I’ve had a pretty varied work background. I’ve done a lot of things, partly because I like variety and learning new stuff but also because it took me a while to figure out what it was I wanted to do with my life. In some cases, it was just a matter of taking whatever job was available because bills needed to be paid and family had to be fed.
Serious variety, too. I’m talking:
- Farm hand
- Pizza (crew member, manager, district manager)
- Fast food
- Oil change tech
- Technical support supervisor (internet service provider)
- Sit down restaurant manager
- Line worker at an assembly plant
- Night stock for big box retail store
- General labor at construction sites
- Trim carpenter
- Residential painter
- On-site maintenance for non-profit women’s shelter
- Over the road truck driver
- Emergency medical technician
Yeah, it’s varied and that’s not even all of it.
When I was younger I wanted to do something acting or to be a teacher but I never chased that one. I wound up going to college to study psychology because deep down inside I knew I wanted to help people.
I would up switching my major while I was deep in it and jumped on the emergency medicine thing.
Deep inside though was this desire to write and to create.
Sure, I wanted to write a book most of my adult life but that was stalled and I wasn’t actively pursuing it for years. I didn’t put serious effort into it.
After working for several years in EMS I finally had the opportunity to start freelancing with my writing. That began a pretty challenging and fun road of learning the ins and outs of marketing from digital to traditional marketing.
I fell in love with marketing and it kind of fed into my want to help other people. I got to help small business owners grow and saw companies thrive from my writing and my work. That was cool.
I considered going back to college to get my marketing degree mainly because I had my sights set on landing a really cushy corporate job in marketing. You climb that corporate ladder and you’re looking at a 6 figure salary easy plus all the benefits -and- I’d get to be creative, write, challenge my colorful brain on a daily basis and I’m ‘helping’.
After going back and forth on college I decided I didn’t want to accrue some huge amount of debt again – I’d already paid off the first round of student loans I had. I decided I’d teach myself what I needed to know. So many corporate gigs had in their requirements a “bachelors degree or equivalent work experience.”
So, I’d push hard in freelance and educate myself, work with clients, and get that equivalent work experience.
Over the last decade I did just that. A few times I got recruited by corporations to work in their marketing departments, like the nationwide resort company that put me in charge of the marketing for a few dozen resorts. And the start up that I moved across the country to join where I was the director of marketing – I helped them go from having their product in a dozen local shops generating barely 6 figures in revenue the first year (there was just me and the two owners back then) to over 1500 stores globally, multi-million dollar annual revenue, and over 20 employees when I exited the company 3 years later. That was all cool, it padded the resume and solidified my love for writing and being involved in marketing.
When I left I went back to freelancing to continue to grow my knowledge, work with more business and industry types, and enjoy that freedom. I still kind of had my sets on the big score – that big corporate gig that would set me up for life.
Then last year I wrote my first book. It turned me on to a whole new world that I didn’t know I’d been missing in my life. While I still love my freelance work I knew that writing these stories was what I really wanted to do. It felt right.
Since then I’ve continued to balance my freelance work for generating income with writing books to pursue that new passion and dream.
And then it happened.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a recruiter for one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S.
They wanted to know if I was interested in a senior marketing position.
I immediately said yes, because holy hell that was something I’d been building toward for the last 10+ years, right? We went through a few rounds of phone interviews and assessments, and I spoke with a few different senior people with the company. When they asked me about compensation I’ll be honest… I went for the throat. I wasn’t hurting for income with my freelance work and book sales. I didn’t need the job. They wanted me.
If they wanted me, they could pay for me.
I gave them a number that was more than I’d ever come close to making before and the rolled with it. The next step was to bring me in to the offices here in my area to sit down and finalize everything.
That was supposed to happen yesterday.
As that day drew closer I realized that what had once been my absolute dream job… wasn’t.
I wasn’t willing to walk away from pushing toward writing my books full time. I also found that I enjoyed the freedom of my freelance work too much to let go. Not everyone gets to earn a living spending every day at home around their family.
I walked away from it with zero regret and absolute certainty that as varied as my history has been with work I’ve finally found home.
I can write and create freely, and I can help people find solace and an escape within my stories.
My goal has shifted to full time fiction writing. I haven’t set a timeline for that yet but I’m energized by the final realization that this is where I want to be.
And this is where I belong.