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Episode 23 - Career Re-evaluation 101 - with Shelby Smith

Shelby 00:00

I learned about myself that like with education that... you just realized you have no more coffee

correct was tea like looked into my mug and like yep, it's pure design on its face

Lance Foulis 00:14

true Hello everybody and welcome back to Lancelot's Roundtabe. It is getting very spring like

outside we are early March and we're getting our first little taste of spring, which probably

means that we're going to get a least one more bout of snow before we get into permanent

spring time. So I hope everyone's having a good day. Hope everybody's enjoying the sunshine,

wherever you are, if it's sun shining, when you listen to this, but thanks so much for listening.

I'm happy to welcome to the podcast, a really good friend of mine, Shelby Smith. Shelby,

welcome to the roundtable. Hi, thanks so much for having me. Absolutely, really thrilled that

you could come on. So why don't you tell the people a little bit about yourself? Yeah, so I'm 33

mom of one currently.

Shelby 01:13

Born and raised, Columbus went to o u in Athens and I have a Bachelors of Science in

communication studies, through right out of college went into HR and then marketing where I

met you. That's where are we met? That's where we met a couple years ago. Yeah, well, more

than a couple now. We'll go with a couple. And then when that really just wasn't the greatest

fit, I left the corporate sector and decided that I was better fit for the education side. So I have

been teaching for five years. It's my fifth year. So I'm about to end my fifth year and wild God

years already. It's crazy. And I have my masters now in education, curriculum and instruction

from Ashland University. I didn't know you went to Ashlyn. I mean, it was all online. But yeah,

that's your mom. Right? Hey, everybody, Kim's here.



Kim Foulis 02:09


Lance Foulis 02:11

She's walking around taking pictures and video. She does that. Hey, hey, everybody. Hey, so

um, yeah, so like we met at a company that I still work for you left? Correct. And you were one

of the people that was in the infamous row that we talked about on the episode with Natalie

Baldwin, Episode 19. Go listen to it. Oh, I didn't realize it was episode 19. Bob, good plug,

Marketing, Marketing and Communication Specialist right there runs through the just part of

the blood you can't get rid of it can't. So let's talk a little bit about those days. I remember

when I first started. I was coming from local bank. And I was really excited about this job

because it was an actual, like, professional type job. And I remember meeting you, you were 90

days, I believe, is that correct? I think so. Yeah, yeah, you're getting or you're getting close to

your 90th day because that was some type of a milestone. Yes. And I remember just being like

a deer in the headlights,

Shelby 03:09

like get like 90 days, I was still a deer in the headlights. Let's be honest,

Lance Foulis 03:12

it wasn't easy. Which I remember Natalie and I got into that very much. But I mean, looking

back at those memories, it was, here's your clients, here's what you're doing. And when I say

here's what you're doing, it's more like, here's where you'll be sitting in here's your computer.

Here's how you log in random binder of things that oh, you know, the binders, we had a lot of


Shelby 03:33

they did do a great job of pairing you up with a person who had your client before you

unfortunately for me, all of my clients went came from a person who was leaving.

Lance Foulis 03:46

Yeah, and that's what that's that's like the worst situation that you could be in in that role is the

person that used to support it is gone. Because there's, there wasn't a good knowledge sharing,

I guess that's the way I would put it. So like that person left with the knowledge of how to do

things. So lots of all of the nitty gritty details. For your day to day you just had to learn by

Shelby 04:09





Shelby 04:09

identifier? Well, I think a lot of it for me was learned by not doing and then realize I didn't do

and then having to do very, very quickly. Yeah. So that was a thing where like, vendors would

reach out and say, Hey, we normally have, you know, a program coming through or information

coming through for for this program are running, but we haven't seen it come through. Are we

still running that for you? Yeah, that's the only thing.

Lance Foulis 04:31

Like, that's literally like a third party and they're basically coming to your rescue. And they're

being very nice about it. But it's like, oh, yeah, you know, we typically would expect to get this

form by now. And we haven't done it but we know that you need the this material over here

and it's going to take some days for it to get there.

Shelby 04:48

Yeah, I think in the beginning, I had to call in a lot of favors for people I didn't even know yet.

