Who am I? My name is De’Andrea Jackson I reside in Concord NC which has been my home state my entire life. After my 17 year union to the father of my 4 beautiful children, I found myself starting life all over again. Stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever to walk in the fullness of my gifts, talents and passions to pursue my dreams. I discovered early in life that I had a passion for people. I was never one who desired to become a social worker or psychologist so after obtaining a degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte the laboratory and corporate scenery simply weren’t it for me. So I took a job at one of the Nations largest banks in their telecom support division. It was there that I began to better understand my training skill set. The bank was in the middle of some major mergers and needed a smooth system to create cohesiveness among all the new partners. My supervisor looked at me and said, “Dee, you already train people in the office and over the phone, can you create a manual and get all these banks acclimated to our system and the way we do business?” I enjoyed the opportunity but after the birth of my third child, opted to take some additional time away from the work environment.
Then one day I heard the call to TEACH! I distinctly recall it being the voice of God but he wasn’t more specific in which arena I was to pursue. So I began my journey in the classroom. High School Science, everything from Earth to Chemistry, Physical and Forensics. I loved the students, I loved empowering them but the bureaucratic bull was too much. My husband at the time would say “Are you ever going to be finished working?” as my days were at school from 6:45 am to often times 5:00 pm then I would come home and prepare lessons or grade papers. It was consuming me because my students were 1 to 4 years from the threshold of graduation and they weren’t ready. I was laid off in my fourth year along with 675 other colleagues. It was devastating, discouraging and frustrating. I was great at what I did, hard, but great. My assistant principal pulled me aside the day after the pink slips were given out throughout the district and simply said, “Jackson, you cared too much about the kids. And she (the principal from hell) didn’t like that. She wants a 100 percent graduation rate”. I was floored and insulted that any educator would place their own personal gain over the growth and development of over 400 students who we were sending into the world unprepared, unaware and unlearned.
Several years passed with working from one company to another. I landed in a management role in the retail industry and it was easy for me. I could sell you the outfit you were already wearing and add an additional $1000 to the price tag and you left happy and excited to come back and shop with me again. But it was RETAIL< days, nights weekends and holidays. When you have teenage children at home unattended, that is not always the best recipe. One of my first time clients was so impressed with my ability to sell her into jackets, scarves and heels (which she never wore) as she handed me her credit card for her $1873 purchase, “I need you to come work for me,” she said with a huge grin. After meeting with her over lunch and finalizing the details I shifted from clothing retail to fitness retail. I was now managing the 10,000 membership club Guest Relations which included Sales. The members were great, the atmosphere was positive, the hours were meeting my needs with only one weekend commitment per month. As I engaged with the members people started inquiring, “Why aren’t you a motivational speaker?”, “You should be coaching people, you really know how to connect with people,”. These were not statements I had never heard before, it was becoming a recurring theme, but more profoundly obvious. Ten months into our romance the lines shifted, my boss became blatantly deceitful and dishonest with her business practices. It didn’t take me long to realize I was dealing with a Jezebel spirit. We will discuss this in one of my blogs in greater detail.
So my transition began again and I landed in the automotive industry as a coach and account manager. Now I was really in my element, guiding people to creating success in their business. The money was good and as a top seller in the company my bonuses were sometimes larger than my regular salary, which made it GREAT! My work life balance was finally coming together. No more late nights, no weekends and plenty of time to travel and enjoy my kids. My co-workers would over hear a conversation with my clients and ask “How do you do that? If I said that they would throw a fit,”. “Girl, you’re in the wrong business. You need to do your own thing, I think you’d be great at professional coaching”. On October 4, 2016 I went into work, gave my 110% as I had always done only to have three team leaders take me in a room at 5:23 pm and tell me “We’re sorry but today is your last day with the company,” – in shock, angry and frustrated. I went to my desk, took my time packing up my personal items, yelled “goodbye” to my colleagues who were already heading for the parking lot unaware that they would not see me return the following morning.
So why did I just give you a synopsis of my work history? Well because in the coming blogs you will begin to see and realize that it took this journey of ups and downs in my professional career to finally come to a clear understanding of my purpose. When you want to know what you are “called” to do and you are slow in stepping out on faith to do it, you may just discover that all the doors close until you unlock the one created just for you. I have a very strong motto that you will see illustrated in my blogs as we share “Nothing that you go through in this life is about you. It’s about the next person that you will be able to help get through a similar situation.”
I am prepared to embark on this journey with you with compassion, enlightenment, understanding and love. Are you ready to LIVE UR JOURNEY?