Day 15 – Gratitude Challenge: What professional accomplishment am I most grateful for?

I am most grateful for turning around a mismanaged program that I inherited after getting hired.

Truth be told, I didn’t have any work experience with program management then. I worked as a temp initially, but in less than a week, the program director told me to apply for the open position. Hospitals scare the bejesus out of me, and working for one full-time wasn’t something that interested me. Then he baited me by saying he’ll fill that position with someone else, so I’d end up working for him and that other person. He was right – I didn’t want to work for two persons. I applied and got the job.

Early on, it was pretty obvious how poorly managed the program was. The program director was new. The previous one just retired. The current administrator was too busy politicking that she hardly had time to sort out the program. I inherited a mess. But I knew that I had enough organizational skills, common sense and a transferable skill set to get the ball rolling.

By the time I resigned from that place:
I developed a communication plan for the program.
I increased the program’s online visibility.
I reorganized and streamlined the program’s operational activities.
I implemented new processes for applicant interviews, applicant ranking process/selection, orientation and evaluations.
I increased the application rate by 140%. During my term there, recruitment efforts yielded 562 applicants for one position compared to the previous year’s 705 applicants for three positions. AND
I also coordinated the program accreditation that resulted in a four-year accreditation. For the longest time, it was consistently accredited for two- or three-year cycles only.

It wasn’t a job I loved. In fact, there were many days spent that I just wanted to leave that place. I was unhappy, stressed and sick most of the time. I always knew when to ask for help when needed, but the other women in upper management hated my guts and refused to help me when the going got tough. It was a lonely time, but it showed me my strength and going out of my comfort zone really showed me what I can do. It’s not something I’d go back to, but looking back on it, I learned a lot.

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Day 14 – Gratitude Challenge: What T.V. show are you most grateful for?

I’ve got two favorite shows that I’m grateful for.
I usually say these are my go-to shows every time I need something to cheer me up because these two shows just crack me up. Unfortunately, both are no longer on the air, but that’s what the DVDs and Netflix are for.

Presenting the two shows I am most grateful for…
“The Office”

and “Parks and Recreation”.

At this point, I’ve watched both shows from start to finish many times than I can count. I can even tell you the little holes in the storyline, but does that stop me from watching it over and over again? Of course not!

I love Michael Scott. I love Leslie Knope. I love how Leslie is the antithesis of Michael. I love how adorably clueless and cringe-worthy Michael can be sometimes. I love how smart, driven and kind Leslie is. Both shows are hilarious ensemble comedies with excellent scriptwriting that yielded so many quotable quotes.

Oh, and I’m watching “Parks and Recreation” while writing this blog post. 🙂

Day 13 – Gratitude Challenge: What piece of art are you grateful for?

Landscape with Wheat Sheaves and Rising Moon, early June 1889. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo

This is the piece of art that I am most grateful for – Vincent Van Gogh’s Wheat Fields.

His art always fascinated me with Sunflowers and The Starry Night as my favorites. When I previously worked as an administrator in a hospital, the former director gave me a magnet with Van Gogh’s Wheat Fields. He said the rising moon in the back reminded him of me – a symbol of hope for the program I was in charge of. He added that I was like the wind beneath the wings of the program, changing things for the better. It was a very kind and nice thing to hear from someone who wasn’t even my boss at the time. It was the type of appreciation that I needed then because my boss was unappreciative of the work I did. Up to now, seeing the magnet still makes me smile.