Share a Coke with Dixie Delights

What I’m about to share with y’all is the scariest thing I’ve written in the seven years and 2,370 posts I’ve completed since I started Dixie Delights.

Today is my 19th anniversary as an employee of The Coca-Cola Company, and today is my last day.  Deep breath.

I have known this day was coming since mid-March and believe me when I tell you that I’ve run the full gamut of emotions in that time.  I’ve felt overcome with joy, only to find myself incredibly fearful of what the future holds the next minute.  I’ve felt so immensely proud of my 19 years at the company I love most in the world, and also like a complete failure that I will no longer have a role there.  I’ve felt so excited for the opportunities that lie ahead, and then wonder how I will even know myself without Coke.

I started at Coke when I was a senior at Georgia Tech and it has been a significant part of my life, for almost half my life.  I was only 22 years old when I started in 1998 and its the only job I’ve ever had.  Not to mention, I truly love The Coca-Cola Company.  You may recall the story of how I came to work there

I will never forget the day that Daddy-O said goodbye to me on the stoop of Cloudman dorm at Georgia Tech.  I acted brave and he did too.  (But I’m certain we were both terrified.)  The last thing he said before getting the car and leaving me for the first time in my life was “Work very hard and do your best.  And maybe, just maybe, one day you could get a job right across the street.”  If you are familiar with Georgia Tech or Atlanta, you will know that place he spoke of was the world headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company.  That moment stuck with me for four and half grueling years.  (It was fun but it was super hard.)  And, in the middle of my senior year, my best Sigma Nu friend and Coca-Cola intern (now VP) called me up and said his group needed another intern.  To be honest, I really wasn’t interested in adding a job to my plate, but I’d grown up loving Coca-Cola more than any brand in the world, so I went for it…and got it!  It was with tears in my eyes that I called up Daddy-O and said “You’ll never believe what happened.  (I’m sure he immediately panicked based on all the other calls he received that started with that line.)  Remember how you told me that if I worked really hard I might be able to get that job across the street?  Weeellllll…. I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I got a job at Coke!!!!!!!”

So, you can probably imagine how hard it was to tell Daddy-O that I lost that job at Coke 19 years later.  As many of you know, after working full time for eight years I worked in a job share arrangement for the last eleven years.  It was one of the most incredible, luckiest things that has ever happened to me, affording me the opportunity to do it all – build a career and be a mommy.  The two things I always wanted to do.  I never took a day of my work arrangement for granted.  But sadly, when my job share partner took a new job in mid-March my role was eliminated, effective today.  (Although my last day in the office was yesterday.)

Today I feel a bit nervous for what the future holds, but also optimistic about the path forward.  I’ve always heard that when one door closes another door opens.  And, I realized that in the last seven years I have unknowingly and unintentionally been opening a lot of small doors for myself through Dixie Delights.

In the immediate term I am going to march forward with the blog, taking advantage of the opportunity to try and “make it” on my own.  Honey has been so incredibly supportive of this that more often than ever I am wondering how I got so lucky.  I have a few potential contract jobs on the table and one big thing I really want but don’t have much of a chance at getting (I know that’s vague but say a little prayer).

I want you all to know that your love, support, following, comments, emails and interaction have been paramount in getting me where I am today both personally and professionally.  And for that I am immensely grateful <3

With that, I invite you today to share a coke with Dixie Delights!

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Hop on over to Share a Coke for your own personalize bottle!

DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED

47 thoughts on “Share a Coke with Dixie Delights

  1. Amanda, I know that mix of emotions well. What big changes! I also know that things happen as they’re meant to, and I can’t wait to see where this knew opportunity takes you! How exciting! I will continue to lift you in prayer for peace (and a special prayer for the one you’re hoping for). 💕 xoxo

  2. Oh Amanda!

    I’ve been thinking about you knowing this day was fast approaching.

    I know that God has something even more amazing in store for you with your next adventure. His timing will be perfect. Stay close to him and his word.

    Enjoy your Summer with your boys and hold strong to your faith that your wonderful talents will be blessed.

