. They say people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. Imagine if more managers were open to this possibility – or if employees took matters into their own hands? I decided to see what we could do differently and StrengthsFinder was the key element in making that happen. I no longer have that job, but there are many parts of it I miss. However, the love of strengths never went away, and now, I can say with my full heart, I’m in my new dream job.

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