Sensory overload. It was like the first time I visited New York City and became absorbed into the bright lights, multitudes of people, and tall buildings surrounding me. Except this time, I was taking in by my new shiny laptop, the names of a hundred associates that I needed to memorize, and the free candy vending machines in every corner. I was a Buying Operations Coordinator at one of the largest chocolate companies in the world. This was the start of my corporate career, and the chance at my successful start in life, or at least, it was supposed to be.
I quickly learned the culture of my workplace: who was approachable and who wasn’t, how to use the office lingo to make it seem like you knew what you were talking about, and which cafeteria cook made the best burrito. All of these things were important, clearly, and I was beginning to feel that any fears I had, were unnecessary. However, there was one thing I neglected to acknowledge: my health. I was sleeping less than ever before as we had to clock in on-time or dare lose 10% of our pay. Nutrition, well it was difficult to eat healthy when working in a chocolate factory. Not to mention my stress levels were at an all-time high due to the pressure I was putting on myself to climb the corporate ladder.
Soon days turned into months, and months into years, and I realized that I did not like the culture I had so quickly come to understand. All signs read, “this isn’t the right job for you,” but I never slowed down enough to realize it. Until one day my body made me pay attention when my fatigue levels, headaches and brain fog were so bad that I realized I could not go on living this way.
In a desperate need to feel better, I began to meditate and practice yoga daily. At first I wasn’t too familiar with either. Luckily this thing called Google helped me get started. Breathe. Stretch. Let go. Listen. Terms I soon became very familiar with. The more I practiced, the better I felt. And the better I felt, the clearer I saw what I wanted from my life. During these quiet moments, I learned two important things about myself:
1). I wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives every day.
2). I wanted to own my business.
When I realized those two things, I quit my cushy corporate job and joined a boutique financial planning firm where we help people regain their financial health every day. It’s been over a year now, and for the first time, my career has completely aligned with my true nature. Every day I am elevated by the work that I do. By educating my clients about successful money management – how to earn it, save it, invest it, spend it wisely and enjoy it through every stage of life, I have had the greatest pleasure of being able to watch them thrive financially and live out their dreams. Not to mention, the work-life balance I have created for myself has allowed my mind and body to flourish like never before. I make sure to schedule small breaks throughout the work day so that I can really enjoy the moment and the great people who surround me.
In the past, I had taken my health for granted with too few breaks and breaths, and too many candy bars. I learned that the safe path isn’t always the right path, and no one will make you take a break… except you. Sometimes what may seem like failure can really be opportunity knocking on your door, but you need to be present enough to hear it.
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” — Steve Jobs.
Marissa Greco is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors.
Securities offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (Member SIPC). Investment advisory services offered through Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Greco-Nader & Associates is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors.
Originally published at medium.com