The Career Plot-Twist That Changed My Life

Why you should never say never...

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“I’m never moving to California!”⁣

⁣I’m embarrassed to admit it, but those words tumbled out of my mouth one crisp spring day in 2014. I remember it clearly. I was walking with a friend in downtown Omaha when I turned to him and openly declared, “I will never move there! Especially to Los Angeles. There is way too much traffic. It’s hot all year round, and it’s expensive. Never. I’ll go anywhere but there.”

You see, after twenty-some years living in the Midwest and more than half that time wanting to get out, it was time for me to leave. After growing up in a small town, all I wanted to do was live in a city—a big one, and my sights were set on Chicago. It wasn’t as big as New York, but it still had that hustle and bustle vibe I was longing for. I had visited Chicago earlier that year to scope it out and loved it.

That spring, I started networking with my desired department at the company, and the manager told me that a position in Chicago would be available mid-summer. This was my chance. I imagined myself working at the company’s fancy high-rise across from the Chicago River, my schedule full of happy hours at Eataly. I envisioned myself on the train commuting to and from my cute, hipster apartment—finally able to catch up on my reading.

While I was planning my chic city life, the universe had other plans….

In early August, the manager called me and let me know that the department had decided not to backfill the Chicago position, but several others would open up in the next few weeks. And just like that, my big-city dreams evaporated. I had already made up my mind about this particular job and wanted to pursue the opportunity, but I was bummed my city life would most likely not pan out. Sure enough, another job opened up in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Not exactly what I was envisioning, but at this point, I was ready to try something new.

I had been working on this transition for over a year, so I had all of my ducks in a row—or so I thought.

My contract expired on August 25, 2014, and I didn’t anticipate anyone having an issue allowing me to apply for the position several days before that date. After failed negotiations, I felt frustrated and defeated.

But as it always does, the universe was working its magic.

On the morning of August 25th, exactly 18 months from my start date at the company (I had met my contract obligations, and I was a free woman!), I checked the current job postings, and there it was: a job opening. 

“No, how could this be?!” Nobody said anything about a position in LA.

Months earlier, I had professed to my friend that I would never move there, but now my dream job was staring back at me, begging for a chance. That week I did something I thought I would never do: I applied for a position in Los Angeles, CA. Needless to say, I got the job and moved to California a few months after I applied.

The universe handed me exactly what I needed in my life but was too closed-minded to notice. To think I was upset about not being able to move to Arkansas when the universe had other plans. I’m glad the powers that be slammed the door in my face; sometimes that’s necessary—and in my situation, it was perfect!

Looking back, I’m so happy I put my ego aside and took one of the biggest risks of my life. The joke was on me, and it was a good one. Sometimes things don’t always work out as planned. This experience taught me that anything in life is possible, to always keep an open mind, and to never say never, because the universe is always eavesdropping and ready to make its move.

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