Everyone has their gut feeling, that tugging and nagging that lets them know either something is the right thing to do or something is wrong in the stew.
I had that feeling a month ago when my consultancy unexpectedly ended and I was given a vague comment about "fit." My gut told me that something was wrong in the stew.
Mind you, I passed all the background checks, was noted for my contributions in the brief twelve weeks with the organization, and was the silent ear for the executive's complaints about the staff across the state. I was new, and a black woman, and older, so my position was to focus on the positive and concentrate on what I brought to the table, also to make sure that I was doing what was expected of me and beyond. All the assurances, right up to the day the position ended, were that I was spot on.
In any organization, there is always that period of time when team members are getting to know each other, when a new organization, which is what this consultancy in this location was, needs time to form (you all remember Management 101 about how groups form, storm, and then norm...). There is the culture to navigate and the language to understand, all that goes with a new role.
We were chartering new areas and learning as well as delivering original content and creative thought. When the rug was literally yanked out from under me, I was left with that feeling of a thud in my chest, like I had been plopped down after an unexpected tornado wondering where that came from.
My gut told me something else was up and if I just waited, the universe would reveal it.
Such is what happened.
After returning the custom programmed Mac Book Air, business cards, and other items, after sitting in my office wondering what I was going to do now because I had literally cleared my calendar of everything to focus on this new endeavor, after rehearsing and reviewing every single action of the intense training, travel, and time in the office, I could not find anything that was worthy of a drastic move of that polite, impolite "fit."
Yes, I was a bit older, more educated, and had much more experience than my counterparts, that is what was seen as an asset in the position, why I was wanted in the first place. Then a dear friend told me that someone else wanted the position and the management thought they could just make up something to move me out of the way, almost all employment is political. I dismissed that thought and considered funding since it was a grant funded position and perhaps management hadn't fully counted up the cost of the new position that I held.
Then the real news came.
The position was posted, it was a contract/consultancy when I was in it, and people applied, but the ones interviewed didn't pan out. They turned out to not be the greener-on-the-other-side that the executives thought they were. Whether it was an unwillingness to relocate to the place I already was or the lack of credentials or simply not passing the background check, none of them panned out.
It is vacant. Almost eight weeks after I left, after they thought they had a quick shoe-in to replace me, again, not counting-up-the-cost or thinking it through. In desperation now, they are casting a wider net, hoping to get a warm body now. When all along they had someone who was a perfect fit for the position, who delivered in the short twelve weeks, and who was well regarded by 95% of the staff, except for those pesky two who were intimidated by the breadth and depth of experience brought to the table, even that was pushed away by the executive because of their youth and lack of experience.
Sometimes, the sun does shine and the universe does confirm that your gut was right and something wasn't right in the stew. Having been on this earth for a long time, entering my jubilee season, I no longer see the need to not trust that still small voice. I knew something was up and also know that something amazing is waiting for me. As for that fledgling organization, it is almost impossible to have a focus on an under-served market when you really do not have an affinity for the needs of that market. Pulling back the sheets, the true nature is revealed, things as they are will not be tolerated too much longer, backers and funders will demand more, that much I do know.
Shine on, sun and universe. Me, like Sally Krawcheck, will learn, grow, and continue to be amazing at what we do, in spite of, and in so doing, the universe will circle back and remind us of our awesomeness.