My career history is what I like to call…varied and colorful. I’ve worked so many different jobs over the last 15 years that I’ve practically had experience in everything.
I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan with two sisters and parents (who are still married). We grew up poor. Its not an understatement – there were times where my birthday money was used to buy food for our family. My parents ran their own construction company for nearly my entire childhood. To this day they still run a construction company. Watching the struggle they had as a young family, and business owners – trying to put food on the table and get work for their company – I resisted the thought of becoming a business owner.
There was no way in hell that I was going to own my own business.
I left Michigan for Chicago and was ready to start my career in the arts. I got my first bachelors degree in Theater, with the intent of someday running a children’s theater program or directing shows. But into my second year of theater school, I took a makeup class. Unbeknownst to me, I had skills in makeup. I ended up helping a friend who was a model one day with makeup for a photoshoot and almost immediately started freelancing as a makeup artist. The funniest part about it? The photographer that day put me in front of the camera and I started modeling and doing makeup.
By the time I hit my senior year of college, I was a freelance makeup artist for fashion photographers in Chicago, modeling, I was the Teacher’s Assistant for the Makeup Department at my school and I was interning at The Chicago Shakespeare Theater wig shop. Needless to say – I was burned out. After I graduated, I stopped. I had fully intended on making Makeup my career. But that final year of school, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I told myself – I’m going to take a break and I’ll come back in a year.
I barely wore makeup for the next two years. That is how burned out I was.
While I was in school, I was also working as a waitress. And after graduation it just stayed that way. I worked as a waitress for nearly 10 years. I helped open new restaurants, new bars and even a new casino. I was training new employees, excellent at my job and was always a manager favorite. But after 10 years, my feet could no longer take it. Beyond my feet, my body just couldn’t take it any longer. So in my last year of waitressing, I put my mind to getting out.
I applied to nearly 60 jobs every single week for months. It didn’t matter what it was, or even what it paid – if it was an office job, I applied. Finally after tapping my network, a friend who was a personal banker hooked me up with a job in a call center. It was a $12,000 pay cut from my waitressing gig. But I took it anyways. And even though I was driving almost 2 hours out of the city, to get $12k less than what I was making as a waitress – I still had to wait tables. I was just as miserable and even more broke.
So after 3 months of working in that call center, I put my nose to the grind and started applying again. Again, I sent out 50-60 resumes a week. Every administrative assistant, office manager, receptionist, or executive assistant job I could find. And finally, I landed 3 interviews in one day. A week before my interviews – I sprained my ankle. So badly, that I couldn’t walk without crutches. I couldn’t drive or even take the train. I called in backup – mom – and she drove me around to all my interviews for that day.
I hobbled around one office as they gave me a tour, crutch in one hand and my toes hanging out of my brace. And my commitment to coming to an interview injured – got me the job. It was then that I was finally making progress financially in my life.
In the year that I worked in that office, I moved into a smaller, cheaper apartment. I saved nearly $5000, paid off my car and fell in love. My romance was rapidly moving to taking me to another country – so I prepared. I was going to move to England. But my heart got broken and at the end of my first year in that job I just couldn’t stay in Chicago anymore. So I picked a place on the map and started my job search.
My job search landed me a job in Austin, with relocation. And I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. Within 5 weeks, I was driving my teeny tiny car across the country with my mom and dogs in tow. In the three years I’ve lived in Austin, I’ve had three jobs. But all a step up from the last, all a step in the right direction for my career. I’m now in a role that I’m completely happy in and in a field, Human Resources, that I love to pieces.
And then, after meeting my best friend, we started a book club. A book club that bloomed. It bloomed to so much more than a book club, in 2016 it became a business. That something that I resisted my entire childhood and most of my adult life – became my new reality. After a year of running this new business, I realized a new strength. Helping others run a business. We were rapidly realizing that we were helping others with their businesses to the extent that it pushed me to get certified as a business coach. As our business grew and as I started realizing my own strengths in business creation and development, I also realized that I have an incredible ability to transition from one industry to another – and that I can help others do the same. This new epiphany, caused me to pivot my coaching and to start offering both career coaching and business coaching.
I love my job, and my businesses. And yes, ideally, I’d like to be running my businesses full time – now is not the right time for me. But someday soon it will be. And I’ll make that transition, as I help others make theirs.
If you are looking to transition from one industry to another and start a new career – talk to me. I can help. If you’re ready to start transitioning from employee to employer – talk to me. I can help. If you’re ready to make your business your full time gig – talk to me, we can do it together.