Hello and my apologies for the radio silence. Life is shifting and while I have great and exciting news, I'm still in the throes of transition. It's going to take a few weeks, but we are getting ourselves in a pretty nice new groove over here. I started a new, full time job a couple weeks ago and Laina and I have a pretty regimented Monday through Friday! I thought now is a great time to share my career change story. Perhaps some of you are dreaming a new dream and feel the change is too daunting. Oh, it sure is, but it can certainly be done and I'm so happy I stayed the course. I went from Environmental Scientist to small creative business owner to Social Media & Marketing Manager.
For the past two years, I've been in quite a transition of changing my career. I studied Ecology and Resource Conservation in college and worked in the environmental industry for 15 years - 9 years at my last place of employment. Most of my environmental career was wonderful and satisfying enough. But something was always missing...it never felt like my true passion. I could never say "I love what I do." And that just sucks, doesn't it? But, I chose that path and committed to it and was really okay with it. I have several hobbies that I love, and a full, busy life that I was okay with not loving my 9-5. Let's fast-forward---or, rewind---to February 2017 when I was laid off from said environmental job. As SCARY as it was (um, ya know, a divorce in full swing), I was actually relieved, excited and looking forward to my new life. I knew I wanted to do something completely different, something creative, something that fed my soul. Being laid off was a nice swift kick in the butt to start something I was too afraid to start. And I honestly didn't really know where to start...!
How do you change your career at 37?! Well, 35 at the time. And when you have a child and a house and BIG responsibilities?! One can think "holy crap, what a HUGE step BACK." OR, one can think: "holy crap, that's courageous, YAY for following your passion." It's easy to think and feel like you've taken a step back, but really, life is not linear at all. Don't believe that that life is linear. If you take anything away from this post....let it be that! Life is cyclical, just like the seasons. It's constantly evolving and changing. As it should. Relationships change or shift. Careers change or shift. Where you live. Your community. You never know when or where you are sowing seeds. It's true, when one door closes, another opens. If you don't see said door, look a little harder---or build one! Let's face it, I'm not starting at square one. I'm divorced and maybe a little more wiser. But I loved with all my heart. And still do. I was laid off, but I'm not starting at the back of the line. I'm carrying many years experience - just using those skills differently.
Was I crazy? Sometimes I thought so. Was I being immature? I hope not! Selfish? Hell, no. There was a whole lot of self doubt and fear I was dealing with but at the time, really, really deep inside my heart, I knew the right thing was going to happen. It took a WHILE, but I'm getting there. (Again, thank God for yoga).
Ironically, the day I got laid off, I had three calligraphy inquiries. One of which, the client flew me to New Orleans to do on-site hand lettering at a 3 day conference. I mean, REALLY?! Did that really happen? Yes, it happened! Between my lovely little creative business here at the studio and working alongside my Mom in her studio, I developed a whole new set of skills. (marketing, design, business development, accounting, website design, on and on...) Not to mention....I spent 15 years as an environmental scientist. I did a whole hell of a lot of MANY different things. Skills are transferable.
And I didn't even realize it until a friend looked at my resume and asked why I didn't have anything about The Paperly Studio or my Mom's business on there. Um, duh, whoops. I so wasn't thinking. So I got a little smarter, I think, and made a small investment consulting with a resume writer and completely re-vamped what I was putting out there and what I really wanted to do.
Moving along, I couldn't count how many jobs I applied to and how few interviews I actually got. Some weeks upwards of 20-30 jobs I would apply for. All within the realm of what I was qualified for. I wasn't dreaming, my friends, I was truly being realistic. And every week that went by, I would just tell myself to keep up and it will all work out. All in all, I probably applied for close to 200 jobs and could probably count on 2 hands how many companies called me for an interview....ZING!
There was one job I had my eyes, ears, head and heart set on. Absolutely set on. It was between me and one other candidate! I love the company and their ethic, I had a rapport already developed, I nailed all my interviews. Then 5 or 6 weeks went by and I learned I was not the chosen candidate. It was a BLOW, lemme tell you. A BLOW. After so many weeks of waiting, I was prepared to hear I didn't get the job, but it didn't really lessen the feeling of self-doubt and fear that had set in. So I cried on my mat a few days and forged ahead. At the same time I was interviewing with a real estate team, who also decided they weren't going to hire or several months! UGH!
But I kept that door open. As it turned out, neither of those jobs were meant for me. BUT, I sowed some seeds somewhere along the way. I developed a whole new set of skills along the way. I stayed the course and remained hopeful and trusted the process. I learned how much I love promoting business. Talking to people, helping people....Keeping my little creative business alive, I started working as a Social Media and Marketing Manager for a small real estate team---close to home! I love this job and I'm so happy I was laid off two years ago. Of course, this life change is for ME. BUT, I've got a small set of beautiful blue eyes on me all the time. Watching my every move. What do I want to show her? That I'm unhappy? Complacent? That I have no ambition? Hell no. I want to show her a happy, badass mama who took a risk. You know what? That's what my Mom showed me 25+ years ago when she had $300 in savings and little file cabinet and started her business. And she hit some hard stuff along the way, BUT, stayed the course. And holy crap, she's amazing. Amazing artist, mother and entrepreneur. It's not been an easy path. Nor should it be easy. How else do you learn and grow if everything is easy? I didn't know where to start, I just knew where I wanted to be. And through trial and error and tenacity, I'm getting there. I mean, I'm only 37!! (laughter)
When you feel something in your soul...go for it. You will only regret NOT going for it. Oh, and it's okay to cry.