    You should be incredibly proud of all you’ve accomplished, not only with your career at Coke but as an amazing Wife, Mother, sister and friend.

    Betsy Gordon
    West of the Square Designs

  3. Would it help you to know that someone else is having a similar experience? I have been sharing a fabulous teaching position with a great partner for the past three years, but as the school year comes to a close – my perfect arrangement is coming to a natural end. As it was always her job to share, my partner is ready to take over full time next year. Like you, I have known this for a while, but it’s hard to see it come to an end! I am so happy for my partner. She has had more time with her young children and I have been more available to my own middle schoolers – so we have had the best of both worlds for 3 awesome years. I love the school and really believe in it’s mission, so it is hard to move on. I share your optimism for the future, your fear over the changes to come, and the wistfulness of letting go. Here’s hoping for the very best in the future! Thank you for sharing your circumstances, I am encouraged and I want to encourage you to have a hopeful expectation going forward.

  4. It’s such a challenge when those new doors open!!! Best of luck in all your new adventures. I will say a prayer that you get that contract job.

  5. Following along on your journey is one of my favorite things…and I am sure that big things will happen for you!! Prayers for what lies ahead!

    XOXO
    Beth

  6. Best of luck with this next phase in your life. Given how hard you work and how talented you are I suspect you’ll look back and recognize that the hand of the Master had an even better door awaiting you!

  7. I truly believe this is a blessing in disguise Amanda. Enjoy the summer off with your boys & plan big! I have no doubt amazing things are around the corner for you.

    Hugs & Lots of ❤️
    Amelia

  8. 19 years at one job! That is an accomplishment!! Prayers for your future. I hope you find the perfect job for you! Please keep on blogging, I enjoy your blog so much!

  9. I know it must be scary to leave something you loved, but trust me as an older lady (56), that one door closing and another one opening is true. The key is not look back too much other than for the purpose of being grateful for the 19 years you had doing a fabulous job of promoting Coke. Look forward with anticipation and take some time to slowly move into the new role. When I retired from teaching, I knew I was ready, but it was also hard, because that had defined me. It took some time, but now I look forward to what the future holds although it may be very different. Actually, I’m just wanting some grandchildren:)
    Good luck, Amanda. Can’t wait to see what you do with the blog.

  10. These types of moments in life are so scary. Your post described the feelings perfectly. Leaving behind the old and leaping to the next phase can be terrifying mid jump, but, oh so exhilarating once you are on the other side. I just love your blog and see big things ahead for you!

  11. Yes, when God closes a door, He opens another. Those are definitely words that have gotten me through the times where I don’t know what’s next. You next adventure will be amazing.
    Amy

  12. Life is a roller coaster, isn’t it? You are such a talented individual I have no doubts that new doors will be opening all around you. I’ll pray for peace in your heart during this transition.

  13. I absolutely love your blog but don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I have to tell you how much your blog stands out because of your obvious intelligence, positive attitude, grateful spirit and fun- but always ladylike- “voice”. I also love how much you love and appreciate your family. Coke’s loss is someone else’s great gain. I’m really feeling for you today but will pray that this end turns out to be a wonderful new beginning for you and your family.

  14. Making a job change is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do especially when you truly believe in the culture of a company and the product. But the brand and expertise you have build with Dixie Delights is by far one of the top blogs that I read…and I read a lot! Check out the blog…https://justagirlandherblog.com/ This blogger built her brand to support her entire family when her husband lost his job and their only income was from her blogging….gulp! She has tips and info that would help any beginning blogger but also someone so accomplished as yourself. Thanks for being so transparent and sharing what has to be a difficult time~prayers for your entire family…and I bet Daddy-O is already thinking how proud he is of ALL you have accomplished….not just being hired by Coke!

  15. Congrats on 19 years doing a job you love, that is a great accomplishment!! I can’t wait to see what you do next, you are an inspiration to me being a working Mom. I see so many blogs (that I love) of Mom’s who don’t work outside of the home, seeing all the great things you do with the boys, Honey and your decor while working makes me strive to be better & feel like I can do it too. Good luck with whatever comes next, I know it will be fabulous!!

