9 Effects of My Career Change

It’s been 3 weeks since my last blog, but man, it has been crazy!  I started my new job in the plant nursery after leaving my career in financial services behind after 20+ years.

Lots of changes and things to process:

  1. Days sitting at a desk have been replaced by days on my feet and overall being much more physical.  My back and feet were killing me, but slowly my body is acclimating.  I used to average about 2000-3000 steps a day, but now I can easily hit 10,000, sometimes before 4 pm.  I have lost a few pounds and like getting exercise as part of my job.  And I save money by not having a gym membership.
  2. Being physical is great, but I am exhausted at the end of the day.  This has made doing work and school a bit more difficult.  I enjoy school and know I only have about another month in this semester, so that keeps me going.  I plan to take summer school, but only 2 classes compared to 3 this semester.  I hope my body acclimates to this too!
  3. I switched from working from home to working directly with people.  I have always said if you put more than one person in a room together, there will be conflict.  Some minor, some a little more than minor.  I found myself judging quicker, which I need to work on.  My people skills are a little rusty, so I find myself staying silent as I process the interactions with me and around me.  So while I haven’t reverted all the way back to saying exactly what’s on my mind, I need to craft words carefully in my responses to my co-workers.
  4. I have to plan a lot more, which I am struggling with because I feel like I have less time overall.  I only get 30 minutes for lunch, so I have to bring a lunch everyday.  And 3 days a week I have to bring my dinner to school.  I am looking for things to make in bulk, then grocery shop and find time to make everything so the week runs smoothly.  I am trying to have things on hand that can make a quick meal for either me or my husband, as he too needs a dinner 3 days a week when I’m at school.  Lucky for me he has no problem having a sandwich!  But I prefer to have homemade food on hand for us to keep the nutrient factor up and the sodium down.
  5. I am dirty.  Like, all week long.  Dirt under my nails, dust in my hair and all over my clothes.  I remember the days of getting my nails done every other week and dressing up for work.  Now it’s jeans, t-shirts and work boots and dirt under the nails no matter how hard I try to keep them clean.  I am glad when my jeans are at least clean enough to wear more than once without washing.  It is nice to not really have to think about what I’m wearing, but I see much more laundry in my future.
  6. I cherish time at home more.  When I was working from home, I wanted to leave and do other things.  Now I have no problem staying home on weekends and non-school nights.  It also helps save money, which brings me to…
  7. I am still working out the money situation.  I took a huge pay cut to work at the nursery, and because it is so new I am not sure exactly how it will impact us.  So I have already started to forego events that cost money that are non-essential.  Sometimes this means not doing some things with my friends, but I feel these sacrifices are necessary at this point.  I am proud to say my husband just got a raise and things so far are going well.  However the uncertainty moving forward makes me cautious.
  8. The nursery doesn’t have medical insurance or a 401k plan.  Lucky again that I can get on my husband’s insurance.  It costs way more to have a family plan, but it is totally worth it.  I am working with my financial adviser (a leftover benefit of my time in the industry) to figure out a retirement savings plan so I can keep contributing to my retirement.  I provided a budget to him and he will work the numbers to help me with a plan.  I may need to work a little longer, but at least I’m doing something I love, right?
  9. And that’s what it all about – doing something I love.  I get to work around and learn about plants all day long.  I get to put my hands in the dirt.  Everyday I walk into a greenhouse that smells of the earth and is alive with color and LIFE.  It’s like the air is different – and it’s not just the dust.  The hours fly by and my energy stays high.  I am starting to believe the adage that if you do what you love you don’t work a day in your life.

I don’t regret my career transition.  Yes, there is uncertainty and sacrifices, but the rewards are tremendous.  There are also little things like leftover plants to take home and a free garden claw!  A co-worker and I can’t stand to see the extra plants go to waste so we split them up and give them homes.  I am going to have to build my own greenhouse pretty soon!

So why I am I telling you all this?  Because if you are considering a major change in your life, it doesn’t even have to be in your career, I want to inspire you to move forward.  It is scary, maybe even downright terrifying, but with careful consideration and planning you can make that change.  Living the life you want to live brings so much balance and joy to your life.  And when you have balance and joy, you thrive.  And when you thrive, you can make beautiful contributions to your family, friends, community, nation and the world.  Dream big and live your life with purpose!

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