My husband hated his job as a General Manager for a Restaurant chain. For some people, this may be an exciting and fulfilling career, but when we decided to have a 3rd child, I had no idea my husband and I would eventually make the decision for him to quit that job. Yep, we would eventually become a one income family. Our other two kids were 4 and 6 at the time and they had been “daycare” kids their entire lives. We both worked in our full time careers outside of the home and this was just the norm. In fact, my husband’s job had him on call 24/7 and working just about every Saturday. So, it wasn’t surprising to me that he was unhappy and wanted to quit
This is what happens when you stop pursing your passion and follow job security instead:
Day care is expensive and my husband’s unhappiness with his job, and the stress levels it came with, were the ultimate drivers that lead us to making this tough decision 4 years ago. For me, I had always pursued the things I was passionate about and looking for more ways to use my passion in my career. So, getting up every morning was not a struggle for me because I enjoyed what I did (and still do). My husband on the other hand, he hated his job, wasn’t passionate about it, and he made pretty crappy money doing it. He had been in this one job for almost 12 years and hardly ever saw an increase in pay, no added perks or benefits, and almost nothing to make it worth his while. It had become a security blanket for our family and that blinded us to the fact that he was not valued there. He was wasting his time and suddenly realized it was time for a change when the cost of 3 kids in daycare and afterschool care was nearly the equivalent to his income.
About 2 months into my pregnancy and before we made this change, I had the realization that being the sole provider for a family of 5 would be stressful and I had to do something to ensure sanity and ultimate success. I felt a spark of inspiration and realized through his experience and his unhappiness that I had also become stagnant in my own career and wasn’t pursuing the promotions or increases in pay that I actually deserved because we were pretty secure and doing well as a 2 income family. So, I made a quick decision to aggressively pursue a change. I couldn’t quick my job too, and I really didn’t want to either because I enjoyed being an Interior Designer. However, I was working far too much and not making what I was worth. I received rave reviews from my clients and hadn’t seen any raises or bonuses. Although I was 6 weeks pregnant, I felt the strong urge to pursue a position in my career that would pay me more for my time, provide me added career value and experiences, plus give me added flexibility with my growing family.
How I broke the job security cycle:
You may think I was crazy for pursuing a career change while pregnant, and I’m not advocating that it is for everyone, but I knew the day my husband was going to quit his job was coming quickly and this motivation helped me stay focused. So, I came to terms with my own unhappiness and started reaching out to people I knew. One of my previous co-workers had a lead on an incredible position that would allow me the flexibility I desired and was a decent pay increase, so I immediately pursued it. Within a quick amount of time, and while still pregnant, I interviewed and was accepted for the new position.
related post: Work / Life Balance and Getting your Life in Order
Some might say this is risky because “what if the job fell through?” and I suppose this could have very well happened but it didn’t because I gave it my all. I received an increase in my pay, was provided more flexibility to my schedule, and was set on a quicker trajectory towards additional promotions and more awesome career opportunities. It wasn’t until I had changed companies and positions, that I honestly realized how much I had been holding myself back just because I was comfortable.
My new position in this new company was incredible. Instead of serving clients in my city, I was working on projects across the United States and beyond. I got to meet people in my industry from all over and I really started to feel that following my passions, not worrying so much, and not settling for job security, was the best decision I could have made.
I had finally realized that the previous job security we felt was actually a crutch and a curse. We had been holding our own selves back from pursing bigger and greater things in the name of security. It wasn’t until this final realization that I felt extremely confident that my husband could quit his job. So he did quit, and about 4 months before our daughter was born too. He prepared our home for the new arrival, was there during my maternity leave, and 6 weeks after our daughter was born, I went back to work. Leaving your newborn is always difficult but I knew my husband was there and that new position was going to allow me some flexibility so that I could be home more often. I also felt confident and knew that my professional and personal fire had been lit and I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way of pursuing even bigger and greater things for myself and our family. I wouldn’t become stagnant again because I was now the sole income for our family and saw the error in our previous ways.
What have we learned and what’s next?
It’s been 4 years and my husband is still a stay at home dad with our 4 year old and I’ve managed to increase our family income over the last 4 years by 55%. We’ve also reduce our expenses dramatically, done this all while pursuing my passions. My motivation and my drive for my career hasn’t decreased at all since. I continue to stretch my dreams, make new personal and passionate goals every year, and I even managed to go back to school from 2014-2016 ( taking online courses) all while working full time and providing for my family. It’s even inspired my husband to do the same and he now goes to school in the evenings to pursue his true passion. He’ll be graduating soon and from here on out, the sky is the limit. So what have we learned about following our passions?
- Change sparks motivation and new creative thinking and ideas.
- Being comfortable and having job security will limit your personal drive.
- Following your heart and your passions will inspire those around you.
My personal goals have grown a lot over the past 4 years. Although, I continue to climb the corporate ladder, meet new people every day, and make waves in my industry, I won’t be doing this for long. I’ve realized that working for someone else and making their dreams come true is not my maximum potential or capabilities. I have hardly reached my ceiling and I won’t stop reaching higher and higher. You see, if I can increase our income by 55% by working for another company, just think what is possible if I decided to start my own company.
Money isn’t everything either. I plan to pursue greater income, but I won’t ever sacrifice my time (for very long). Sometimes putting in a little extra time is what is needed to get to the next step. However, there should be a light at the end of that tunnel. So, I’ll be heading in a new direction this year, and I am going to put in a lot of extra time. I am going to start my own company and business and pursue even greater massive personal growth that I can accomplish on my own. I dedicated last year to my education, and now I am dedicating 2016 to my future business. It’s going to be a learning year and I’ve already begun by starting this blog. It does take extra time while I still have my 9-5, but it hasn’t been hard to dedicate the extra time in the mornings or the evenings because I’m passionate about this topic I blog about.
It’s my goal to coach others on how to turn their passions into profit, how to ditch their boring dead end jobs they have kept for security, and show clients exactly how to pursue the things they are truly passionate about without sacrifice.
If there is one thing I’ve learned that I feel I need to share from the past four years, it is:
Don’t give up and don’t settle. You have one life and you’re goal should be to live it passionately. Whatever this means for you. Start challenging your thinking and believe in yourself. If you are thinking about following a more passionate career and making some changes, you should check out the Creative Career Change 12 Month Checklist. You can read this and download it for FREE.