Beginning Transform Wisconsin

I’m so excited to start this week. As I wrote in my previous post, I am beginning a contracted project for Transform Wisconsin where we will be implementing Active Schools across the state. My job is to coordinate the web presence and be an editor for some of the content we will be distributing to the schools. It’s a part time gig right now – I’ll be working for them Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays. But more importantly it means I’m stepping away from the tree care industry I’ve worked in for over ten years. This has been a long process for me, to say the least. It’s been extremely difficult for me because I’m an open guy, I process things like this best through mediums such as this blog, Twitter, and Facebook. But I’ve been very reluctant to share some of these thoughts about exiting the tree care industry because I didn’t have the next job lined up and frankly it’s tough to manage that working for a small business that relies on me so much. I’m glad my boss has been so willing to let me pursue my school and even take this next job on a part time basis. He knows work as an arborist is limited for me.

So here I am! As far as I can tell, I’m finished as a full time arborist. This week I start official office hours working for Transform Wisconsin. It’s such a mental relief for me because I’ll be freed up to (a) work on work that really matters and (b) work on something I feel very passionate about. It’s not that the tree work doesn’t matter. I’ve learned a lot in my ten years in the industry. The work does matter. The people I work with do matter. My boss, his business, his family they do matter. But I wanted to take the business to new places that the boss just wasn’t willing (or equipped) to go. I feel like I’ve taken the last few years to really focus on what makes me tick, where I find my passion and even with limited resources in the tree care industry, I was able to flesh out and develop a lot of skills that will transfer to this next job. I had a lot of time to think throughout my days – what did I want to try for advertising, for customer retention, for employee training? How would I plan and execute these ideas? How could I convince Bill that they would advance his business? But all along I was thinking of these ideas in the context of an industry of which I had very little passion. I wanted to grow the business to increase my commission and to increase my pride in saying “I built that.” This next challenge at Transform WI will allow me to grow a new set of ambitions. I will be working more in my sweet spot. I’ll have more blessings and freedom to create great product, great resources, even great experiences for people working with the web platform I’ll be creating. Doesn’t that sound great?!

I’ll be sharing a lot more about this transition in the next season of my life (which starts today!). I’ll be sharing not only the details of my work but the process of the transition to this job and also how it affects me personally. Typical disclaimer: I won’t be sharing this necessarily because I think people can learn from it, but rather I process best by this method and I also do hope and pray that people (even one or two) can find encouragement or hope in reading my story. Blogging is very important to me and my growth as a man and as an employee. The Bible often mentions the importance of remembering (your past and what’s important) and telling your story. I believe it takes a strong community of friends and family to be successful and “rich” in this world, and I’m not talking about financial wealth. My goal from here on out is to share my experiences so that I can grow as a man, as a member of a community, and as a contributing member of an organization.

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