What were you doing before you joined ITequality?
Before joining ITequality I spent most of my professional career in sales – mostly high end mattress retailers. I’ve sold nearly every type of bed and I will give you mattress shopping advice, although (like so many things) most of it is personal preference. One size does not fit all.
I have a degree in business administration specializing in Entrepreneurship and have spent 15+ years working in sales and sales management.
In February 2019 I left my successful sales and management career to take a job doing front end sales for an insurance firm that specializes in selling medicare advantage plans and medicare supplements. I took the job even though it was a huge pay cut because at that time I could no longer keep up with the physical demand of working 60-90 hours a week, sometimes without a day off for weeks and working 12-14 hour days. I had started to think I was just incapable of working at all but I needed a job so I took it. This was my first remote job and the ability to work remotely was a huge factor in my decision. I don’t think I will ever want to work full time in person again.
It was a huge adjustment getting used to living on less money (This job paid about 1/4 of my previous job) and I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle so I made it work. Eventually the high sales pressure put so much stress on me that I ended up taking a 5 month unpaid leave of absence in October 2019 to get extensive medical testing and treatment with specialists. It was during this time that I discovered I have fibromyalgia, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), MALS (Median arcuate ligament syndrome), PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), uterine fibroids, and I am suspected to also have MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – it’s hard to diagnose).
I had started to feel like my whole life was an alphabet soup! None of these conditions have a cure but with rest and other accommodations I can manage pretty well. I had 3 surgeries (some for the PCOS/fibroids and some were for my tonsils and sinuses which had issues requiring a surgical fix), and about 30 medical tests which diagnosed me with the aforementioned conditions.
My job moved me from one department to another every 3-6 months or so. I had 15 years of management experience at this point (fall 2020) and I felt like I had gotten a better handle on my health and started applying for management positions. I applied 12 times. In those 12 times I was only interviewed twice in spite of being obviously qualified. I was never promoted.
Then after I’d been applying for promotions and not getting them in 2021 they implemented a rule that folks would have to complete a year long “management prep” class even if they have extensive experience, like myself. I then applied to the management prep class and was turned down with no reason or feedback of any kind. I stayed there another year after that and I was never told why I didn’t get to take the management class and I was never allowed to apply for promotion again.
They then implemented stringent requirements for monthly performance. At that time most people were not hitting these numbers, myself included. I was put in a “retention” program that was humiliating, gave me less time to do the work I was required to do, and did not help me meet the requirements. These requirements included starting new tasks approximately every 60-90 seconds and everything was timed. It was unbelievably stressful.
How did you learn about ITequality?
This company I had been with had a very rigid time off policy which required 2 full weeks of notice when taking off more than one day. I ended up winning tickets to a major Hollywood premiere in fall of 2022. I won on a Friday and the premiere was the following Wednesday. I live in Texas so logistically I needed 2-3 days off to fly in and out. I was faced with the choice of missing a once in a lifetime premiere or losing my job. I decided that this job had been disrespectful to me for too long so I went to the premier (they did fire me when I got back).
I had called my old college friend Tayna to have lunch before I flew back to Texas and they came with their partner Ash. They were both so sweet and Ash (in retrospect maybe innocently) asked what I did for work. I basically said I have been in sales but going to Hollywood this week is going to cause me to lose my job. It turned out that ITequality needed a salesperson! We met again, virtually, the following week and I started work right after!
What have you learned since joining ITequality?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that companies can treat their employees with dignity and take the focus off of strict time based policies. There are better ways to operate than my previous employers and this company puts it into practice. I always feel valued and heard and if I do get sick I’m allowed the time I need. Interestingly, now that I’m not under the constant stress of losing my job and am not timed on every tiny task – I have less major health episodes that need treatment. For instance, I had a disability accommodation at my previous job that would allow up to 4 days up to 3 times per month when I had acute health episodes related to the 5-7 conditions listed above. I would sometimes have more adverse health days than I was allowed to have and that led to more stress. Since working at ITequality I have not had any major issues requiring time off. If it does happen, I’m not worried about my job at all.
Second biggest thing I’ve learned is a bunch about Salesforce! My primary job is sales. However, I needed to understand a lot more about Salesforce so I can properly relay information to clients. I have spent time learning with Ash one on one and reviewing and editing training videos Ash had made for our Youtube channel. (Catch the Revenue Realm series where Ash teaches you the basics of CPQ here.) I have also been working with other ITequality employees, Oliver and Coraliz to help me learn more about the basics of Salesforce. Oliver is one of the best at Salesforce Billing and Coraliz does amazing work with flows and style.
Through ongoing communication and collaboration I’m learning even more and I fully understand the valuable work we give to our clients. Prior to working at ITequality I had worked with sales dashboards in Salesforce that provided basic statistics on team and personal performance. That company didn’t utilize Salesforce in ways I know it can be used now. My previous experience caused me to think Salesforce was a very limited system that didn’t do much. Now I am aware of the wide array of things it can do. I (and the rest of the team) use it daily to track progress on projects, keep up with my personal tasks, keep a database of clients, and more.