  16. Sending prayers and hopes for everything you want and need. Everytime I see a Coke product or advertisement, I think of you! Enjoy your summer. And like everyone else said, keep on blogging …. you have an authentic voice, a lovely style of writing, and you keep it all real, which is so nice to read. Lots of love and hugs!

  17. Amanda, you will be so great at whatever comes next! I’m so sorry to hear that Coke wasn’t able to work with you on an alternative, but it was a wonderful opportunity to continue working at a company you value while also being able to take the time for your family. As others have said, enjoy this summer; your next adventure is waiting for you out there somewhere! We’re all rooting for you.

  18. Sweet girl. Sending up a prayer for you today. It must be so bittersweet. But, you are so right. When God closes one door/chapter in your life it’s because He has something bigger or more importantly something He’s already hand picked for you to do. He’s already gone before you and prepared the way. So while scary, just know He is already at the finish line cheering you on!!! Much love. Enjoy your weekend with a Coke my dear.

  19. My prayer for you is that you look back in another 19 years and realize that this was one the best things that ever happened to you. That this will be the catalyst to propel you in to the future you were meant for. I know there are great things in store for you.

  20. Amanda,
    I’ve been reading you for years and love your sense of style and devotion to family. I am in a similar boat. Having had the great opportunity to work in the Government contracting world, part time, from home for the last 17 years, I’m currently on furlough and will probably have my job eliminated. I’m trying to take my 90 day furlough to figure out the next act. Good luck, God speed and always have a Cole and a smile.

  21. Amanda,
    I have been in your shoes so I know the mix of emotions you are feeling now. I worked at a bank for over 17 years before we were bought out and I lost my job as a result. While it was sad to leave behind so many wonderful co-workers who had become like family it also gave me a chance to pursue other exciting opportunities.

    Fortunately, I didn’t stay unemployed long before I had other offers and actually I was much happier in my new job so it worked out well. You are such a talented and smart women who I know will succeed in anything you decide to pursue! I really always thought you missed your calling by not doing something in the party planning field. However, whatever career choice you make I know you will do well at it. Best of luck as you began this new chapter of your life!

  22. Remember, God is holding you in His hands as he shows you the path to the future. Life is a wonderful, scary journey. Hang on and enjoy the ride :)

  23. Oh Amanda! It is hard adjusting to a new normal and after so many years! And to not know exactly what lies ahead…can be exhilarating and scary at the same time. Keep the faith that this is all part of His plan for you. Amazing things are in your future.
    Enjoy your summer with your sweet boys and take peace knowing it will all fall into place.

    Hugs!
    Heather

  24. Congratulations on nineteen wonderful years with a company you love. Embrace what a blessing you have had that most people will never experience. Do not fear, Amanda. You have a very strong support system, full of wise people, and a beautiful, happy life. Your talents and intelligence will take you wherever you want to go. So….

    Climb every mountain
    Search high and low
    Follow every byway
    Every path you know

    Climb every mountain
    Ford every stream
    Follow every rainbow
    ‘Til you find your dream

  25. Scary and exciting all at once. I know you’re gonna rock whatever you do. Disney here you come! Or would you prefer Lily? All you have to do is BELIEVE!

    God bless you always!

  26. I have no doubt that you will move on to amazing things, as you are very talented with what you do here at your blog! We are all here to give you support and encouragement along the way!!