Yeah. Can you run this for me in 24 hours? I promise you'll learn to love me.

Lance Foulis 04:57

Yeah. Oh my gosh, that's true, but you were really Good at your internal network. Oh, thank

you. Yeah, you were really good at that.

Shelby 05:05

I got the hang of it after a while. Yeah. And it just slowly after I kind of had the hang of it and

had been doing it for a while, started to realize it just was not what I was passionate about. It

was not what was what made me happy. It was not a good fit, I loved

Lance Foulis 05:20

who I worked with, it's always the people, it's always the

Shelby 05:23

people. And what I learned, and I did learn a ton from that position. Yep. And I'm very thankful

for that. But the biggest thing, I think I learned was the 8020 lesson, and that in your role, and I

try and pass this on to my students all the time, because I am High School. And for the last five

years, the constant for me has been seniors in high school. So I've taught a little bit of nine, a

little bit of 11 some electives, but the constant all five years has been that I have had at least

one one course of English 12. So all seniors and so one thing I try and pass on to them as

they're moving into that next phase of life is that they need to look for the 8020 You're never

gonna find 100% It's just not out there. Right? You're always gonna have some little bit that





you don't love to do. Yeah, I gave an example the other day, I could work with puppies all day

long. be fantastic. So much fun, just little puppies running around everywhere, but you're still

gonna have that like puppies have sharp teeth, or you know, they're not potty trained. Or

they're chewing on your shoelaces. And you know, your new Louis Vuitton bag is now covered

in slobber or did this happen to you? Know, this is just my own? Like, no, no, no. life

experience? Well, I mean, my dog did eat one of my purses. So that's cool.

Lance Foulis 06:36

Just not a Louis Vuitton. God loved Piper. Oh my gosh, I forgot about Piper.

Shelby 06:40

How's Piper She's good. She's getting gray.

Lance Foulis 06:42

How old is she? Oh,

Shelby 06:45


Lance Foulis 06:45

Cuz you you guys got her before you got married? Right?

Shelby 06:50

Yeah, I think she's eight or nine.

Lance Foulis 06:51

Okay, that's awesome. I'm glad to hear about Piper. I totally forgot about Piper. Yeah.

Shelby 06:56

Yeah, so I try and tell them they're still that that you know, a little bit that you don't love. Love

the puppies hate the slobber and the sharp teeth. And, you know, and so if you have 80% of

the job you absolutely love and 20% that you can deal with, then that's golden. If you can find

9010 That's like the rainbow. Yeah. out there. Yeah. And so for me, it was when I was at the





marketing position that I was in with you. It was the opposite. It was the 2080. Yeah. And the

20% were the people that I worked with. That was what I loved and what got me in every single

day. Yeah. But it was the 80% of the actual work I was doing was that 80% I hated? Yeah,

couldn't do it. And so in education, luckily, I have found the good positive 8020 Where it's 80%

of the job I love. And then there's 20%, where you have paperwork, and you know, grading

essays that maybe are not at the caliber, you would like them, or, you know, work

Lance Foulis 07:54

in progress, right. And you don't have to write anybody up. That's, that's also cool. So

Shelby 07:59

yes, it's very nice. Yeah, I mean, aside from like, sending home email saying, Yeah, I

Lance Foulis 08:03

literally thought about that, after I sent said that. And I'm like, Well, no, there's probably some

disciplinary issues. But high school, there's probably some discipline that needs to happen. So

let's talk a little bit about because I mean, from my perspective, you are so fresh out of college,

that it's I feel like for you is probably at least somewhat hard to know and get your bearings

around all that like now you can look back and be like, Yeah, I wasn't happy, I maybe I should

have made my move sooner. And maybe I didn't have to deal with all that stuff that I dealt

with. So do you think that's a consequence of Okay, everybody, thank you. Always fun when we

have these little like interesting cuts, but I had a phone call from my mechanic, and I needed to

take it because I need you to see how much the bad news was. So life happens. Life happens.

Exactly. Right. So what I was asking you Shelby was essentially, when you win, this was one of

your first jobs that you started, right? Yes. So I wanted to find out from you what your

perspective was on. I'm trying to remember how many years you were there before you left?

