Inspiring People to

Live Who They Are

CHERYL - Career Change

It has been five years since I decided to dive into a new career.

My journey began after twenty years with a successful Fortune 500 company. I had wonderful opportunities: compensation, working with intelligent, wonderful people in an innovative, challenging environment. I had a lot of responsibility and flexibility. I was valued by the organization. There was always something missing, however. I wanted to make a difference, give back to a community. And my priorities changed. I got married and had two children, and my family became my priority.

I flirted with making a change for 10 years before I left. I was interested in education and counseling. I knew the disparity of income would be greater the longer I stayed, and the closer I got to retirement, the harder it would be to make a change.

After a great deal of thought, reflection, and research, I left. I contracted with a spin-off company three days a week while I took the necessary classes for a secondary teaching certification. I was hired as a business education instructor at a high school at the end of that year. I then got my Masters in Education Counseling and am now a high school Career Counselor.

I have no regrets about spending twenty years in my previous career … it was simply time for a change. When the process of change is a thoughtful one, the rewards cannot be matched.

Here are the realities of what I did:

I took a 60% pay cut when I began to teach.
My salary nor my benefits package will ever match what I had.
I love what I do.
I look forward to going to my job every day.
I am so completely grateful for the balance my new career has given me with my family. I am rewarded with making a difference in people’s lives.
I have absolutely no regrets.

For my career change, I put together a three-step process.

1. BE THOUGHTFUL
Change is hard. Change is significant. It should be a thoughtful process. Be honest and understand your motivations with why you want to make a change.

2. RESEARCH
Research the career you are interested in.

3. PLAN
Once you know yourself better by assessing your interests, skills, and values, Make a Plan.

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