- Oct. 24, 2011 -
After working for 12 years with Wachovia as an Operations Analyst, I felt as if my heart stopped when I learned that Wachovia was in financial trouble. Employees learned about Wachovia’s financial issues from the news, not from our top leadership. At the time I felt confident (like many other employees) that Wachovia could survive the banking crisis. After all we had great leadership and we were told repeatedly, that Wachovia was financially sound. That wasn’t the case, and as many of you know now, Wachovia was later acquired by Wells Fargo. As the news of the acquisition spread across the various departments within Wachovia, everyone felt as if a dark veil of uncertainty had just fallen. No one knew what Wells Fargo intended to do with Wachovia, no one knew what cultural or system differences this acquisition would bring. In the following days after the initial acquisition announcement, we were told by the top leadership in Wells Fargo that Wachovia employees should not be afraid, train and retain was going to be the new model. Wachovia employees affected by overlapping business areas could expect to be retrained and placed in a new role. Unfortunately as the US economy sank into a deep recession, train and retain disappeared and Project Compass was enacted. Wells Fargo was now restructuring departments across the footprint, cutting costs and identifying overlapping divisions that could be consolidated. I received my displacement notice on June 1, 2011 when I was told that my position was now being consolidated in a different department. You can only imagine the feeling of shock and numbness when I heard the words “displaced”
. I had very little savings, a family to take care of and no plan “B”. Based on my seniority with Wachovia, I only had 8 months of regular pay as part of my severance package. After that, I would become just another person that would join the ranks of many others displaced and unemployed individuals, victims of the banking crisis. After the initial shock of my displacement, I realized that I was a 34 year old man with no Plan “B” I had never thought nor planned for my displacement. This is when I realized that it was time to reinvent myself, but how? After being displaced, my wife kept on telling me that everyone needs to go back to the basics, that everyone needs to stop keeping up with the Joneses because the Joneses are broke. This is when I realized that it was time for me to truly go back to the basics and do what I really loved. It was then, when I decided to establish Polaris Bookkeeping Services LLC located in Huntersville NC. Our scope was to help small to medium size businesses, maintain their books and help understand their business performance through financial analysis. Our model was to provide true quality customer service and never to treat anyone like a number. While working for a large company, I realized that small business owners usually cannot afford a part-time bookkeeper or a financial analysis. This is when I realized that helping small businesses grow was my new mission and a new path to reinvention. On a shoestring budget and with the help and support of my wife Vickie and my son Brandon, we decided to move forward in our new adventure, providing high quality bookkeeping, financial analysis and budget forecasting to small and medium size businesses. Sometimes we cannot quite figure out why unexpected things happen to us. Being displaced was unthinkable and truly devastating to me, but I realized over time that it was perhaps the best thing that happened in my life. It allowed me to realize what I truly wanted to do, it motivated me to start my own bookkeeping business and help small business owners succeed. To anyone that has found themselves in a similar situation, know that you are not alone. You cannot spend your life with the hope that your company will never fail or that the next quarterly report will not bring job cuts. It is time that America goes back to the basics, back to that original entrepreneurial spirit that made this the greatest country on earth. It is time to realize your dreams and perhaps we should start focusing on how America can reinvent itself vs. focusing on keeping the same status quo.
For additional information on Polaris Bookkeeping please visit us at: http://www.polarisbookkeeping.com