Was it like three, four? I was there like a little over four. So a little over four years. So you think

about I mean, that's when you're coming out of college things are just like in four year batches,

because high school before your batch College is a four year batch. So do you think that maybe

if you if it hadn't been your first job, you might have figured out quicker that it wasn't a good


Shelby 09:27

I think so. I think I had a lot of pressure on myself as well. Yes. Just to make it work. I had never

really experienced true failure at something and not not succeeding. Yeah, you know, and

Lance Foulis 09:44

that was hard every day was basically like on some level a struggle. Oh, to not lose my mind.

Yeah, yes, it is. And to be successful what we were doing Yes, yeah. Every day was like a battle

in that sense.



Shelby 09:57

Yeah. And this was before like I was there about Before all of the reorg started, right that the

multitude of reorg were at my tail end is when those reorg started happening. So, you know,

we kind of had all of those different deliverables that we had to do that were eventually kind of

pushed off to other people. And we had just a core group of deliverables.

Lance Foulis 10:21

Yeah, so to kind of describe that to people. So in our role, we were like, we were managing

marketing projects, which that that's kind of a very loose definition to get more nitty gritty into,

I think a better explanation is like, we were like the gatekeepers to a lot of different things. And

it was our job to work with so many different people across the organization to make sure

things happen. So we had to be subject matter experts across across a very wide variety of

things. So anyway, let's talk some more of just about like that experience for you. So every

single I mean, we were all in that like, right, every single day coming in, the challenges are

really high, the pressure is really high, you have a date that you pretty much have to meet, you

can't miss any of these dates. When you do you get to have Crucial Conversations. So check

mail date, hashtag mail dates. So talk, talk, just talk a little bit about maybe your journey of,

you know, four years you're doing this thing, the people are great. The job is the way that the

job is, how did you get to the point where you understood, this isn't for me, and to make that

courageous decision to?

Shelby 11:31

Yeah, so I think it's also really important to understand that that point in my life was also a very

big turning point into adulthood, you know, coming right out of college. When I took that job, I

was, you know, 23 Yeah. And so still, in retrospect, now, 10 years later. 23 is really young. You

know, when I when I was in that spot, I was like, you know, I'm gonna know what's ups. I'm

brown. I know what I'm doing. I got this. And in reality, that was not the case at all. But I was

handed a one I considered a good title with a good salary, you know, we were looking for Yeah,

we were well compensated. And yeah. You know, I felt like if I couldn't make this work, then I

was failing at life. Period. Yeah. Period. And because also, if you remember, a lot of the people

that I went to college with, also had jobs there. It was different department. It was

Lance Foulis 12:27

an Oh, you haven like people like we really came out. Oh, you and my Oh, my ammo of Ohio.

Those were like the two big ones. I think. I don't think we recruit that in the same way anymore.

But yes, back then. Yeah. No, you folks. Yes. Can you talk about the comparison factor? What

do you mean? So? You're see that's that's the thing. I don't I think that's really important to

notice. Or to note. You mean comparing yourself to the fact that yeah, you went to college and

most people now you're in the professional sector with a bunch of people and there's no end

right? There's no spring breaks. There's no the quarters over. So



Shelby 13:02

glad that you brought that up. Because that I've I realized about myself is I am a person who

works in increments in life in general. So I always knew that about myself in terms of like

working out, right. If I was going for a run, not a runner. I hate to write terrible. I don't know

how people do it or why you do it. Yeah, Harrison. Right. Eric, come on our friend

Lance Foulis 13:22

Aaron that we used to work with her and her husband loved to run. Do they run in like

blizzards? Yeah. And we would always scratch her heads at that a little bit. Anyway,

Shelby 13:30

I mean, they love it. And that's good. Love that journey for them. Not mine. Not my journey. But

when I go for a run, I always have to tell myself, Okay, I just need to make it from here to the

stop sign. Hmm. Right. And then I get to the stop sign like Okay, from here to the yellow car.

