This year my word was “Own”. I wanted to own up to the fact that I was not doing what I loved, I wanted to own my own business as a personal trainer, and I wanted to ultimately take ownership of my career.
Making a career change is never an easy thing to do. It is especially hard when you are comfortably in your 30s and making the move to a more entry-level position means giving up a lot of what you’ve gotten used to over the years. Looking back, I’m almost more mad at myself for not taking the leap sooner, but such is life. No regrets.
I was laid off, which for me was the best thing that could have ever happened. I actually told my boss and the HR Manager this in the ‘exit interview’ or whatever they call it. In fact, I interrupted them mid-sentence to tell them how I’d felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. At this my boss stood up and said “I knew this was going to end up being the best day of your life!”
Ok, maybe not the best day (my ego still creeps in on things like this) but certainly a defining moment when I could suddenly make my career change a reality.
I had been working as a bootcamp instructor, a trail running coach, and doing an internship at a local gym, and was already on my way to making the transition. But working at a corporate job with benefits and a steady paycheck and colleagues that I really liked was hard to justify leaving right away. For the three months leading up to my termination, I was feeling a lot of anxiety, knowing I wasn’t doing the best job that I could do at the hedge fund and at the same time not feeling like I had enough experience or time to get that experience with the new career change. I’d leave work early because I had an obligation to teach a fitness class and come back the next morning exhausted because I had been up since 5am so I never felt motivated to do either. It was a bad place to be, but it sorted itself, like most things in life.
I guess it doesn’t ultimately matter how it happened, but that it happened. I’m a personal trainer, a coach, and a teacher, and I fucking love it! I get excited that I can tell people that is what I do for a living. I love when that I have to fill my occupation out on an application and I love that I get to inspire and help individuals find joy in fitness and pushing their own limits. It’s so gratifying even if the pay is a lot less.
Finding what you love and just doing it isn’t easy but I’m so glad that I took the leap (or in this case, got a push;) ).
Did you enjoy reading about Larissa’s experience getting pushed into taking the plunge? Take a look at how Jamie took a plunge and reignited her career, and how Jessica found health and balance by leaving her accountant job to become a nutritionist.