Friday, February 9, 2018

Lucky Number 13

Well I finally got the call I knew was coming.

Tuesday February 13 will be my last day at Wells Fargo - I'm getting terminated.

For those that have no idea what I am talking about let me fill you in.

Last July, I found a fantastic new position in the Private Client Group division of Wells Fargo as a Control Specialist and applied on a whim. It was something totally new to me but sounded amazing! It seemed to match my interests of endless spreadsheets, compliance driven and out of retail. After a pretty lengthy interview/application process I was hired and started the job August 16th. Now throughout my various roles at Wells Fargo over the last 7.5 years I have been given opportunities to obtain certain state and FINRA licenses - California Life Insurance, Series 6, Series 63, and Series 7 to be exact. This new position had a contingency clause that stated upon starting this new role I would have 180 days (February 12) to obtain or transfer my series 7, series 63, series 65 (or 66), Series 9, and series 10 licenses.

Now, I tend to think of myself as a professional student. Really since starting elementary school I have literally NOT STOPPED studying or being in school except from May 2016 - August 2017 (but during that time it really wasn't a break, I was pregnant and new mom haha). I did summer school almost every year, took various "camps" during high school for SATs and even attended Harvard Summer School program as a high school Junior. I am no stranger to studying or taking tests. So with all that being said, the contingency truly didn't worry me.

As soon as I started the position, I STARTED the position, I was hitting the ground running working from day 1. Thankfully they did give me time every now and then to study in the office in between projects but it was learning new job and studying at the same time. Again, I felt no biggie. Now I don't know if I misjudged how this new mom life balance worked, or miscalculated how much lack of sleep affected my cognitive abilities but either way this time, studying was 1000x harder. I was studying into the early hours of the morning when I was off work in between dealing with home stuff, breastfeeding, general mom and wife duties and learning a new job. Over the course of the next 3-5 months I studied my butt off and took both my 9 and 10 twice but thankfully passed on the second attempts of both. I failed my first attempt at the 65 and had one final chance at taking the 65 before my 180 day cutoff, January 26. Honestly, I was at my breaking point. I was so exhausted and so overwhelmed and confused by the massive amounts I had been studying over the prior 6 months and I just wanted this over with. Well I didn't pass.

So we waited to hear from HR. I thought I had one more lifeline option, the series 66, as an alternative. My manager immediately called HR and tried to see if they could open my test window for the 66 to be able to squeeze in one more test before the deadline while still meeting the original contingency agreement. It was a painstaking 4 days but we finally got word that I am not eligible to take the series 66 exam. Apparently in California there is a rule stating you can only take the series 66 if you have taken the series 7 in the prior 2 years. I completed my series 7 three years ago... yup.

So then we waited again. My manager, his manager and team all went to HR asking for some type of extension to give me one more chance at taking the 65. Per FINRA, I did have one more time to attempt the exam however, they require a 30 day waiting period in between attempts - that means the soonest I could try again would be Feb 26th - which is roughly 2 weeks after my 180 day deadline. Two weeks. So we waited. and waited.

Finally, they just got back to my manager with a decision that they are denying any exception or extension and I will be terminated February 13. While I do completely understand their reasoning behind no exceptions and yes I signed a pretty clear contingency agreement, it seemed insane to me that they are going to go through a complete new hire process which takes 4-6 months on average and getting someone retrained instead of granting 2 extra weeks but that is neither here nor there.

I 100% believe everything happens for a reason. After 7.5 years, God is saying it's time to leave the Wells Fargo world. While this is kinda terrifying (mostly because I brought home majority of the income and all benefits were under my name) I am also excited at some new opportunities. All the licenses I have obtained throughout the years are mine to keep and take to any other firm. I also have my BA in Communication and my MBA with an emphasis in Marketing - both from California Lutheran University so I am confident that there is something else out there. I do have true peace about this whole thing though knowing that God has a plan for me.

So what's next:

1. We already had some big goals in place for my husband this year - getting his Contractors License and really ramping up his own business, so that is still going to be focused on, even more so now.

2. I am going to take a week or two to myself. As mentioned before, I have always been going going going from school to working multiple jobs at the same time as school, to being a new mom and constant career licensing so I am going to take a week or so for some self care.  I will also use this time to FINALLY get our house and things in order. Need to get some sort of control over my life and I have been telling myself I will go through and simplify and declutter after ___.. well now is the time.

3. During this self care time I will also be really spending some time coming up with a plan for what I truly want to do. Wells Fargo was my first "career" when I was 19! I never thought I would go into the financial world, I just started as a part time teller and rode the wave seeing where it took me. So I want to dig deep and discover what lights my fire and where I should plant some seeds - whether it be in or out of the financial world. Looking forward to checking out the CLU Career Services center and learning more about myself.

4. Before Wells I started a small business helping businesses get organized but ended it after being at Wells and going full time because it seemed to be a slight conflict. So I will also revisit that and look into starting back up my consulting business - whether it be a full time option or part time, we will see.

5. Embrace this time with Cameron! While I will definitely look for a new job, especially for one with benefits because Cobra is EXPENSIVE I will try and really enjoy this extra time with Cam. He will still be going to daycare but I will be able to drop off or pick up whenever and possibly check out some mommy and me classes.

So why lucky number 13?

13 has always been my lucky number! For starters, M is the 13th letter of the alphabet (Meghan, Matt & Mickey Mouse - Hello!) February 13th also happens to be mine and Matt's wedding anniversary - 5 years this year, we were married in 2013! Matt and I were best friends for 13 years (together for 8 years) before I became pregnant. Cam was born on Oct 13th. so yeah, I love the number 13. So when I heard my last day would be Feb 13 I was kinda bummed and then immediately relieved.

To me it is a sign of hope, a sign that God has something better, grander, and more amazing than I could have ever dreamed of that will be taking place starting February 13, 2018!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"  - Jeremiah 29:11

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