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12 Things My Kids Can Learn from My Career Choices

When I gave up my corporate career two years ago to work from home in pursuit of a personal passion, I had obvious concerns – the first and largest being money. I was making a good salary that afforded my family a very comfortable life, not to mention health benefits.

Subsequent concerns involved matters of personal identity. Who was I if not an equal contributor to my household? Sure, my husband worked a successful career, but earning and contributing to my household was something I took tremendous pride in. And why should my happiness matter, I was providing financial security for my family. What could be more important than that?

Actually, a lot of things.

Of all the practical lessons I work so hard to instill in my children – the importance of hard work, sucking it up, thinking outside the box – the decision to leave my job for pennies on the dollar with little more than faith and a prayer may have taught them the most valuable lessons of all.

  • Work it 1 of 13
    Email

    I'm far from the most successful person you'll ever meet, but in my heart and in my home, I've made it. Take a look at 12 things I hope my kids learn from the career choices I've made.

  • Step out in faith 2 of 13
    Grafitti

    Making a bold career change is one of the hardest choices I ever made and it took the support and sacrifice of my family to make it work. If I had it to do over, I'd never take a job that I knew was a bad fit just for the money (that is, unless I absolutely had to). Hold out for a better reflection of your passions from the start of your career whenever possible.

     

    True story: The day I drove home from work early due to a panic attack, I spotted this graffiti. It wasn't there the day before and the barrier was gone the very next day. Heck yeah, I took it as a sign.

  • Listen to your body 3 of 13
    shutterstock_35286250

    My body began sending me messages that went ignored for years and years. First it was a silent whisper that finally gave way to a raging scream. I suffered with chronic pain and mysterious illnesses without medical cause for far too long. I was also sad and yet none of these things seemed to matter in favor of an almighty paycheck. Listen to your body, for without your health you have nothing. Your body is tapped into the energy that surrounds your senses more than you could ever know. Trust in its ability to care for you and steer you toward goodness.

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Bet on yourself 4 of 13
    IMG_5161

    Many of us have an easier time betting on others before we'll bet on ourselves. I foolishly bet on job security despite rounds of layoffs, along with my ability to find work in a similar god-awful industry if I had to. What I failed to bet on was my ability to make a positive change for myself and my family. In the end, only you know how hungry and committed you are to making it work. It's time to bet on yourself.

     

    Pictured: My last day at my corporate job.

  • Money isn’t everything 5 of 13
    shutterstock_76098664

    Money may be most things, but I promise it isn't everything. I waited years for all the financial stars to align only to realize making a career change would never feel truly comfortable. This scary decision was made only less scary by cutting my household spending and adhering to a strict budget as if our lives depended on it because it did. May your passion for your next chapter provide you with the energy you'll need to learn more, earn more, and be happy.

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • It’s never too late 6 of 13
    photo (219)

    At 35, jealous and resentful toward every person who was braver than I to make a bold career change, I decided I was too young to be so bitter. I had a lifetime of working years ahead of me that I sure as hell didn't want to waste feeling like this. You'll work for many, many years make them count.

     

    Pictured: Blogger recommended neck stretches (selfie serving as collateral damage).

  • Luck has nothing to do with it 7 of 13
    shutterstock_2364401

    You'll work and work and work your side hustle harder than anything you have every worked in your life. You'll work on weekends, holidays, and while your collective time zone is sleeping. You'll research and study and try and fail. You'll produce great stuff, really, really great stuff that is likely to go unnoticed - perhaps for a very long time. But know that on one unsuspecting day, it will all begin to shift in the right direction and you'll feel like the luckiest person on earth. I hope in your heart, in that moment, you understand that luck has nothing to do with it. You earned this.

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Everyday hustle 8 of 13
    IMG_5989

    Even as you begin gaining momentum in your new career, never decide to rest on your laurels. Set that continual hustle in motion, making connections and producing quality output every single day. Be the person folks can depend on, the person who goes the extra mile, and the person who cares the most.

     

    Pictured: I don't always work my ass off, but when I do, I do it in pajamas.

  • People won’t understand 9 of 13
    Noname

    People will tell you that you're crazy. They'll tell you to suck it up for the sake of security, and while their hearts are likely in the right place, only you know what's right for you. Trust in your ability to make bold decisions.

     

    Pictured: My desk, a place where the pencils are dull, the temperature is frosty, and the the commute is a dream.

  • You have a voice 10 of 13
    BlogHer '11

    You were born with a passion unique to you. Never attempt to quiet your voice or dull your shine on account of fear. Your natural born talents will guide you if you're brave enough to allow them.

     

    Pictured: Aiming Low, BlogHer '11.

  • You deserve better 11 of 13
    shutterstock_28598833

    You deserve more than just a paycheck. You deserve the opportunity to make a lasting impression and leave a legacy of individuality and soul's purpose behind.

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • You are not a martyr 12 of 13
    photo (220)

    Staying on a career track you loathe for the sake of your family benefits no one, least of all your family. You have the power to chart your course whichever direction you choose as long as you're willing to work for it.

     

    Pictured: My career shift has become a family affair. Here we are sharing our stories on Babble.

  • Every experience is valuable 13 of 13
    shutterstock_50706472

    Don't spend even a moment of your life regretting professional choices you've made up to this point. Every work experience is valuable, including those involving bad bosses, worse coworkers, shady office politics, and beyond. In time you were realize how it all seamlessly worked together to prepare you for the next exciting step.

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

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