Today is my 10th anniversary at CBIZ. I started as an Administrative Assistant with my firm on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2005, which was also the day this local CPA firm was acquired by a large, publically traded company. It was a big day for our office and me, personally.
When I applied for this job, my plan was to work while finishing up my Masters Degree in History and then teach somewhere. They were great about letting me adjust my work schedule for classes and then working on my thesis.
After my degree was finished, I went to one hiring fair for local Catholic schools. When I saw the paycut I would be taking to teach, it was shocking! Living in San Diego isn’t inexpensive, so I reexamined my options. Unfortunately, since folks want to live in beautiful San Diego, a lot of PhDs work at the local community colleges. Finding a place to teach with just my MA, wasn’t looking good.
Meanwhile, work at CBIZ kept changing and growing. I went from supporting Litigation to Audit, which was more challenging. Then, I got pregnant with Sienna. When I returned from maternity leave, I decided that commuting 20-30 minutes each way was too much. With my mom watching Sienna while I worked, it would have been so much more convenient to work downtown (where she was living at the time). So, I interviewed with KPMG, one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms. They had an opening for an Audit Administrative Coordinator. During this time, I didn’t really want to leave CBIZ. So, I prayed a simple prayer that has never steered me wrong, “Lord, if this is where I’m meant to be, just make that clear to me.”
I didn’t get the job.
In hindsight, CBIZ was exactly where I was meant to be. Pretty soon after returning from maternity leave, I started supporting the Tax Group. I formed a good relationship with the Tax Practice Leader at the time, and he created a position for me in the Tax Group. This change paved the way to supervising the Administrative Support Team and later being promoted to manager.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve been learning about myself and how to be a better manager, everyday. Meanwhile, I have also been learning how to be a mom. Raising kids and managing people, it turns out, have a lot of skills in common. Both are basically about motivating the behaviors you want to see continue. The learning curve was steep at times, but always rewarding.
Several years ago, I was still saying that working at CBIZ, “Wasn’t what I really wanted to do with my life.” Finally, my mom asked me one day, “Do you really want to be a high school history teacher?” I had to admit that I didn’t. “Well, then maybe you stop saying this isn’t what you want do to.” She was right.
Reflecting on the past decade I’ve spent at CBIZ, I’m very content with my choices. I’ve developed my own little niche, where my skills of communication, organization, planning, and coaching can be used daily. I’m invested in the people and the business. I bought a house right across the freeway from our office. I’m here for the long haul.
As with my personal life, the most rewarding part of working at CBIZ is the relationships I’ve formed. From the folks I’ve managed, to co-workers and mentors, the people are what make this a great place to work. Knowing that I’m coming into the office and interacting with people I care about and who care about me, it’s awesome.