On Bittersweet Changes (Round 2)

A year and a half ago, I published a post entitled On Bittersweet Changes about my decision to leave the nonprofit job I had loved for three years to become a stay-at-home Mom to Charlie and newborn baby Crosby. In the last 1.5 years, I've side hustled and tried to make this blog profitable, I went back to my former employer in a seasonal, part-time position, I started working part-time managing my local farmers' market, and I took on another part-time job working with one of my best friends doing marketing for a small, local nonprofit. Three weeks ago, I bid adieu to the side hustling, stay-at-home Mom season and said hello again to the full-time working Mom season.

I am once again a full-time working Mama and I couldn't be happier about the change. Although leaving my good friend behind was definitely bitter, it was a necessary evil for this sweet new season we've ushered in.

So, what is the new job? Before I share about my new role, I want to explain a little bit about the journey that brought me to here.

Before I became a stay-at-home Mom, I diligently and relentlessly worked on our budget down to the last cent to make sure we could feasibly afford to become a one-income family. We knew it would be tight, but nothing could have prepared us for the financial hit we would take just a month or two after I quit my job. Unfortunately, I can't share more than that, but suffice it to say that the income we were counting on was suddenly not there and we were completely screwed.

I started taking on sponsored blog opportunities, Chuck started washing dishes in the evenings at a local restaurant, I started working part-time gigs, and we even applied for food assistance through the WIC program to make sure we had groceries on our shelves (and I'll be honest, there were months where I don't know what we would have done without WIC). Even with all of that part-time supplemental income, we still weren't doing well. We fell behind on bills and loans. We had debt collectors calling us non-stop, and at our lowest point, Chuck's car was repossessed (we got it back).

Obviously, it's not easy to admit any of these things. It fills me with a deep sense of shame that things got as bad as they did for us financially. But if there's one thing you know about me from this blog, it's that I'm an open book. It doesn't occur to me to be dishonest or blatantly omit certain truths. I am sharing the painful, vulnerable, real truth about how messed up our financial situation has been since I became a stay-at-home Mom. And if you're wondering to yourself about why I didn't just go back to work full-time before now, I'm getting to that.

Needless to say, being this vulnerable and out of control of our finances was just about the shittiest feeling in the world. It was making us anxious, and angry, and upset (and definitely didn't help the difficult season of marriage we had found ourselves in). I started reading more about personal finance, I religiously planned our grocery list to save as much money as possible, I budgeted like crazy. Not only out of necessity, but because I was finding myself genuinely enjoying it. I hated feeling like I wasn't in control of our family's financial situation and I wanted to feel more knowledgeable of the financial industry in order to set our family on a path to security and stability.

As I was browsing job boards for new full-time opportunities, I stumbled upon a listing for a Financial Advisor Training program. Despite the fact that I had absolutely no experience in the finance industry, I had nothing to lose by applying, so I gave it a shot. To my surprise, my application made it through the first hurdle, I took some tests of my basic math and logic skills (which I still have no idea how I passed), I went through a phone interview with a recruiter which I nailed, and she then set me up with an in-person interview at the company's Cincinnati office.

I sat down at a table across from two managers in the training program and within about 60 seconds, it was obvious that this position would not be a good fit for me. However, I interviewed well and they really liked me so they referred me to another department for an entirely different position that was a perfect fit, given my professional experience. A few days later, I interviewed with another two managers and it was the best interview I've ever had. I had a natural rapport and chemistry with the managers, I truly felt I could do this job well and I could tell they loved me and would have hired me on the spot if they could. Unfortunately, the position for which I interviewed was filled by someone who already had the necessary licenses and I didn't get that job. But they informed me that as soon as a new position opened up, I could expect to receive a call.

For the next nine-ish months, they would call periodically to give me a status update or just to make sure I hadn't given up hope and was still interested. And for those nine months I didn't apply to a single other full-time job because I was so sure that this was the path I was meant to take. Finally in May, I went to another in-person interview and the next week, I got the call that they were offering me the position. It was heartbreaking to tell my friend that I was leaving my job in our two-person office and I fretted about when and how I would deliver the sad news. Despite the fact that she hated to lose me, she could not have been more supportive and I will be forever grateful to her for that.

I submitted my resignation and informed our Board of the news. Two weeks later, I arrived for my first day on the job. It's now been three weeks and I know undoubtedly that this job was worth the wait. I'm working with an amazingly kind and family-oriented team. I have amazing benefits (including a small childcare reimbursement!), a solid salary, and the opportunity to grow and increase my compensation. In addition to that, I'm learning a new language- finance and investment. I feel so empowered that the knowledge I'll gain from this new role will enable me to dig our family out of our crater of debt, start saving for our future, and give our kids opportunities that they wouldn't have otherwise.

From the outside looking in, it might seem confusing to a lot of people who know me that I completely switched industries- from nonprofit to finance. It's why I felt the need to explain our journey and why this job means so much to me because of what our family has been through together. So now, when people ask me about myself, I can happily say, "My name is Kaity and I work in finance" with the deepest of pride.

Have you ever changed industries before? What was it like for you?

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