So, I Just Quit My Six-Figure Corporate Job…..
After 10 years, 2 workforces, 4 roles, 12 clients, 28 cities, 640,000 air miles, 860 hotel nights and uncountable memories, my time at Accenture has come to an end. If you have been reading my blogs and following me on social media, you will know that I started this journey about a year ago by losing 50 lbs and “taking my life back.”
I started at Accenture during the summer of 2008 with an internal role focusing on Forecasting, Planning and Budgeting. My hours would generally get me to the office around 7:30–7:45am, I would work through lunch, which I of course packed (#mealprep), and I would leave the office around 5:30pm. From there, I headed home and was able to get about an hour or two in the gym or running outside before cooking dinner and topping off the night with a few hours of work and/or catching up with friends and family. Dinner was religiously chicken breast with veggies, protein shake, and a few diet sodas (I know, I know… that was then, this is now). Routine served me well and I was able to keep my weight in check (within about 10–15 lbs), as well as train for and complete the Philadelphia Marathon. Wilmington Delaware eventually got stale and my career ambitions led me to take a role in Chicago where I was able to work in a “real city.”
A brief stint in Internal Audit drove me to move from internal roles to the client facing side of things. This meant a steep learning curve, traveling every week, and long hours. I worked hard and was constantly looking for ways to make a name for myself and progress quickly. Moving up through the ranks, the travel, stress and my waistline all increased together and I started to realize my true cost of success. 7 years of almost weekly travel, 60–90 hour weeks, taking my laptop along on every vacation, and focusing on my work rather than my health resulted in burn out — both physically and mentally. Meals were always from restaurants or “grab-and-go” type places, and exercise was never a sure thing. With promotions and raises, also came less flexibility, more ambiguity to my schedule, and high pressure situations. Throughout my time at Accenture, I was always supported by a great group of mentors, bosses, and friends who I will treasure forever. I would not trade the past 10 years for anything, but a few months back I determined that my time has come to hand in the laptop, hang up the carry-on luggage, and pursue what I am truly passionate about.
So what’s next….
I write this post from the first day of self-employment and being a student, which ironically happens to fall on a national holiday that I don’t get paid for any longer. Going forward, I’ll be focusing on my passion for nutrition coaching and enabling others to reach their healthand wellness goals, while also pursuing a M.S. in Human Nutrition. The next 6 weeks will bring me closer to my own health and wellness goalsby undoing the stress and buildup of the past few years; crossfit, half marathon training, and spending time with family will take up my time and focus. Beginning next month, I plan to begin taking paying clients who are interested in working with a nutrition practitioner to lose fat and/ or pursue fitness goals. Around that time, masters degree classes will start picking up, and I hope to find myself fully occupied while still putting my health and wellness first.
It may seem as though I have a grand plan and am steps away from success, but I don’t have it all figured out. The decision to take a risk and leave behind a safe job and guaranteed salary was not an easy one, but deep down I felt it was important enough to take the first step. My favorite quote of all time pretty much sums it up: “Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.”
Is fear holding you back from taking a risk that you’ve been meaning to take? How can small changes bring you closer to a dream you’ve been pursuing?
Until next time…. Catch me in the comments!