Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lemons Into Lemonade



I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Basically, it's a twist (no pun intended) on the idea of life being what you make of it. Nobody gets everything they want all the time. Unless you're the luckiest person in the history of the world, things don't always go the way you want them to 100% of the time.

I was handed what I originally considered to be a lemon a couple weeks ago. For those of you who haven't read every single post I've ever written or gone so far as to stalk me on LinkedIn, I work in the Information Technology industry. As part of a restructuring we are doing at work to better provide value to our clients, my role has changed.

My role for the last 16-17 months was the Inside Account Manager in the Sales department of a Managed Services Provider. This position had me handling the day to day transactional needs of our existing clients. Hardware and software purchases, life cycle management and one-off purchase requests - that was me.

I was in the process of moving into an Account Manager role. This position would be considered a promotion and has the added bonus of face-to-face client interaction rather than my former phone call and email relationships I had with our clients. I love interacting with clients in person and this was a move I was ecstatic to make. Then I got my lemon.

We restructured our company and our processes in a manner that not only better provides value for our clients, but also does it in a lean manner that means we no longer needed to add an additional Account Manager (my would-have-been promotion).

My new role, Design Desk, is very similar to my former Inside Account Manager role, but with a few differences. The biggest change is that I am no longer in the Sales department.  I am now operating from within the Service department - what all us Sales guys refer to as "the dark side." This role also keeps me in house and away from the face-to-face client interaction I was looking forward to. It's also more of a lateral move than the promotion the Account Manager position would have been.

Needless to say, I was not initially excited about this change. Actually, when I was asked what I thought about it, I believe I said "I was not excited about it - not even a little bit." Truth be told though, that comment was an unfair knee jerk reaction as I didn't really have all the information because my new role was still being developed when I first heard about it.

Now, after a week or so of learning about this new position, my opinion has changed dramatically. I've never been a fan of "Sales" in the sense that many people mistakenly think of it as selling anything you can to make more money for the company. I do however love customer service. I have always looked at Sales as providing customer service...which just happens to generate revenue.

I will be able to provide even better customer service with the newly adopted service model we now have. That's a big plus for me. I am also gaining a greater insight into the Technical Services and Project side of our company. That added knowledge will not only make my job more exciting and fulfilling, it will also make me more valuable to our team and our clients.

Whether this was ever really a lemon or just a snap judgement in my mind, it doesn't really matter. Once I finally wrapped my mind around it, I am now excited for the possibilities. I would say that I made lemonade with my lemon, but I really don't like lemonade. I'd like to think I was just practicing what I preach about looking for the best in everything....even if my own identification of "the best" was a bit delayed in this example.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this new role plays out. Right out of the gate, it's looking like it will be beneficial on a number of levels. I will do my best not to ramble on about it in too many of my future posts. I've just been bouncing this whole scenario around in my head for the past week and, just like a typical blogger, I had to write it out to clear it out. Until next time....