Author Archives: rachelmhamm

Conformity and Tornados

I would like to start by saying today is a beautiful day in Raleigh, NC; however, that is a huge lie. We’ve had tornado warnings and on and off storms all day. Do you really think I’d be inside if it were pretty outside? Needless to say I am over the weather here lately and it affected my workday today. Now the electricity is out in my apartment, so what better to do then light candles, yell at my puppy for licking my arm too much, and write down random thoughts… that being said, this post isn’t generic- as usual, its all about me. Feel free to check out now if you would like.

Today I was on the phone with my counterpart for work and she was talking about how her pond was overflowing. Its crazy how an image like that can bring back so many memories. You know, how sometimes a song can bring you back to a time in life or a scent. There is a lotion that reminds me of when I was really young and used to put that lotion on in the green bathroom of my childhood home. The green bathroom memory brings back images of taking bubble baths with my sister and hiding in the shower when the babysitter would play hide and seek with my siblings and I. Every time I hear any Bethany Dillon song I remember moving to Mississippi when I was 11 years old.

Anyways, back to the pond overflowing flashback- it reminded me of my parents current home, and I then began thinking about how ill never live there again and that they are now people I will see a few times a year. I used to look out the window there all the time at the pond. I’ve always been an over thinker and I spent so much time in my childhood room- writing, reading, looking out the window, etc. It sounds dramatic, but I am dramatic-  ha ha! That room was a safe haven for me and the last time I went home it almost made me uncomfortable because my life has changed so much but I am the same.

All of this randomness has a point. I can’t decide if I hate change or I hate growing up or if it is a mixture of the two. You see, I hated a lot about high school and college. I genuinely don’t like many people my age. I can pretend I know why but I don’t- my heart has rarely been in to those friendships. I always tried for a while to fit in but that always ended up backfiring and hurting me somehow. I couldn’t live in their moment.

One thing is for sure though- I absolutely adored my early childhood. Being homeschooled and having time to do extra reading, running outside, tree climbing, movie watching, bug catching, four-wheeler riding, being coached in sports by my dad… I loved all of it. My childhood was exceptionally family oriented though- I had many friends, but a majority of my time was spent with my family.

The reason I say I cant decide if its change or growing up is because I like aspects of my adult life, but I hate a great deal of it also. I like working, owning my own place, being self sufficient, and making my own decisions. My job makes me very happy and I feel a lot more fulfilled and challenged then when I was in a classroom with many non-motivated people who literally were so small minded a night at the local bar and coasting through life was all they needed to be happy (sorry… I get that’s offensive, but it is how I felt most of school). What I don’t like is how my relationships with everyone who has been important to me have had to change. I hate when close friends and family are now seriously dating and talking about getting engaged (and stuff- ugh NO no). I hate that people constantly ask me about dating- “Have you met anyone?!” “No, I have enough going on 🙂 thx for prying though…”  . I hate how people at many of my offices think I am old enough to have children (are you freaking kidding me). I am still so young and that white picket fence love, children, family thing REALLY bothers me. It’s annoying to watch friends conform to that aspect of adulthood.

I’m one of the more adult people in my age group I can think of and I still cannot stop throwing fits about my friends and family changing. Its weird to me too because I am happyish, but I don’t know what I want anymore.

It’s a strange feeling being unsettled but I know I don’t want to live in Raleigh for more than 3 or so years- ill be on to somewhere I think could be better. I love, LOVE my job but do I see myself wanting to do that forever? Absolutely not- ill be on to something I think ill like better. For someone who hates change, I am always looking for it. The idea of settling on anything in life gives me anxiety, but I guess that doesn’t mean I don’t immensely miss the way things have been in the past, because I clearly do. I know that’s part of getting older, but it has personally seemed to be a larger battle for me than most people I know.

I will leave you with this… “Do my thang” by Miley Cyrus just randomly came on Spotify and it feels rather in sync with my mood lately. I might be a ahead of the game in many aspects of adulthood and probably a lot behind on other aspects, but I have become more secure in myself as a person the last 6 months then ever before. I can’t wait to get to that place where I really don’t care and I can fully accept my friends and family even when they are in different areas of adulthood than me, but for right now I am still the cocky, competitive, confrontational, workout addicted, immature yet way too serious girl I always have been from birth until now and I like it- its me. I don’t have to conform, and I am allowed to miss my friends and family the way they were in the past. I can miss all of that.

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So I picked up my life 

 I always said that I would move off. I always believed I was someone that was meant for it. People do it all the time but it’s a lot easier to dream about than to actually do. Being content is something that hasn’t been a significant part of my genetic makeup. That being said, deep down I always knew it would probably take some time to do so. I think God allows us to feel very unhappy for a period of time to allow us to know and be ready for the time we are called to leave where we are. 

The summer before I graduated college I did some research and wrote several cities down I would like to move to. I prayed consistently for God to somehow work this out for me. Not only did I want to move, but I wanted a pharmaceutical sales position. After speaking to a few people in the industry I noticed a trend. They all said good luck and to not be disappointed if I had to do a few years of business to business sales first.