Yeah. Or one more block around the track. Yep. So I have to give myself these increments to

know that I have reached my goal. Yeah. And if it is a very short term goal. Yeah. And there

was no end in sight. Like you said, there was no end. It was just everyday rolling over. And your

end in sight was retirement like 35 years down the road. And that was a very dark hole to look

down for me.

Lance Foulis 14:06

Yeah, that oh, that's an abyss to look at. Yeah.

Shelby 14:09

So I learned about myself that, like with education that you just realized you have no more


Lance Foulis 14:16

correct? Well, I was tea, like looked into my mug and like, Yep, it's

Shelby 14:19

peered on its face. True. So I realized that in education, you have those increments, you know, I

have to make it from here until Christmas break and then I get you know, some time to

decompress. And then I need to make it from here to spring break and then spring break to the

summer and then I get to start all over again. I get to look back and say okay, this didn't work

last year. What did I like that worked? What did I like that didn't work? You know, what can I





tweak and then move forward? fresh, new faces, new people? Yeah. You know, new minds to

mold. Yeah, all that kind of stuff. So it is very increment driven in education. And that works for

me. Yeah. So At that point in time, there was no end in sight. And that was really hard for me to

kind of get through. And there was this constant comparison, which I also think is part of a

maturity thing. Yeah, I was in that, in that age where everyone else is doing it, everyone else is

winning, I have to do it and when to and so, and these are people that I was close to in college,

not just random people that went to the same university as me, but people that I spent time

with in college I was friends with. So there's that wanting to save face not wanting to, you

know, be the one who boughs out kind of situation,

Lance Foulis 15:35

which is really hard to your point at 23. Because you just you don't know what you don't know.

And it just would be so hard. Like, I mean, I can just I can totally just picture that see that in my

if that would if that had been my experience. Just Oh, everybody else seems to be doing great.

What's why? Why can't I? Why can't I? Right? And that being just a question in your face, right

would be exhausting? Yes.

Shelby 16:01

So I think also, like different teams were functioning differently 100% You know, depending on

who you had, in your upper levels, and who I had in my upper levels that were kind of helping

me manage really dictated my success. You know, Laura getting's was one of those people that

was super inspirational to me and very supportive for me and supportive of me during a time

that it was really difficult for me and so with her support, and guidance, I kind of made it

through a rough patch. Right. And that's when I was promoted to senior. Yep, at that point,

which was kind of the next Yeah,

Lance Foulis 16:40

cuz remember, there was so funny, you bring that up, and that instantly brings back memories

that you just brought up like the, the pressure, there was like, an unwell I don't want to even

say unspoken, but there was definitely a pressure to get to senior. And there was like a, like,

you kind of expected to be able to get there within a year, take a couple months. And if he had

didn't, it was kind of like why

Shelby 17:05

well and not to mention that when I first started everybody in program management had told

me and this was like a direct quote from multiple people. If you can make it in program

management for a year you can make it anywhere

Lance Foulis 17:15

that was like well known across the company.



Shelby 17:17

I mean in across other companies like they were basically like if you can make it at this

company here in this specific role, then you can do you know, you can conquer world peace.

Yes. I mean, that's that was a well known fact. So it was to add that added pressure and then to

know that it was something of a feat in itself. Yes, it just conquer the role. But yes, it was you

want to make it to senior you want to get the laptop.

Lance Foulis 17:44

We talked about that with Natalie's like that way back, then having a laptop was a definite

mark of success. For sure in there. Because there was there were a couple seniors I didn't even

remember that that did have laptops and basically meant that you were good to travel. Cuz you

remember back then we did. We didn't do traveling. Yeah, on site audits and reissues. We

would go to the processor and audit things. And that was a mark. Especially like the first time

that you did it. Like that was like, Oh, you've got your own merit badge now. Yep. Yeah.

Shelby 18:18

So yeah, with with some some good management in place, at that point in time, I was able to

kind of make it through, learn what I was doing, get my bearings, people that came in and saw

that things. The way that we had been doing them weren't working, and kind of making some

adjustments for us was huge. Yeah. Because I got one client, specifically. And Steve, do you

receive? Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. So Steve, was my manager at that point? That's right. For a very

short period of time, but he handed me this plan. And he said, This is going to be just, you

know, collateral maintenance is what he said, no big deal. You're just going to send in a

collateral order for new issues. Once a month, like no big deal. Yeah. And we had expected to

have 4000 new accounts that first month. And so we only bought enough collateral to issue you

know, four or 5000. Give or take, and we turned around the next month, and we had 40,000

new accounts. Yep. 10 times what we were supposed to have, and we had no collateral. Yep.

