I’ve thought a lot about my job and my career this week, and I’m at the crossroads. This was probably one of the toughest weeks of my career. No joke. I love my jobs, but every once in awhile there’s a cruel reminder about how fierce and competitive the business world is…

Ironically, one of my best friends posted this GIF on my Facebook page. Humorous, yes, but as much as I would love to play with cats all day, I couldn’t do it. I almost lost each of my cats at two different points in their lives, and even had to put my third one down. Even though the little guy was sick, he was very young. That decision was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. I couldn’t deal with making those types of decisions over and over…

But in looking at my current profession and career, and after posting a blog on the timeline of my day, “A Day in the Life of Julie” earlier this week, ironically I think about what my dream job would actually be, and where I would want my career to go from here. Honestly, I would say that right now I’m pretty damn close to reaching my dreams.

Wearing Many Different “Hats”

My colleagues and clients claim that I wear many different “hats”, which is very true. While this means a lot of responsibilities, I don’t see it that way. I see my jobs as the perfect blend of my talents and skills. For example, leadership, client interaction and management, project management and creative writing are all strengths, and things I thoroughly enjoy doing every day.

Additionally, one of my favorite things about doing any job is the ability and flexibility to work on different things each day. Some days I’m working on web designs, some days I write content, other days I speak to clients for sometimes half the day. If I had a job where I did the same thing every day, I would surely be bored after only a few months… I need and thrive on variety.

Does Working From Home Actually Work?

For me, it does… But I’ll admit that it hasn’t always been easy. For a while I struggled to get up on time, and other times the lack of social interaction and an “office environment” were difficult—particularly during the winter, when life just sucks for me anyways. I really had to work at establishing the best routine that works for my teams, for my job, and for me. And after almost a year, I think I have it down to a science.

Obviously there are HUGE benefits to working from home every day. I have the freedom and flexibility to make my own schedule, establish my own routine, and I don’t have a commute—or even leave the house, if I don’t want to.

On the flip side, I can take also take my work anywhere: my front porch, Maine, and even the beach.

Not only has working from home been a huge savings from commuting to Boston every day, more importantly, it has given me the flexibility to care for my brother as he recovered from his illness, which I probably wouldn’t have been able to do if I worked for any other company. For this fact alone, I’m eternally grateful.

I’m very fortunate. I know. Many people would kill to have my job, not solely for the ability to work from home indefinitely, but for my position and the level of work I do for someone my age. Many say that I’m lucky, but I don’t consider it luck, but rather a reward for hard work. Everything I have and do today, I fought and worked for, and I chose to make it happen. I do what I want to do, not what I’m told to do.

But I would say that my choices and my diehard work ethic only got me 80% of the way. I believe the other 20% is fate. Some things in life are just meant to be…

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener…

It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. Really. I’m not a high-maintenance woman. I keep things simple. I’m easy-going, patient, understanding, and I always look at the glass half full. I’ve always been grateful for the things I dohave, and rarely complain or focus on what I don’t have. Way too many people do this in life. If you can’t be happy with what you have, then you probably won’t ever learn to be happy. That just makes me sad, because life is just too short.

Standing At the Crossroads…

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my career this week. My boss once told me, “management is 50% ups and 50% downs…” and, man, is he right.

Yes, my job involves a lot of responsibility, pressure, creative problem solving and decision-making. But hard work has never scared me, but at the end of the day (literally), I want my work to be valued, recognized, and respected, and I want to do what’s best for business.

But aside from working full time, I guess running my business and working for myself is really the end goal, and part of my retirement. But making this kind of move takes planning, and is probably still a ways into the future. I need to expand my client base and ensure I have enough ongoing, consistent work in order to really make that happen.

Oh, and I need to make enough money to do crazy things like pay my mortgage and eat… And, as a single woman, I need health insurance.

The Road Not Taken

All in all, do I want to give up my full time job? Hell no. I don’t cave or give up that easily. But at what point do I take the plunge, work for myself, and take a few risks? After all, no risk, no reward…

But honestly, even if I continue to work full time, and run all three businesses, I would still be very happy, and I know that years into the future, I will look back on this point in my career and be grateful for the choices I made.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference…”

– Robert Frost

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