In December, our very own beauty Kelsey Glynn shared about manifesting her own destiny, and how she fulfilled her dream of being a stay-at-home mom while also pursuing a career she loved. She did so by not taking any shortcuts, working 2 jobs and running her own business until she finally landed the job of her dreams that allowed her to work from home and be with her daughter. I loved it! I loved it so much because I relate to it on a deep level. My story is similar to Kelsey’s and I’d love to share it with you to hopefully give yet another example of how you can create the work/life balance that is best for you and your family. Because I do believe it’s possible to be fulfilled as both a mother and a career woman. You just have to get creative, and don’t settle for anything less than your absolute perfect scenario.
To make a very long and sad story short, let’s just start with this: I went to law school and became a lawyer. I knew I was going to hate it from the first day I started practicing. I love the study and the theory of law (#TeamNerd) but the every day practice of law is like everything else–sullied by consumerism, profits, and power trips. However, I had $150,000 of student debt and I wasn’t going to pay that off bartending, so, I practiced for almost 5 years.
In 2015, I started working in a networking marketing company to try to make extra cash on the side to pay off my debt quicker. Here’s the thing ya’ll. That business is TOUGH! Anyone you know who is making a living in a multi-level marketing (MLM) company is a FREAKING. BOSS! I know the Facebook posts are too much sometimes. But that is a skill, a science, and an art form all in itself. And those who succeed at it deserve some major props! And, for a hot minute, I was one of them. I did pretty well in my MLM and by August 2016, I was quitting my job at the law firm to pursue this opportunity full time. #CRAZY
But here’s what happened. Nothing! Absolutely nothing. I did NOTHING to further my at-home business. I stopped pursuing leads, stopped posting, stopped selling. I was on the brink of a mental breakdown. I couldn’t believe that I had walked away from a career that paid really well to do something as unpredictable and unstable as an MLM. And on top of it all, I was humiliated. My old colleagues were for sure ridiculing me behind my back and I thought I could never show my face in the legal community again. And I was embarrassed that I had spent all this time (and MONEY) to have a career and then just gave up. Like a quitter. Like a stupid, unfocused, adolescent child. I felt so incredibly foolish.
Later I decided that I had to start bringing money back in again. So, I started working at a friend’s law firm on a part-time hourly contract basis. And it was a great filler for the 5 months that I did it. But again, the practice of law leaves me feeling so icky sometimes. Nothing changed. I still hated it.
The Turning Point
In late 2016, two women who worked at my church saw something in me. They saw a desire I had to work in ministry and they believed that I had what it took. Me? I was going to go from law to…ministry?? It was crazy! But they invited me on a Vision Retreat with their team to Mexico, and that was the beginning of my fairy tale.
So in January 2017, I started working at my church, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, as a Women’s Ministry Intern. It was seriously 10 hours a week at $10/hour. But I loved it! I loved every minute of it! I was still contracting at my friend’s firm at the same time to keep money coming in. But as the weeks rolled by, I picked up more hours at the church. Then I started working part time with the Missions department. Then I started dropping days at the firm. Then gradually, I was just working more at the church than I was at the firm. In April 2017, I stopped contracting with the law firm and was full time at the church.
Now, I didn’t have just one job at Cornerstone. Working full time there meant I was doing maybe 15 hours a week with Women’s Ministry and 20 hours a week with Missions. Then most of my hours were with Missions and I was picking up some little things with the Finance department. I bounced all around and I loved it! I loved getting to be behind the scenes. And most of all, I loved working in the environment and with all the people on staff. As you can imagine, the vibe was so very different from a law firm.
Then, the most incredible opportunity fell in my lap. A position became available to be the Accountant and to essentially manage the entire church budget. We are a large church with a multi-million dollar budget. This was no small feat. But I went to our Business Director and I said, “Hey, I know I don’t have finance background, per se. However, I went to law school. I passed the Bar Exam. I’m not an idiot. I know how to learn and I love to learn. And if you’re willing to teach me, I’m willing to learn how to do this and I’d love to make this my new career.” And guys! Two weeks later, I GOT THE POSITION! It was BANANAS!
I’ve been the Accountant for our church now for a little over 2 years and it’s the job of my dreams! Not only is it intellectually challenging and fun to work in ministry, but the hours and expectations are so flexible! I got pregnant and had my son about a year or so after I started, and they have been so incredible by letting me work from home 2 days a week, or coming home/leaving early when needed. Everything is so family focused and the value on work/life balance is evident and oh so appreciated!
I say all this to say, it’s ok to walk away from a career that everyone thinks you’re crazy for giving up. It’s ok to make $400/month for a while until you figure things out. And it’s ok to ask for a job that you’re not qualified for. You just never know what is on the other side of risk. So, get out there and create the life of your dreams! It may take a while, but I promise that it’s worth it!