Two years ago, I was at a crossroads in my career and faced with the dilemma of what to do with my life after my mother had a stroke. I was faced with the choice of continuing to work in the corporate world or to pursue working independently from home and take care of my mom until she was fully recovered.
A year later I followed my heart and left the corporate world. As luck would have it, I landed my first gig as a Social Media Community Manager! In addition, I created a second position for myself as an Independent Sourcer, Researcher and Recruiter working from home. Now my schedule allows me the luxury of spending more time with mom, my family and the people I care about.
As I reflect over the past year, the benefits of staying at home have been many. However there are pros and cons to everything.
I Commute No More! Yay!
The commute was over 120 miles a day in intense traffic. Each day I tried to leave my house before the traffic started to build up and returned home once the traffic died down. Doing this increased the hours of my workday. My commute was at least an hour and half of unproductive time, especially when I was sitting in traffic. Working from home gave me three hours a day back in my life to read, exercise, volunteer and train to be a 5K runner. That was something I would have never thought I would do!
Spending Less Money
You would be surprised how much money I spent when I had a job not to mention filling up the car with a tank of gas twice a week! Today I spend less and save more by not commuting to work or buying business suits, taking clothes to the dry cleaner, or taking clients to lunch, etc.
Exploring New Career Opportunities
Being at home has given me time to reflect and I have learned I have other interests that I would like to explore. Even though I enjoy and love the thrill of the hunt that being a recruiter provides…I would like to step into the health and fitness arena and become a personal trainer. To be able to educate, motivate and help people with their health, weight loss and just feeling good about themselves is something I have become familiar with from my own personal experiences.
I was making a good living as a recruiter, which made it really hard to walk away. Since my departure my income has been cut in half. I had to make adjustments to my spending habits. It was hard at first and very humbling. I believe humility is good for the soul and I am becoming a better person because of it. Humility is teaching me the difference between needs and wants every day.
I’m thankful for the struggles, setbacks, and disappointments that I had to go through to get where I am today. They have made me grow stronger in my faith, closer to my family, and appreciate the friends who encouraged, supported, and stood by me through the not-so-good-days.
Leaving my career to follow my heart was the hardest thing I ever had to do and there is not a day that goes by where I regret the wonderful decision I made. The one piece of advice I can give to others who want to make a change in their life is to ask yourself these two questions: Can you afford to make this change and are you prepared if the unthinkable happens? Life is hard and unexpected, so be prepared for those unexpected times. Life can also be great, as long as you take the time to consider your options, and take care of yourself and those you love.
Before I go I would like to share a quote that I have come to understand and a scripture that a great friend shared that really helped me during my transition.
“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls…are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. They will never be the same again.” James PattersonJohn 15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.