I am back at work!
In the most non-traditional, unexpected way, I have re-entered the workforce! Yea it feels weird even saying that. It has been 5 years since I have had a “job”. I left the workforce right before Makenzie was born. I had never planned to be a stay-at-home-mom, but clearly God had other plans for me, because that is exactly what I have been doing for 5 whole years. These years have been amazing and afforded me the opportunity to witness every milestone of both my children. I haven’t missed any first steps or first words. I didn’t miss Makenzie’s first time riding a real bike. I didn’t miss Brayden’s first time going poo-poo in the potty. I was there for every single moment!
But while I was present for all the wonderful, exciting and yes challenging moments of motherhood, what I was missing all these years was the satisfaction that I found from having a career. I have in many ways been grieving for the past 5 years, because all I wanted to do was work, but I knew God had me home with my kids for a reason.
4 days after giving birth to Makenzie we left Augusta, GA and drove to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. We knew we would only be there for 1 year and 3 of those months I would spend on maternity leave. So, my husband and I agreed that I wouldn’t work while there. We then found out that we would be moving to Germany. I immediately began applying for jobs to work on base, trying to find something even remotely related to my experience in Non-profit management. I eventually had to give up the idea that I would find similar work and decided that working in the school system on base would suffice. I applied, got an email that I had been accepted to the next step of the process, then, nothing. Absolute crickets. I never heard back from anyone. Then I got pregnant with Brayden and decided I would welcome the break in applying for jobs since I would once again be on maternity leave.
By this point, I think it was really setting in that it was just my destiny to be a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I went back and forth often about the topic and discussed if I should just “take any job”. I pushed back hard, because I knew the last thing I wanted to do was be miserable doing some random job. If I was going to be working again, I wanted it to be in a position where I would again find fulfillment. So, I essentially gave up and just accepted that I would finish up our time in Germany as a full-time Stay-at-home-mom. I did just that.
Then we got the news that we were moving to Tampa! You know exactly what I did - I got on Indeed.com and started applying to every job in my field that sparked joy for me. Once we had arrived in Tampa, I was very excited with the idea that I could be back to work very soon. Then reality hit. I was applying and nobody was calling me back. I had been so close to being employed, even going through a series of 3 interviews with one company. I knew for sure the job was mine. Until I got the call that it wasn’t. That sent me into a dark stage of self-doubt and insecurity. I knew I had the skills, education and experience to deem me a good fit for all these jobs, but nobody was calling me back. I really had to go through some self-discovery and prayer to get me back in a good space. I felt God saying that this was a good time to really put some effort into my blog and build that up. I did just that and started to see some of my hard work paying off. Yet I still had this itch to be “working”.
Another blogger, also stationed in Germany while I was there, posted about her job in the hospitality industry and it sparked my interest, even with no experience in this side of the business. I reached out to her to get the deets and I was even more intrigued with what I heard. I decided to take the leap and apply. That leap led to where I am today! This past Monday I started working as an Associate with HelmsBriscoe, a site procurement company. The best part about this new venture is that I get to work remotely! I set my own hours and don’t have to report to an office. Essentially, I get the best of both worlds. I still get to be there for my children, and I get the fulfilment of being back in the workforce! I am even more excited that I am now building a career that I can take with me wherever I am in the world. As a military spouse it is daunting to go through the job search process every 2-3 years with every move. I admit this last round of job searching wore me out and I am over it! I am very thankful for the new opportunity that I have found and hope to never go through the job searching process ever again!
So, what exactly do I do? I kind of like a matchmaker. I help organizations find hotels and negotiate the contract terms for their events and offsite meetings - and at no cost to the organization! Whether it is a conference, annual sales meeting, gala, or even a hotel block for a wedding I can help! If you, your company or another organization you know of need hotel space for an upcoming event, definitely reach out to me.
I will keep you guys updated as I build my new career in this industry, but I can already tell you that I am loving the freedom I have. I have been feeling “under construction” throughout this whole journey back to the workforce and to be honest it has just straight up sucked. I questioned God so much through the process, because none of it made sense. I can remember crying to my husband asking, “why doesn’t God want me to work”? That is seriously how I felt after having applied to so many jobs and not even 2% of them calling me back for an interview. Now being on the other side of that construction I am loving that I can look back and connect some of the dots and see how God strategically led me here to this moment and I couldn’t be more thankful. I encourage anyone who is going through a similar time of just feeling under construction to stay with it. I have never seen a building reconstructed and come out looking worse than it did before the construction began.
Comment if you have any advice for this new working mom!