How My Dream Job Once Saved Me
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Everyone has a dream job. We think about it all the time, what if I could do X, I’d be so much happier/freer/wealthier, etc. I always wanted to do something that I would enjoy and not feel like I was stuck to a desk in a windowless office.
In college, I decided Exercise Science was that path and it was interesting to me. The body’s ability to move, dance, create and learn new things has always fascinated me. I was exposed to Pilates and loved it! I wanted to specialize in Pilates and exercise for the rest of my life.
For more than 17 years, I’ve worked in my field of health and well-being. But it wasn’t always a dream job.
I was very successful in my former career in health & fitness management. I rose quickly, excelled at scheduling fitness classes, customer service, sales, budgets, fundraising, race management, whatever the job threw at me I would tackle head-on. Along the way, I completed two master's degree programs and countless health and fitness certifications.
Still, something was missing.
Within the first few days of January 2013, I was injured on the job with a moderate concussion. I credit the next few months with my eventual transition to my current dream job. The concussion limited my abilities to read (and exercise!) for a while, which meant I had to develop strategies for limiting computer use and that meant I started to interact even more with customers than I was already doing. It also meant I started to experiment with various forms of meditation, exercise, and food to stay healthy.
In all, it took about 6 months before I was fully back to my full capabilities to stare at a computer screen for endless periods of time without suffering the effects of the concussion.
But that concussion also made me reevaluate my life along the way. About a month after the concussion, I interviewed for a promotion, got it, and ended up working for one of the BEST supervisors I’ve ever had.
He was so good of a supervisor that if he ever offered me a job in the future, I’d probably do it even if it wasn’t my dream job. That’s how great of a leader he is.
It was short-lived though, within about another year and a half, after some tumultuous times due to unforeseen events, there was a massive shift in the organization and I was MISERABLE.
My awesome boss was gone, I was working for someone who wasn’t even half the supervisor my previous boss had been, my job was moved from <4 miles from home to more than 50 miles one way. Spending an hour (and more like 1.5 hours) one way was not ideal nor was it my dream job to drive so much.
So with a month’s transition, before I officially had to move offices, I reevaluated EVERYTHING. I’d already been looking and interviewing for jobs since my awesome boss had departed but I wasn’t finding anything that felt like a good fit or the right move.
And then it dawned on me...did I hate the INDUSTRY or the COMPANY I worked for?
Reaching out to a friend, I was able to get an interview entirely through word of mouth at another local, large established gym. I was totally 100% honest in the interview and told the interviewer: I want to reset my career, I need to know if I hate the industry or the company.
I started at that gym as a personal trainer two days after my 34th birthday. Four years later and even more certifications, I’m so happy I switched jobs.
Turns out, I always knew my dream job: Pilates Reformer + Health Coaching + Medical Exercise Specialist
My dream job looks like:
Working with clients who have unique health challenges, whether it's a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes or MS, a joint replacement, or just want to prevent a chronic condition.
Working less than 30 hours a week allowing me plenty of time to do activities I hadn’t been able to do in decades because I spent 40-60 hours a week a job that I wasn’t enjoying
Setting my own schedule, taking vacations when and where I want
It’s the main focus of my healthy and sustainable life.
A dream job isn’t just a dream.
It’s a lifestyle.