  27. I’ve been reading your blog for several years now, and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for inspiring me to take a big scary career leap today. I find it somewhat serendipitous that, literally just a couple of hours ago, I accepted my dream job. I’ve also spent the last 18 years marketing CPG brands (including your largest competitor…which was painful considering I’m a Coke girl myself;). My role was eliminated back in August. And yes, it was a painful jolt of unwelcomed change in my life. I had a great career, but it came at a great expense to my family and my overall quality of life. What I have to thank YOU for is sharing your experience with Coke working in a job share arrangement while being a full time mom and developing your own business. Because you took the time, and put your personal experience out there, you unknowingly planted a little seed in my heart that I couldn’t shake. You allowed me to visualize what my ideal work/life balance situation could look like – and dare to dream that it could be a reality. To believe that it was OK to deviate from that career ladder I was so intent on climbing. There aren’t many companies out there willing to let people work under such flexible terms, but with what you so openly shared about your arrangement, I knew it could be done. It has taken 9 months, but I have finally landed in role with a large research firm (I have a brand marketing background so it’s similar yet totally different if you know what I mean) where I’m able to use and grow my skills in consumer insight, but I’ll be working part time from home – and traveling WAAAAAAY less. It took a lot of patience and trust that God knew and understand my heart’s desires. I had to trust that He had a better plan for me. I know without a doubt that He made sure that one door was firmly closed so I had no excuses or fears left to prevent me from finding the right door to open next. You aren’t the same person who took that dream job with Coke 19 years ago, so it’s OK to allow yourself to pivot on over to a new career path. In prayer of gratitude for you, I pray for your heart to be filled with patience and peace as you pursue your next opportunity. I pray that all the positive energy and light that you have sent out into the universe (or at least the world wide web;) will shine back on you and lift you up during uncertain times. I’m so excited to see how your next chapter unfolds!

  28. Amanda,
    I feel the bumpy and unknown roads are the ones we learn the most. God is veering you into a new direction. Take a breathe and know that our dear Jesus is right by your side. You will go far!!!

  29. Amanda,
    I have followed your blog for years and was tickled pink when you first posted that you worked for Coke. We certainly have given them our business. When my youngest now 23 was in first grade he had to give a presentation about a product. He chose Coca Cola – the red pop as he always called it because it came in a red can. He would ask for red pop in restaurants – they thought he was requesting cherry coke:) We have so many fun memories with Stephen and his talk, wanting to tell others, etc. all about Coke but certainly not the memories you have.

    As someone old enough to be your mom, here is what I do know for certain. You are a bright, hard working woman who presents herself always in a very professional manner.
    This opportunity going away for you allows you to open your eyes to bigger and more creative things. It may not feel like it today but I truly believe you will find a job to fulfill the passion you had for Coca Cola. They have been blessed to have you for 19 years.

    If you can afford it, take some time off during this transition. Enjoy that beautiful family of yours and soul search what’s next. I’m looking forward to reading all about what that will be.

  30. I can imagine the mix of emotions you must feel now but you are right, another door will open and this blog of yours is already a huge accomplishment. You have success written all over you, girl! You have nothing to worry about! Cheers to the new chapter in your life!
    xo
    Shelley

  31. Dear Amanda,
    You precious angel, you will survive this and be even better for it. Enjoy yourself this summer…(the first one you have had since forever) and do whatever you want to do……….even if it is nothing! Let this be the summer of sleeping late, eating French fries for breakfast, and going to the pool (remember what I told you that Vikki and I used to do in the summer?). I can think of many times when I thought that the most horrible thing happened related to my career, only to find that one year later, I thanked God and the lucky stars for what happened next! (And I would like to give the nameless person at KO who determined that job-sharing be eliminated a piece of my mind….even though I KNOW that you will be better off from this event and like me you will actually be thanking your lucky stars that things turned out the way they did!!!)
    Bless you, Marme

  32. I’m know in a years time you’re gonna remember Coke as the best first job ever but nothing compared to your own business with your own schedule. Possibly a travel agent for Disney! Combining your two loves of travel and Disney. Looking forward to seeing what the future has in store fore you. Have fun on a summer adventures with your boys.

  33. Great things are in store for you Amanda. Trust in the Lord and you will be amazed what will happen in your job search. Will be excited to hear of your future plans! Have a wonderful summer with your sweet family.