I am no stranger to hard work, but my gut (and my father) kept telling me that I did not need that. This isn’t me bragging I really, really promise but I have always been someone who gives my all in everything. The day I hear about an assignment I start working on it. I never crammed the night before a test. I went to class when I was too sick to even talk. I wrote a 15page group paper, did the PowerPoint, and went to my professors office countless time to make sure it was perfect without my teammates help. I memorized a 4 page soliloquy for bonus points when I already had a high A just for the heck of it. That is just me. I got to say that it’s really not necessary to be like me, it’s a little intense/psycho, but literally, I can’t help it. Bottom line, I was confident that if anyone could take on a job without experience, I was the girl to do so. I knew people had done it before, so why not me?

By the end of my senior year of college I was so unhappy I could hardly function. Being in a small town and not being able to relate to those around me was getting tough. I just have a different personality but by this time I could hardly take it anymore.

About a month before graduation I saw an ad for a sales job fair in Dallas, TX (about 4 hours away). After class the next day I headed to Dallas to get some interviewing experience. I showed up to the hotel and saw many middle aged people with their resumes trying to snag a job. 

I’d never really interviewed before, but I knew that sales was an area I could excel in. Four out of the four employers I spoke with wanted another interview; however, I still wanted Pharma. After that job fair I had the confidence to pursue what I wanted. I kept receiving council from those in the industry and I continued waiting. One week later I received a call from a manager who’d gotten a hold of my resume, I was really shocked but excited. The position was a contract Pharma sales job in Mississippi- not my ideal location but I was willing to take it to get a job I truly wanted. Within two days I received another phone call from a regional manager for a position in a small, bio pharma company. The position available was in Raleigh, NC. So that was the position I decided to pursue. I never the ought I’d have two opportunities at once. 

It turns out a old friend of my dads in the biopharma company was willing to meet me for an interview. So at a Starbucks in Dallas, TX  (seems all my interviews have been in Dallas) I interviewed with the VP of sales and was offered the position days later.

I remember driving home being amazed at what God had done for me. Raleigh was one of the cities I’d written down a year earlier. 

The next few months kind of felt like a major blur. I moved days after graduation -with a lot of help from my dad- and before I knew it, I was alone. I’m so close with my parents, they have been so amazing in my life so this was hard. I really was All alone in a new city 16 hours away from everyone I knew. It sounds so thrilling in theory doesn’t it? …..

For the first time in my life, I was literally alone.
The first day I met with my manager was a little.. awkward, honestly. He wasn’t the one who hired me and he wasn’t completely sure how to approach someone who’d never been in the industry. We basically stared at one another for a solid thirty minutes. However, he was nice and laid back and I felt like he had faith in me. A patient and laid back manager was exactly what someone like me needed. He’s also very sarcastic, which is great! 

For months I drove around to offices to find that half the addresses I was given were wrong, some in my system had retired, and each office had unique rules and times for how they deal with reps. I guess I had an idea of what it would be like but nothing could have prepared me for it. Not having experience is one thing, taking on a large and underperforming territory in a state you’ve never lived in is another. 

You don’t really know what you don’t know if you have no experience- basically I didn’t even know what to ask.

Ive spent many days stressed. I had a major wreck in my new car. A whirlwind of personal stuff going on over the past six months- it was tough. This is a lonely job. You don’t really meet coworkers, it’s just you and your car half the day. It’s certainly harder to meet people after college. Especially when you are in the awkward age when you don’t belong with college people anymore but are still very young. Some people in my offices are really awesome but I’m still not a part of their office and it is important to keep the relationship friendly but business oriented. 

The industry, in my opinion, should be a valued partnership between reps and physicians and their offices, but many days it can feel like you are only as good as the snack or lunch you bring or that you are an annoyance in that offices busy day.

As a smart, driven person I have been very angry by how my position seems perceived by some people. I’ve had to learn unique ways to reach each Health Care Provider and their office. The point is, you have to discover what value you can bring to that office and their patients. The challenge has become, how can I show them I care and can provide value through our interactions? 

I wish I could say I know the answer, but you can’t completely because each office and provider are not alike. But I guess that’s part of the fun of it, right?

You know what I have realized though? Many offices do find me valuable and that is enough to make the calls that do not go as planned worth it. It’s impossible to have this job “figured out” because you can’t keep the same strategy every quarter. Things are always changing. Each day I wake up inspired and with a game plan. How fortunate am I to have a job that highlights my strengths and what I love? A challenge. Presenting data and learning how to be of value. 

It’s crazy that today I do have the things I was praying for last year. I am very grateful to those who have given me guidance and most importantly to God.

I don’t have this job completely figured out. Good grief I still have so much to learn, but I am doing well. Eight months in, and I am certainly holding my own and I cannot take all of the credit for that. A good work ethic and faith in God can get anyone anywhere though. I 100% believe that.

Things have gotten easier. I got a puppy, met some nice friends, and am more acquainted with the area. But there are still tough days. I still spend some weekends by myself, I occasionally feel like I just need a hug from a family member that cares about me. I also have days when I wonder what on earth I was thinking going so far away without anyone to help me out with little things- but it was all for a reason.

This plan unfolded with perfect timing. And I know it will continue to. I don’t plan on living here forever. But this is home for me now, and I am where I am supposed to be right now.