And it was like a four week turnaround for credit cards to be made, which is fast, right?

Lance Foulis 19:28

In today's terms, that's a very fast turnaround for was for it was usually like four to eight

weeks. Okay, I was gonna say that was my point. It got up to like, 12 Yes, there was a supply

chain issue and it got to like 12 to 14.

Shelby 19:41

Yeah, so that became a very stressful client. For me very, very quickly. And it was supposed to

be like my easy peasy.




Lance Foulis 19:48

Yeah. And then it just becomes this monster. And there's it's really hard to pivot. That's a fancy

fancy buzzword. It's, it's it's really hard to pivot because you're saying This client? Well, you can

try saying this client is actually really, really, really difficult. And but there's this history. No, it's

not. No, it's all all you have to do is just this little bit. I'm telling you, it's drowning me. Oh, you'll

be okay. Yeah.

Shelby 20:15

Yeah. So I mean, there were a lot of things that I think not necessarily were like already against

me, but things that made it a little bit more difficult for me to acclimate to the position itself.

When I first came in, you know, after about two years, I felt confident, okay, I know what I'm

doing. I can do this. And I think that's really when I started to find myself as a human being and

an adult. And you know, what I wanted I liked and I didn't like, that was when my husband and I

really started taking things a little bit further in our relationship. We got engaged. And it was

right before I decided to leave that role that we got married, right. And so God bless my

husband, he loves me so much. We got married. I locked it down. And then two days later, I

quit my job. I made sure I had that locked down.

Lance Foulis 21:13

Yeah. Yes, by the way, PS,

Shelby 21:17

I no longer have income. So I mean, that was a challenging time in life in itself. And I actually

stayed for three weeks after I give a you know, two weeks notice. But I stayed for three, three

weeks. And I really worked super, super hard during those three weeks. To pass Michael, the


Lance Foulis 21:36

Yeah, that was your book of business. Yeah, in a really good way, a really good way. You were

really, you were really focused on making sure that you set someone else up for success. Yes,

that was a big deal.

Shelby 21:48

It was a huge deal for me, because I knew what it was like to just be past something that was

nothing when you first started. And the clients that I was passing on, were ones that were

active every month with multiple programs, they were running, and very specific, intricate, you

know, idiosyncrasies that they wanted, specifically for that client. So I wanted to make sure




that whoever was getting those clients was prepared in what they do every month. And so I

worked really hard in those three weeks. And I remember the day that I left, you all walked me

out to my car, Natalie, you Erin, Jen, Ryan, all walked me out to my car, and I was sobbing.

Lance Foulis 22:28

Oh, it was it was hard. Because we were all so tight. As like we went makes me choke up now

thinking about it. You know, we went through like, because we all like struggled in all of our

ways that we struggled with all the clients that we were supporting. And we all like went

through growing pains together. We went we did lunches together, we we vented together, we

talked about how we were struggling in our we were close with each other like we would go

out, you know, you, myself and our significant others would all get together occasionally. And

like have a good time. Like we'd go that do happy hours. So it wasn't just like coworkers. It was

like we were friends. We were besties we were work besties Yeah. And so like, yeah, I

remember walking you out and like it felt like a shot to the gut. To all of us.

Shelby 23:12

It felt like a real, goodbye. Yeah. And you know, going from every day, okay, we're in this

together, at least I have these people to help me through to really be like, Okay, I'm on my

own. And I have no idea what I'm going to do next. And all of these people are not going to be

right there. Yeah, you know, a cubicle over.

Lance Foulis 23:32

So yeah, let's Well, I mean, let's talk about that. Because I don't even think I knew that you

didn't know that you were gonna go back to school at this point. Oh, no, it was like a clean

break. You just knew I knew this wasn't for me. Yeah. And you're in a huge life transition. You