  34. You have nothing to fear! You are so personable and talented in so many ways. I know opportunities will be knocking at your door! Take time to relax, enjoy your summer and the boys. I went on my own with my 10 yr old boy was born and have done various contract projects and have loved setting my hours and controlling my workload. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you and know it will only be great things. Pray about it and God will lead you. Best of luck!❤🍀

  35. After 19 years, I imagine you’re on quite the roller coaster. I don’t even know you, yet I know things will work out just as they should. You have one of, if not the most well written, truthful, sincere blogs out there, full of interesting, ‘do-able’ and most importantly UNCONTRIVED content. I’ve said before the things you do for your kids I’d copy in a heartbeat if mine weren’t in college! Your style and taste are impeccable. Life isn’t always easy yet you are very blessed and it shines through that you know that. I wish you the best in every opportunity. I can only imagine where you could take this blog if you had more time for it!!!! xoxox

  36. You have been on my mind so much! I can’t imagine all the emotions involved, but I feel certain God has BIG things planned for you, and all this will lead you right where He wants you to be. <3

  37. Oh my, I feel for you, I literally held my breath reading this…… I went through something similar last year, and the saying is so right, when one door closes another definitely does open, and everything happens for a reason.

    Everything will be ok and great things are coming your way, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you :)

  38. I’m just catching up on the blog from the past few days and just seeing this. I’m so sorry this happened but I’m so excited for what your future holds. I was in pharmaceutical sales for ten years and was laid off when my son was 13 months old. It was a shock at the time but it was one of the best things to happen to me. Like you said, when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. I pray that you have lots of windows open. I’ll be praying for his guidance for you. In the meantime, you have a huge fan club and your wonderful family behind you. Hugs to you Amanda!

  39. Dear Amanda,
    I have never commented on your blog, as I see a few others who have already reached out to support you have said. I too, was let go from a job that I loved and held for 10 years. It was like a smack in the face and hit me out of nowhere. Today, so many years later, my career has grown for the better. I have two little girls and the job and life that I love. You are exactly right that more doors are opening for you and they will. The times you will need to be brave and trust are when you don’t know what to do with your unscheduled time (but I think you can easily fill it up;) and when what you think is the right job doesn’t come to you right away . Just think of the opportunities and the big open spaces that lie ahead. You are going to land on your feet and I can’t (and so many more) wait to hear how it goes! Enjoy all the Disney and fun summer-time stuff coming your way. Hugs and lots of good luck all the time xoxo

  40. I am thrilled & sad for you at the same time. Nineteen years is a LONG time doing something that you loved, I know your heart aches over this departure! But now, I’m thrilled for you because next up we are going to see the Dixie Delights Travel Club or the Dixie Delights Magazine, or something equally fabulous! There is nothing that you cannot do! Go get after it, friend!

  41. Amanda,

    I can tell there are so many feelings as you leave a company you love, and I’m sending you virtual hugs. I pray you will be sustained with strength and hope during this transition. And I can’t wait to see where you go next. The sky is the limit with your talent and drive!

    Francie (in Nashville : ))

  42. Amanda,

    I’m a longtime follower of your blog. I’m so sorry for your job loss, but I know bigger and better things are in store. Maybe your own Disney travel company or a Lilly Pulitzer + Disney collaboration (you would be the perfect middle person :). Praying for your continued success!!

  43. Amanda, I don’t comment often but read your blog faithfully. I’m so sorry to hear about your job loss! I know you loved working there so much. We had a similar situation happen in our family, and while very scary at times, I think this new chapter will be even better than the last. Stay positive and keep looking forward! It will all work out in the end! Sending you good thoughts!! xo

  44. amanda- you are my favorite blogger! i remember reading the post when you first wrote it about how you got into coca cola! you are so inspiring! i’m sorry about your position–*hugs* what a unique position! ive never heard of a company that would do a job share like that! but i really think you could make a great business with etsy and your blog! or even party planning! you are SOOO creative! i would totally pay you for your fabulous ideas for parties or with all things home and decorating! or even if you could teach me how to dress cute Lol! you’re basically my martha stewart guru for life! i wish i could be more like you! you are always so put together and i always go to your blog for inspiration! we’re all with you and here for you! thank you for sharing with us- i know it must have been hard. absolutely adore your blog and your honesty! your blog will always be my favorite to read! lots of love!!! and cheers to the next adventure!!! :) now time to blast “Survivor” from destiny’s child :) YOU GOT THIS!!! XOXO

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