February 19, 2020
I must admit that I have been enjoying writing this blog. I always thought I was not a great creative writer and was much stronger on the technical side, but then I realized I was never really given the opportunity to try this gig out. Truth be told, there are a lot of things I’ve come to learn that I am very capable of because last year life threw me a curveball. I lost my job of 17 years and was suddenly faced with a myriad of decisions I was going to stare down and face. I have a family to take care of, a mortgage to pay, and yes, I do like to indulge in things such as books, seeing great friends, and taking vacations. I’ve said it before and it’s true – money does make the world go around.
Each week as I think about what I want to write about I get on social media, news outlets and other channels of the internet to find something I find interesting or that I can relate to. Since my career is literally helping people, I search for points of connectivity to make what can be complicated financial information more understandable and remind folks that there are solutions for just about anything, including losing your job.
I have come to love Linked In. I have a lot of professional contacts in my network and I follow some folks I went to school with. A couple of weeks ago I was captivated by the employer of one of my old school friends and I started digging into their mission and messages. Now, I have not spoken to this person in years, and if she was reading this, she may laugh to find that seeing her in my feed led to this article. But as I was reading it, the message was so very clear, and I think it’s important to share with all of you.
Life happens, and people evolve as they are living life. And most of us work in multiple places throughout our working years, either by choice or force. Career anxiety can be a very real thing and I am a firm believer that if you are leaving your family for hours to spend time earning a living, the earnings is not worth it if you don’t love what you do, where you do it, or who you do it with. Ann Shoket, who is the author of a book titled The Big Life, wrote a phenomenal article on this exact topic ( read here ). She describes the way her position in a place where she thought she’d have a long tenured career was cut short and how she had to make a choice. It’s pretty simple at the core. As Ann puts it, “we can be the architect of change, or let change happen to you. Take the reins.” Wow, I could have written this myself! And, after losing my job I thought to myself, “ok – let’s pivot and head someplace else.” And again, in this article is the clarity and words that I couldn’t express of how I got here today. This is not a pivot, it is an evolution. “The idea of “pivoting” sounds like you’re happily traipsing down a well-worth path and suddenly you need to take a hard right and turn into the terrifying unknown.” Yes, Ann – this is the absolute truth!
When life happens and you either make a job change willingly or it is forced upon you, you are not leaving everything behind in order to get back on track. In either scenario, you are evolving – taking what you have learned and developed and using it to propel you forward. I have these conversations with clients all of the time and work with them to discuss what the future may look like, how the change will impact their family finances, and tackle the work that needs to be done to ensure they can continue on the path of attaining the highest quality of life. So, be the architect. Take the reins. Partner with people who have lived through this and can guide on you on a path that will feel less terrifying. And remember as Ann Shoket shared, “you are not the sum of the things you do. What matters is why you do it.”
Iris Buczkowski is the founder of Birch Wealth Management (birchwealth.com). Original content provided by Iris is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.