My mind was racing. I wanted to work at Ramsey Solutions. But it would mean selling my home, changing careers after 14 years, and moving my family across the country. I was afraid of change, rejection, failure.
But those fears were lies.
This is how I became a digital product manager at Ramsey Solutions.
In stereotypical “corporate America,” I worked 50- to 60-hour weeks, including weekends and holidays. I led an analytics-based workforce optimization team and a procedure writing/publishing team for the mortgage division of a fortune 500 bank. Before that, I stepped out of an operations team manager role and into an individual contributor analytics consultant role for career development. While my capabilities to provide business value had grown tremendously, I felt empty, experiencing zero personal fulfillment and getting burned out.
The pain of staying the same was approaching the pain of changing.
Santa Claus and Dave Ramsey
2020, the year that shall live in infamy, was no different than previous years for me. I had been a Dave Ramsey fan for years and coordinated several Financial Peace University classes at my church. I often dreamed of working at Ramsey Solutions. But each time, after taking a gander at a few job postings, I was intimidated and hesitant to apply.
That year, my 7-year-old son, Harrison, wrote Santa a letter on a late fall day. After completing it and feeling unsatisfied, he wrote another letter. He addressed it to another highly generous yet slightly more southern man, Dave Ramsey. Harrison opted to share a story of how much he loved Junior’s Adventures and included a few illustrations. Time passed, and I forgot about the letter.
I was distracted. My now-former company was talking about layoffs. Sadly, I had grown accustomed to their regularity. I was fortunate to have been retained numerous times, but I was still anxious.
$10 Million Debt Payoff
During this time, I happened upon a Ramsey Solutions blog article that told the story of Dave paying off the collections debt of 8,000 people, totaling $10 million. Wow. A significant departure from my former company that, around the same time, laid people off “to serve changing business needs.” My heart was softening.
During the preceding two years, I worked with a dear friend and mentor, Erik. He taught me how to be an analytic consultant, and our friendship, along with a few others, is what helped me to “hang in there” for many years. But as Christmas 2020 approached, Erik called me one afternoon to tell me he was leaving the company. I was devastated. I drove home deflated.
When I arrived home and checked the mail, I pulled out a letter from Ramsey Solutions. Its intended recipient was my son, Harrison. We opened the letter together. The letter he had written a few weeks back—well, Dave wrote back! Harrison squealed with excitement! I knew Dave was unique, but responding to a 7-year-old’s letter, that’s truly special. While Harrison ran excitedly around the house with Dave’s letter in hand, I was overwhelmed by emotions, and tears welled up in my eyes.
At that moment, I changed. I was ready to pursue my dream of giving people HOPE by working at Ramsey Solutions.
Get Hired Course
So, I prayed—a lot. I asked God for wisdom and peace, and I took Ken Coleman’s Get Hired course. Ken articulated a concept that resonated with me. People who use their talents and skills to help others achieve the right results will experience success, satisfaction and significance. I was using my talents and skills, but I wasn’t on the mission for which God created me. The lightbulb went off in my head, but it was more like a supernova explosion. I was missing satisfaction and significance for years. My pursuit was no longer a dream but a calling.
I knew getting hired at Ramsey Solutions would be a competitive proposition. So, I committed to sticking with the process as many times and for as long as it would take. Fortunately, this time around, I found a job that suited my talents, skill set and passion—digital product manager. I created a custom resumé and thoughtfully responded to the questions on the job posting forms. I submitted my first application with a mountain of hope and a stomach full of butterflies. “It’s in God’s hands now,” I said.
Days went by, and I didn’t hear anything. I fell asleep each night praying “God is working” over and over until I drifted to sleep. I was overflowing with hope and excitement. I heard the call so clearly, and I was making the challenging decision to answer it! God’s calling had never been so clear to me. Then, I received a decline notification. I was heartbroken, but it felt different—more like a test or a challenge. I decided to keep my word: “As many times and for as long as it would take.”
And I still felt called. So, I prayed, read my Bible, and received encouragement from this verse:
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Then, I happened upon a LinkedIn post from Anna Schmunk. “Interested in learning more about Product at Ramsey? Send me questions!” she offered. We shared a conversation about Product at Ramsey. Then Anna asked, “Will you apply?” To which I told her, embarrassingly, that I already did, and I got declined.
Then something miraculous happened. Anna told me that she would ask a recruiter to call me anyway. It was then that I got introduced to recruiter Ayesha Davis. During my conversation with Ayesha, I got imbued with a jolt of boldness, and I asked Ayesha, “Can I update my resumé for reconsideration?” She said yes, and we were off to the races.
Ramsey Core Value: Family
During the interview process, Ayesha asked me to complete a written project. The trouble was, at that point, I was on vacation in Florida, standing in the middle of Legoland. But it’s what she said next that shocked me: “Say no more. Spend time with your family, and turn the assignment in the following week instead.” I was stunned and relieved.
Ayesha made this decision at a moment’s notice, and later I learned why. At Ramsey Solutions, we have core values. These aren’t aspirational. They’re how we operate! And they’re put into action daily, including by recruiters. One of these core values is family: We balance family with working hard.
When the project and interviews were over, I received an offer for a digital product manager position on the Ramsey Education Team. Nearly speechless and thrilled beyond belief, I accepted! God answers prayer, and I am beyond blessed! Now, I work with a world-class team to create digital products that solve customer problems.
It’s been over six months since my first day. Looking back on my previous roles, I now understand that I was forming and preparing. I learned how to make a difference and get results, maturing. God was equipping me.
During a recent company-wide staff meeting, I spoke on stage, and I provided a few updates on product features—plus a few jokes. The whole Ramsey Solutions Team was listening to me, including Dave. Dave, who sits on stage, is known for his banter, and we bantered a bit. At one point, after I delivered a joke, I looked over at Dave. He was laughing, along with everyone else. For most people, it was a regular staff meeting. But to me, it was a pinnacle moment in my life. When my presentation concluded, and as the audience clapped and I walked down the stairs, I couldn’t help but smile as I was struck by what God can do in 12 short months.
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