Rear-View Strategy

I ™m an expert when it comes to seeing the benefit of life's happenings.   Bold statement, I know.   But I really am an expert at this and can definitely answer the question why  as it relates to life events.     As long as they ™ve already happened, that is.

In the midst of things, I often wonder why  things are the way they are.   Especially during the not-so-good times.   I think, I ™m a nice person, what good could possibly come of this? 

Or more simply stated, What the #@!* ?

Some years ago, Hubby announced that one of the many items on his bucket list was a trip to the Indianapolis 500.   Ever the supportive wife, I told him he ™d better find someone else to go with him as I certainly was not going to waste time on such a dumb sport, cars perpetually driving to the left for hours.   And by no stretch of the imagination would I ever agree to spend a weekend in the middle of a race track in an RV, as I ™d seen people do at the races on TV.

The very next week I earned a promotion to manage my company's national sponsorships and promotions.   I ™m sure the look on my face said it all when my new boss gave me a folder and said, We're just negotiating a motorsports agreement with Indianapolis; see what you can do with it .   Aughh!   I clearly remember the grin on Hubby's face when he heard the news and realized that he would get to accompany me to the Indy 500 to see cars drive in a perpetual left-turn.

Determined to do my best at this new opportunity, I dug in and learned everything I could about the sport and why it could benefit our company.   Turns out it's not so dumb after all.

Ever watch an auto race?   Athletes the size of jockeys driving multi-million dollar computers on wheels, singularly focused on that perpetual left-turn for hours and miles on end.   They ™d better be focused. At speeds of over 200 mph, even they can see the emergency crews on the edge of the track.

And talk about strategy “ they ™ve got a plan for everything.   When to change tires, when to pass another car, when to re-fuel.   Races are won by hundredths of a second so every decision must be well thought out.

It wasn't too long into my new job that I officially became a gear-head , knowing more about the sport and the drivers than most men.   Luckily for me I never had to stay in an RV.

Fast-forward several years. A recruiter called, looking for someone with very specific career experience:   retail, strategy, marketing, and – believe it or not “ motor sports.   Someone with Indy experience.   Wow.   What an odd combination, yet it was me all the way.    I got the job – and I had a light-bulb moment as I remembered my what the #@!*  thought when I was handed the Indy folder.

I would love to say that all of this happened because of strategic career moves on my part.   I would love to show you a planning document that I developed early in my career, outlining the skills I should acquire on my road to success.   But I can't.   Nope, as strategic as I am in my work, even I wasn't prepared for every twist and turn.

Yet every experience, good and not-so-good, seems to enhance my future.   Even the lay-offs in our house hold have been beneficial. Hubby and I discovered hidden skills that have led to new opportunities. We realized that although we loved our jobs, we can shift gears, adapt and move on to something new.

Out of the motor sports chapter of my life came more than a job opportunity.   I also gained a great group of friends and colleagues that I ™m still in regular contact with, including drivers and others in the race industry.   Hubby bonded with several of the other husbands that attended the races while we women worked (isn't that how it always goes?).   Once at home, we became a dinner group called The Trailing Spouses , named lovingly after our Hubbies who trailed after us at such events.

Yep, I ™m an expert at rear-view strategy.   Wish I could identify it a bit sooner, although now I try to simply accept what's happening and prepare myself for future benefits.

In the meantime, I ™ll keep driving to the left.

© Tami Cannizzaro 2012 All Rights Reserved

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