All Courtesy of LIT Boutique
If you follow RaeLynn's Boutique and saw our Facebook live last Tuesday, you know that I am no longer with the company and had a career change. Last week was probably one of the most emotional weeks I've experienced in a while (hence why I've been sick).
I wanted to take this time to explain my career change to you guys. Not that I owe anyone an explanation as everyone moves on from various jobs, but RaeLynn's has been a part of my life for 7 years. I also wanted to clear the air with those of you who know me personally before any rumors start to fly.
First, let me tell you my history in case you aren't familiar. I started at RaeLynn's when I was 17 as a senior in high school. It's where I truly fell in love with the fashion industry. I built relationships with our customers, my coworkers, and our designers that only continued to grow stronger in the last seven years. I worked for RaeLynn's throughout my college career as my parents were unable to financially contribute to my education. During college, I worked 2-3 jobs at all times just to make ends meet. I missed countless extra-curricular social and academic activities, some of which I wish I would have chosen to be a part of. I almost always picked working, never wanting to request off, one because I needed money and two because I am just extremely loyal and felt that it was my duty to be there.
When I graduated college, RaeLynn's hired me on full time as their Brand Manager and Buyer. I graduated with a degree in PR and advertising which helped me establish RaeLynn's as a brand, not just a place to buy prom dresses and boutique clothing.
In January 2017, we opened our second location. My role quickly evolved from Brand Manager to General Manager/Brand Manager/Buyer. Prom season felt like chaos some days and I think all of us felt like our feet had been pulled out from under us at times.
Also in January 2017 is when I decided I wanted to really get serious about my role as a social influencer. I don't like to half-ass anything and it was time to figure this thing out. I found myself trying to balance so many roles, working 6-7 days a week, and just struggling to find balance. Not to mention I put my new marriage as the last priority.
On top of this, I felt myself struggling with my leadership role as General Manager. I've done multiple leadership courses and trainings over the years, I have the ability to lead and to follow, and others do tend to follow me which is a necessary trait of a leader. However, I believe that there is a difference between being an effective leader and being an effective manager. I come off as intimidating which I know and I have accepted this. It's not something I try to control or really plan to change because once you get to know me, you understand that there are so many layers to my personality and that underneath my all-business game face, I do actually know how to have fun. That being said, I also know how to get shit done. Without going into too much detail, I've learned that I lead or manage groups of people more effectively who have the same work ethic and moral values that I do.
So this brings me to this summer. In June, I really started to question what I wanted to do at RaeLynn's. I'm 24 and unless I was going to buy into the business, I wasn't going to go any further. I am a person that strives for and thrives off growth so at age 24 I couldn't be maxed out. I also wasn't using my college degree to its fullest potential. Since June, I've been battling what to do and where to go. I didn't want to leave my awesome coworkers who have become some of the best friends, but at the same time, I found that the smallest things frustrated me, words hurt way too much, the space was negative, and I finally came to the realization that maybe this wasn't my forever place.
The staff and owners of RaeLynn's are family. So imagine cheating on your partner or telling your family something you knew would hurt them. That's what I've been struggling the most with for about the last month. I started the job search which only made me more frustrated because I either didn't hear back or I did, but I didn't have enough experience in my field for agency work. (Side note- do as many internships as possible and make as many connections as you can in college.) I've met with college professors, career advisors, and my mentor for guidance. I'll get to what I'm doing now here in a minute.
Last Sunday, I put in my two weeks. It was one of the hardest conversations I've ever had to have. But, I was no longer giving RaeLynn's 110 percent as I had done for the last 7 years. The owners noticed this too, and I just couldn't let that go on.
RaeLynn's has given me so much: countless opportunities, the ability to be a buyer, some of my best friends, and a lifetime of great experience. At the end of the day, when you aren't happy in your job and you know it's time to move on, you have to do just that. I'll always have a place in my heart for RaeLynn's and the management team that I've worked so closely with.
So what am I doing now? I will be working with Sweet Olive and Company to help them open new stores and develop their brand to have a voice. This is a position in which I hope to be able utilize my degree to its fullest extent. One of the owners, Kat, and I were good friends in high school and she knows what my goals are. That being said, I am also working to grow and expand Trendy in Indy. I believe that this part of my life has exponential growth opportunity. I'm not sure what the future holds right now. I have a million ideas I want to execute so we will see where that leads.
I appreciate you all continuing to follow along my career change. This was a post I felt I needed to share to give you some further explanation and transparency on what's going on in my life right now.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'd still be happy to provide knowledge on what I've learned in this industry to those of you who are interested.
Wishing you a great week.