It was five years ago in December. December 2009 to be precise that I took a plunge into running Design Resumes full time or solo as I like to call it. It was a huge step. My business had been partnered with non-profit contracts since 1991 and had reached the point in 2008 that it provided a base of about $1600 for my business. In March 2008, I resigned from the Kiwanis contract and was left with $1000 from Wausau Whitewater. In December 2009, I made the final decision to drop Wausau Whitewater too.
Starting a new chapter in life Don’t Let fear drive your career and life decisions
On my mind from the outset was that I had let my fears drive my decisions. I had been afraid to face running a career industry business without the safeguard of the contract base even though I knew that around the world, many of my colleagues had done exactly that without that kind of base.
But in 2009, a bigger concern was driving me to make this big change. I was concerned that I would go through life without ever following my own dreams. In my family, there is a history of Alzheimer’s or dementia and I didn’t want to wait any longer to test the waters.
Starting a new chapter in life
I took that plunge and resigned. Then I took steps to learn my industry better and learn marketing strategies based on sound principles that also used social media as the base of the marketing. 2009 was still the height of the recession. Bold move considering the economic climate.
But it was also the beginning of when social media was growing and you could connect with someone across the world with the click of a mouse. I was willing to take that challenge.
The result has been a growing business that connects me with clients nationwide and sometimes worldwide. My content marketing strategy lets me use what I love. I have loved to write since I was a child. This blog and the other avenues out there have let me build relationships that have propelled my business into new areas.
I rapidly replaced that $1600 with new income from clients by extending my marketing reach, packaging better, and increasing prices to the industry standard.
Starting a new chapter in life – Today’s life challenge
After prayer and thought, my husband, Bill, who is now 67 and has been the paid caregiver for his father for the past 8 1/2 or more years, has decided to let someone else give that care. His father who is 92 is a strong-willed person and since Bill is cut out of the same block, they were increasing butting heads or at the very least, Bill was coming home every night exhausted and defeated. We spent those 8 1/2 years with only Sunday most of the time to share dinner with since he ate his meals with his dad. He rarely got home before 7pm and often left between 7 and 8am. We have not had a vacation in those years and were on call even when Bill wasn’t there.
We don’t yet know where this will go. Bill was a remodeling contractor for 20 years and a home inspector for 8 years but the market is still soft here and there are many younger men in the game. Bill has always been independent. Shortly after we married, we landed a job managing property and did that for 6 years together until we accepted a transfer to Naperville that rapidly ended and left us with no jobs, no home, and no income and 2 children under the age of 2. When that job ended, Bill sold advertising until the profitability of the commissions became much less than remodeling income. I started Design Resumes and the non-profit contracts. Here we go again.
Starting a new chapter in life
On the flip side, I have never been busier and I can use someone to run errands and take care of the many things I can’t do when I am busy with clients. Ironically, his income from his father was $1600. We have replaced that before. I have a solid marketing strategy now and a network of wonderful clients who generously refer me to their friends and family members.
In the end, I know we will survive. I know it hasn’t been healthy for Bill or his dad to try to sustain this life. With an outside caregiver, there won’t be the family interaction of father and son. Emotionally, it has taken such a toll on Bill that it affected his relationship with everyone. It will be healthier for him to find out what is next.
Starting a new chapter in life – Your life challenge
I speak often about the challenges job seekers face when things end. I also speak about giving up unhealthy roles in search of the right fit. If you are currently struggling with life situations and trying to figure out where you are meant to be, perhaps it is time to speak with a career professional.
Need help? Hire me, Julie Walraven, Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make it fun with a personalized, interactive process that teaches you strategic job search. To find out how to hire me, Click Here.