Before reading any further, pause for a moment and reflect on your career, regardless of your age or your job title. Reminisce about opportunities that were afforded to you, both past and present. Consider equally decisions you made with the excitement of future promise and compare those made with uncertainty and regret. What, if anything, would you alter? If it were possible, would you remove the struggles that shaped your life? Would you exchange a few days of disappointment for years of uninterrupted triumph?
While these notions are, perhaps, tempting, here is the truth: The events that distress us also define us. Achieving happiness in all things is a result of accepting the good, the bad and the ugly of the journey that led to that point. If this has not happened for you yet, be patient: It will.
“Lord, I’m available to you; use me Lord,” said Rhonda Keyes Pleasants, who credits the mantra as a guiding principle in her life and career.
“It’s a reminder that ultimately this is not about me but how God uses my life for His glory,” she explained.
The youngest child of Shirley Jean Moore Keyes and the late Robert Lee Keyes, Pleasants was born in Washington, D.C., on May 30, 1964. She attended Virginia Beach City Public Schools before obtaining a Bachelor of Science in office automation management from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1988.
Shortly after graduating, Pleasants married her longtime friend, Charles.
“I was 24, recently finished with college and a newlywed. My initial career plan was to work in business. I was on track to manage medical practices, specifically those specializing in physical therapy,” Pleasants recalled.
However, it was a fortuitous encounter in 1996 while employed at Kinko’s that transformed her professional trajectory.
“A customer came in to have memorial programs printed and was impressed with how I managed the store and the way I helped guide him through the ordering process,” she remembered.
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