Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Rainy Day in Napa

I suppose it's apropos that on the day I drove to Napa to tell my boss, and mentor, that I had to start looking for a new job that it rained for the first time in the five months that I'd been living in California.

There were a lot of reasons that I had to throw in the towel with my beloved little company. Some were economy related, though certainly not all. The challenges that were presented with developing the lasting relationships needed to make a decent living with such a small, tailored portfolio were just not in my skill set. In short, it would take someone who can sell ice to Eskimo's, a true used car salesman, someone who is uber-aggressive, and has rhinoceros-thick skin to really make it work in this market.

I am not those things. I am a relationship builder. I am a customer service maestro. I am a person that people like, and who can make others feel good about the company that I work for - but I am not a hard salesperson. They knew that when I was brought on, and the position was originally tailored for me to be doing about 50/50 sales and distributor relationships. But unfortunately, in this horrible economy, those relationships that I was supposed to be nurturing are not even in existence, and I am left with just the cold calling, and a lot of frustration.

The frustration is not just felt by me. The entire four-person company is feeling the blow, and it looks like it will not be around much longer. Dreams are currently collapsing, finances are crumbling, and all four of us are going to be picking up our pieces and moving on. It is a hearbreaking, difficult, and just all around shitty situation for everyone involved.

So I am currently pounding the pavement and looking for a new job. But fear not for me - I am somehow actually excited by it. When I accepted the position with the importer I was fully aware that I was taking a huge risk, but did it happily because I was desperately needing a change. I knew that there was a chance that it would not work out, but was very happy to be positioning myself in the most dynamic place in the country to work in the wine industry. I am looking forward to exploring the endless career opportunities in this area. (Granted, my bank account is hoping that it will be a short search...)

So that's where I am right now. Job searching, a little bit stressed and nervous, but overall excited to find out about the next adventure that the universe has in store for me.


Anonymous Joe Manekin said...

Hey there -

You'll find something. Regardless of the shit economy, there are still growing companies out there that need some help, mature companies who are stable and perhaps have had someone leave, etc. You're gonna be fine!

Where were you working in VA? I used to work for a distributor in DC.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Hey there! Thank you for your kind comment.

I worked for a medium sized distributor in Richmond called The Robins Cellars, and before that did retail work in Richmond. Who did you work for? How long have you been out here?

And let me know if your store is hiring! ;) (No, seriously. Even part time.)

2:02 PM  

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