This title might be misleading, and if you will indulge fr a few lines, I hope to clarify why I chose it. This blog is really about my journey to Solarity, but I must give just a short background, so you will understand where I came from.
My first job was as a part-time cashier while in High school, and I did receive a high school diploma, but this occurred at a time when you could graduate with no real academic skills. I held a variety of jobs over the years but never anything resembling a career. My journey to faith was very similar, I had a base understanding of God and Church but no real concept of what faith was all about.
As a young mother of three, it appeared to me that raising children in the church seemed to give them a stable foundation. If nothing else it was a great place for them to make friends and participate in group activities free of charge. This was an important factor as we were not a wealthy family of five. So as they began learning simple verses and children’s stories from the bible, a magical thing happened, as their mother who was expected to teach them throughout the week I was learning with them. And even better what I was learning was really nothing like my perception of what Christianity was all about. I’ll try not to digress much longer as this is not a religious blog, but I feel it is important to understand this part of my journey. I had assumed that I was not good enough to be accepted in a church, that I would be judged. As it turns out I was accepted and loved just as I was with no judgment and even encouraged to teach Sunday school. As my children grew, I expanded my volunteering to include Youth Group. As time moved on and children grew older, my church asked me to work as their youth leader. What a wonderful opportunity to get paid for something you loved doing and were already doing for free. I jumped at the chance.
So there it was, my career, I was going to be a youth pastor. I had a plan in motion to go the college get a counseling degree and then on to seminary for my pastoral license. But life is funny just when you have it all figured out; it throws you a curve ball. My husband was injured and became disabled. He was the primary breadwinner of the family, and youth pastors really don’t make much money. So, no money for college, but we were doing alright. Then another curveball, my tiny rural church had no more youth, they had all grown up, and suddenly I was looking for work.
I applied for jobs that seemed to fit into my various work experiences. Cashier, child care, delivery driver, but no one even called for an interview. Then I got a phone call, Meals on Wheels, I was very optimistic, I had worked with seniors at my church, and I once delivered flowers. But as it turned out, I was not a good fit. As desperation began to set in, I jumped into a desperate mode and just applied for everything! One of those jobs I applied for thinking I would never hear back was Solarity. I had no formal education, limited cash handling experience, and no understanding of high finance. This is where my story comes together, just like I thought a church could never accept me, and they not only accepted me but nurtured me and expanded who I was. Solarity called, and it was the beginning of a brand new path for my life, one I would never have dreamed of, one I am so thankful I am on!
I began my job at Solarity as a part-time teller, 25 hours a week. I soon discovered this company has a plan to grow their staff out of entry-level positions. I was asked every month if I was happy in my job and wherein the company I would like to grow my career. A career in banking was never one I had envisioned for myself, but I loved helping our members. I was happy every day at work because the culture was so positive and encouraging. I soon moved into a 30-hour position at our Terrace Heights location which also housed the training department. Seeing this department in action, I soon realized where I wanted to grow my career. I love to teach the things I am passionate about, just like teaching the youth about faith and forgiveness, I could teach this amazing culture at Solarity. So a plan was developed to grow me in the direction of a trainer. I worked diligently toward that goal, and when a position opened up, I applied. And I was turned down, twice. You would think I became discouraged and gave up, wouldn’t you? But I didn’t because at Solarity every time I was turned down, I was given more tools to grow. I was not yet the best person for the job, so I needed to continue to expand my knowledge. It was never just a simple no, it was always an opportunity to learn. I continued to stay positive, work hard and follow the plan to expand my knowledge and when that training position opened again, I applied. This time I was the perfect person for the job and my career was born!
My faith brought me to a career in finance and provided me a perfect place to work, but I did need to apply and work hard to learn. Faith is not magic it works when you do, and I love coming to work every day. Are there never bad days? Yes, of course, there are, this is the real world after all, but the good far outnumber the bad. I am so grateful to be a part of a company that truly cares about my future, about our community, and about our members as much as this one does. What a blessing to my life!