Taking the terrifying leap to happiness

by Ashley Heger

Ever have a job that sucked the life out of you? One that chewed you up and spit you out on a daily basis? That’s where I was three years ago.

I was working for an insurance company that worked its employees to the bone. I travelled a lot, which was extra tough as a single mom. Though the money was good, my work-life balance was abysmal. I had very little time to spend with my then two-year old son, MJ, and zero time for myself.

I knew it was time for a change. Beyond time. But, as a single parent, there was a lot at stake. Fortunately, a friend stepped in to help. He had watched my job destroy me (and my self-esteem) and said, ‘Enough is enough.’ He insisted I apply for a job where he worked — at GoDaddy.com.

I was hesitant, but my existing job had run me so ragged — I was too exhausted not to heed his advice. I applied to be a customer care consultant at GoDaddy. It would be a considerable pay cut, but I’d have a chance at happiness, right?

I’d like to say that I took the job and my worries magically disappeared, but it wasn’t that easy. My past job had taken a serious toll on my confidence. During training, I panicked and cried, sure that I had made a horrible mistake. But my new team was compassionate and reassuring, always taking extra time to help me get adjusted and learn the ropes. (Compassion at work? This was new to me.)

Although GoDaddy was super supportive and allowed me to have more time to devote to my son, I was still struggling to make ends meet financially. My son and I lived in a bad neighborhood and still had no money in savings. Christmas was around the corner, and I was going to have to break it to my child that gifts were out of the question. It finally reached the point where, one day, I couldn’t afford groceries and had to go to a food bank. The very next day, I came to work and found out that I had won a huge Costco shopping spree — a GoDaddy reward that I had earned based on my job performance. You cannot imagine the feelings of gratitude, pride, and RELIEF. My team believed in me, even if I wasn’t so sure myself.

Later, I loaded my Costco cart with necessities, and gifts, and food to share with the food bank that had generously helped me out the day before. It sounds corny, but it was a true Christmas miracle, and though it didn’t solve all my money worries, it restored my hope at a critical time.

As the months went on, life slowly stabilized. At work, I started to gain more confidence and trust in myself and in others. I relished in the fact that my work had meaning, and that I was helping our customers realize their hopes and dreams. I was still concerned about money, but the stress felt different now that I was at GoDaddy because I didn’t feel alone anymore. I had my GoDaddy family now — a support network that would offer to give me a ride when my car broke down, or babysit when I was in a pinch. I would bring my son into work and everyone treated him like family, too. (In fact, MJ just started a coding club so that he can be part of GoDaddy’s future. I couldn’t be prouder.)

At GoDaddy, I was finally — and thankfully — part of a team that cared about its people, its customers, and the world. My manager believed in me, too, and encouraged me to pursue additional training to grow my career and my salary. Now three years later, things look so much different. I’ve changed positions three times and am now a project manager for our Professional Web Services team, which means more money, responsibility and security. (I’m loving all three.) As a manager, I’ve been able to use my life experience to help others — to pay it forward — and it feels great to be on the giving end.

Just recently, I was able to buy a house for my son and me. It’s my dream house — huge yard, historical home, plenty of room for my son to play soccer in the street with his buddies. Best of all, we go to sleep each night feeling safe, secure and happy. Things are so much better, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my GoDaddy family. GoDaddy has taught me that Impossible really means “I’m Possible.” My experience here has given me the confidence to not just be great at work, but to be a better mom and person.

So what’s next? Well, this year, I have big plans to take MJ to Disneyland. He’s never been before. I’ve saved up enough money, and my co-workers have even given us gift cards to help afford even more “magic.” We’re so excited. They say that Disneyland is “the happiest place on Earth,” but I don’t think it could match the happiness I’ve found here at GoDaddy. This job has changed my life, and for that, I will always be grateful!

Ashley is based in Gilbert, AZ. She’s one of the phenomenal humans who work at GoDaddy. #GoDaddyLife #GoDaddyBrave

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