I Landed My Dream Job
Throwback to 2014, I had completed my MBA, landed my dream job as a consultant, and was hoping that my new consulting career would exponentially ramp up my career growth for the next 5 years. This would position me to take on critical decision making and strategic leadership roles and enable me to make meaningful impacts in the world early on in my career. Financially, the ROI on my MBA was worth it – I landed a New York based consulting role in a Big Four consulting company. A few months in, I had great performance reviews and was on the path for a promotion. I had everything planned out nicely. Until…
I Got Pregnant
My focus shifted like night and day. I started thinking in terms of “family” instead of “career,” “work-life balance” instead of “promotion,” “low stress” instead of “strategic roles,” and most importantly, I was trying to find a way to move back to Dallas from New York to be with my husband and go through the pregnancy journey together.
When I did get back to Dallas, I was assigned to a local project in downtown, but the commute, combined with working at a new client and being a new mom, was all highly stressful and I needed that to change. So…
I had never felt so relieved in my life. Being with my 8-month-old daughter, and being able to give her my undivided attention, felt so blissful. Being able to quit my job, since my husband was able to support us financially, was a privilege. There was no pressure from him to get back to work — he let me be. And it was fantastic to be able to fully focus on my daughter, my family, and my home.
As I was enjoying #momlife, I was subconsciously ruminating on ideas that would allow me to channel my creativity, but still provide me the freedom to switch my focus as needed. As my daughter’s 1st birthday neared, I used the planning and designing of the event as a creative outlet for myself, and that was the window to a new phase in my life…
I Started My Own Event Décor Company
Being an entrepreneur gave me the creative outlet I was in search of, but it also allowed me the flexible hours that I needed. I absolutely loved what I was doing — bringing ideas to life from scratch and dictating my own work hours. I could choose to shut down the laptop, to turn down a project, to not be obligated to satisfy unreasonable client expectations. My business quickly grew. My garage filled with inventory — which started creeping into my home — my events often times lasted beyond midnight, I worked crazy weekend hours, and realized, while I had the power to walk away from my work, my brain was constantly churning on ideas and thinking about the growth and sustainability of my business. While my family got off work during the weekends, my work began. And soon, I realized this was, again, not working for me. So…
I Quit, Again… and Started Another Side Hustle
But this time, with the hope of continuing to do what I loved but in a digital space. E-commerce would minimize the overhead of inventory management, physical presence, and had a zero-to-low financial investment, so I found my new love in print on demand products. Each day, for about a year, I worked on building my foundation, my portfolio of designs, reading and learning from others’ experiences in the community, applying the learnings to my e-commerce business, and then rinsing and repeating. After about 2 years, I saw stability, and sustainable results, and started enjoying the fruits of a passive income. This was when I felt I was ready to go back to work and do something very close to my heart – consulting!
Back to Work
I started applying to consulting companies that catered to local clients, so that I wouldn’t have to travel. Some of my friends warned me that companies would be hesitant to interview someone with a “gap” in their career — being that I was not employed full-time in the industry for several years; however, I strongly felt that the companies that would be curious about the reasoning behind the diverse decisions I made, would be the companies I would want to work for. And that’s how I joined Thought Ensemble.
I plan on expanding on the details of what I learned from each of these experiences in my next post. I hope that my story can be useful to those who are at the point of making similar decisions in their careers and lives. And to the women out there who are trying to get back to work, know that you WILL find your next opportunity — it is just a matter of time! To the women who continue to work while being a mom — kudos to you! And to the women who are taking a break from work to put in the work of raising children — kudos to you as well! Every job is important, and every path is different, so no matter what you do, don’t let yourself think that just because your path is different, that it won’t get you to where you’re trying to go.