Last week, I received an unexpected email from my boss. She’s been in Florida since Global Dressage Festival ended prematurely. She emailed me to tell me she was flying to Oklahoma and wanted to meet. She also mentioned the store’s general manager was no longer with the company. I was shocked- the manager was my boss’s brother and had held the position for a decade. He was not a good manager, but was so entrenched that my coworkers and I assumed he’d never leave.

When I met with my boss, she informed me that she wanted me to oversee day-to-day management of the store. While I originally planned on leaving my job at the end of the year when I graduated with my finance degree, I decided to accept her offer. I love my job- it’s flexible, I wear breeches to the office, my coworkers are great. I’m a horse person who gets to talk to horse people about horse stuff all day long. Plus, who knows what the job landscape will look like in December? I graduated in 2008 and couldn’t find a job in my field. I ended up at a cell phone carrier’s call center and it sucked. My prospects are likely better this time- after all, people have an idea of what finance is- but I figure I might as well stay in a steady job that I enjoy.

I’m both excited and overwhelmed. Sales are (understandably) down, and the horse show landscape looks very different. Customers’ employment situations are uncertain and they’re reluctant to spend on non-essentials. There’s also a lot of things to sort out at the store itself: supply chain problems, bookkeeping inaccuracies, new cleanliness protocols.

I’m an optimist, though. I have so many ideas for increasing brick and mortar sales, revamping the website, implementing more efficient internal procedures! I know this business well and have a great team of coworkers. My boss is super. Johnny is, as always, unfailingly supportive. And I’ll get to put all those business school classes to use!