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I find it equally surprising and comforting that so many people took the time to comment on a post I wrote back in June 2012 titled “I’m leaving my job” because, at the time, I wrote it mainly to reassure myself I was making the right choice. I honestly didn’t expect feedback in response to what I wrote.

Since that initial post sparked a lot of well wishers to chime in and let me know I would be ok, I thought it would be fitting to follow-up three years later with an update. I AM better than ok.

You see, I left a corporation that had limitless time attached to it (no, that’s not entirely true, there is no place that is 100% safe). But I did say goodbye to a company with seemingly more security than I have now.

Back then I accepted a new role that is tied to a company that was awarded a defined-period-of-time contract to do business. I live with the knowledge that, as early as this time next year, I could be job hunting again if we aren’t re-awarded new business.

I like to talk the talk, but not necessarily walk the walk, when it comes to embracing change.

I know without a doubt that every leap I’ve made up to this point in my life has resulted in being better off than where I was before. Yet, it never gets un-scary to take that leap, does it?

There are likely more than a few of you on the fence right now struggling with an important life change. I’m here to tell you…it WILL be better than ok.

  • It will be better than ok so long as you’ve weighed your options (never underestimate a pros/cons list) and it feels like it’s a choice you can accept and embrace.
  • It will be better than ok if you can imagine the possibilities of pursuing something that calls to you without fear of the unknown blocking your perspective.
  • It will be better than ok if it makes it easier for you to explain to your children why you choose to go to work because, believe it or not, they are interested in knowing what it is that you do all day and why you do it.

If you are anything like me, you started working because you wanted to somehow make a difference along with a paycheck. You wanted to use your talents and work alongside compelling colleagues that brought out the best in you. You didn’t mind putting in extra hours when no one cared that you did because you thought your work would define your greatness.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret….

…. (come close and listen, this is good stuff)….

…. life happens when you least expect it.

It happened to me.

I graduated college, got married, landed a job, lived in a few apartments, played in slow pitch softball and volleyball leagues, bought a house, had three children, stopped playing all previously mentioned activities, leaned on and laughed with girlfriends, signed my kids up for too many activities, watched loved ones get sick, rejoiced when some got better, said goodbye to others forever, and started to listen more than I talked.

That last one continues to be a struggle.

This time in my life, this job, has given me opportunities that I won’t take for granted. This phase of my career has given me the chance to make an impression on my kids.

Lexington baby shower4

Helping a little guy with the ring toss game at a community event.

I have more life experience and, as a result, recognize how different people deemed “in charge” have either helped or hindered my progress over the years. Some were leaders who encouraged new ideas, other were followers who trickled down orders.

Because life happens, I now know how to take better care of the people who rely on me from day-to-day. I’m handling less projects and more people.

People are saying things like “Your communication was excellent,” and “I appreciate you more than you know.” Amazing the types of things you hear when you stop doing all of the talking!

Yet the future remains uncertain.

If it all comes to an end in a year’s time, I will never regret making that leap.

Because…I am better than ok. And you will be too.

Written by Heidi Woodard

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“When we are fearlessly who we are, we don’t need external validation, just an opportunity to express ourselves, live fully, and serve the world.” – Arianna Huffington, Founder of the Huffington Post.

I read this quote, re-read it, paused to ponder, then compared it to another quote I stumbled upon from Aaron Levie, CEO at Box, Inc.:

“A great (company) mission will attract like-minded individuals that want to go on the same journey…Be on a mission that doesn’t suck.”

The combined essence of those two statements basically sum up how revitalized I felt following a trip I recently took for work.

I documented my leap of faith earlier this summer when I decided to finally leave my old job. I’m happy to say I’ve gone through the awkward and exciting acclimation period with a new company, new coworkers, and new mission.

I’m not sure if what I’m doing today will be the same job I’m doing 10 years down the road, but today, well today it simply feels right.

One week ago, I was sitting in a room full of marketing professionals and realized it was the first time in my professional career that I was surrounded by people who didn’t generally look or think like me. Even better…despite our variances…the notion of serving others over ourselves was a unifying belief we all held close to our hearts.

Near the end of a jam-packed multi-day session of strategy development and information sharing on how to help each other move our company forward, our group leader asked us to pause.

To close our eyes and place our hands at our sides.

To breathe deeply and imagine being in a room with family and friends.

To come to a startling realization that everyone around us in grieving deeply.

To imagine that our life has ended and we are watching our own funeral unfold before our very eyes.

To see the person we love most dearly attempt to collect themselves as they pull out a piece of paper to address the crowd.

To imagine the words we would want them to say to describe how we lived our lives.

Were we there for them? Or did we shove them behind other priorities like work, drugs, possessions, power, etc.? Did we use our life to build more than our bank account? Did we falsely assume there would always be time to not only achieve our own dreams, but also help others fulfill theirs?

This simple exercise forced me to think about my own mortality. I share it with you so that you may do the same.

Created by Heidi Woodard