8.11.2011

a new chapter

My whole adult life (and some of my teen years) has been spent working.  That's what I do.  It's who I am.  Maybe it has something to do with being independent, self-sufficient... Or maybe it's because I didn't get married until I was 26.  I had to support myself, right?  The irony of it all is that I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I knew I wanted to get married and have kids.  That was my aspiration.  It sounds sort of old-fashioned, which is also ironic because I am the farthest thing from it.  But I've never really had a "plan".  Some people know where they are headed and what they want to do with their lives.  Their college coursework is designed around the end goal.  When I went to college I still didn't have a clue what I was interested in.  I decided to study business, and with that came accounting courses.  I thoroughly enjoyed accounting, and that sparked an interest that would pave the way for my ultimate career in payroll.

My career sort of developed itself over the years.  It started with a temp-to-hire job as an administrative assistant/receptionist.  After awhile I began to realize that I was naturally talented when it comes to using a computer, learning new software, and doing my job well.  I had taken the aforementioned accounting courses, so I asked my boss, Corporate Controller, for some additional responsibilities in accounting.  She started me off with small tasks - entering timecards for payroll, creating spreadsheets, etc.  By the time the company was acquired two years later, I was reconciling general ledger accounts and managing work orders.  I had job costing down pat.

Of course a layoff was devastating, but I didn't let it stop me.  I began temping in various positions - accounts payable, payroll - you name it.  Payroll was fascinating for whatever reason.  I think it might have had something to do with self esteem.  The very first payroll I processed was done so with 100% accuracy.  My supervisor was amazed.  I was amazed that someone would expect anything less.  So payroll is where I camped out for the next ten years or so.  Sometimes my job involved more accounting, and sometimes it involved more HR.  But it almost always involved payroll.

Fast forward to 2007.  That's the year I started my last job (ever?).  That's the year I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful baby girl.  I started the job exactly 90 days before she was born.  Long enough to be eligible for 3 weeks' paid vacation during my maternity leave.  Of course I wished I did not have to leave her and return to work, but I could not make the numbers work in my favor.  After six short weeks, I kissed her goodbye and left her with my husband for the morning.  He would be taking her to a friend's house before he started work at 2:00 in the afternoon.  In that regard, we were lucky.  He had a shift that allowed him to spend time with her in the morning, and we knew someone we could trust to watch her for about 5 hours a day at a price that we could afford.  We kept up this arrangement until she was almost a year old, at which time we finally put her in day care for the second half of the day.

Fast forward again to 2011.  I'm with the same company.  My second child, a son, is born.  Although I have made considerable strides in salary over the last 4 and 1/2 years, I have never been fully satisfied with my job.  The work itself is interesting enough, but the environment is stressful and spiritually stifling.  Missing out on precious moments in my daughter's life has been difficult but necessary.  Bills have to be paid.  On paper, I had planned to return to work about 8 weeks after my son was born.  However, in my heart, I never felt it was the right thing to do.  I prayed vigorously for months, patiently waiting for God to answer me and say, "Yes!  You should raise your own children!!"  We did not have anyone to watch the baby in their home like before.  I calculated the cost of showing up to work each week to be approximately $500.  Ouch.  But staying home would certainly not allow me to break even.  I needed some way to supplement the lost income of leaving my full time job.  Well...God answers prayers.

Over the years I have become very skilled when it comes to "systems".  Particularly HR information systems, also known as HRIS.  For those who don't know, this is essentially a database that stores all pertinent employee data.  Reports can be generated within the HRIS, and most of the time it is used for processing payroll.  It turns out there is a niche for people like me.  Through my networking resources, I came across the opportunity to be an HRIS consultant.  In a nutshell, I help various companies with their HRIS needs.  This might mean implementing a new system, processing payroll, or setting up reports for them.  The beauty of this type of consulting work is that it can be done from anywhere; one need not be "in the office" to make things happen.

Thus starts a new chapter in my life.  I resigned my full-time position.  They asked me to stay on in an "as needed" capacity to help transition knowledge and assist with special projects.  Working from home.  I also have a consulting gig that gives me an average of 15 hours a week.  Working from home.  I am constantly networking, looking for other consulting opportunities.  It gives me so much joy to be able to drive my daughter to pre-k and pick her up in the afternoon - to not have to leave her there until 6:30 at night.  Spending the day with my baby boy is something I will treasure always.  To top it all off, my husband has a new schedule that allows us to spend two or three weekdays together every week, plus he is home by 6:15 on the days he does work.  Dinner as a family - what a concept!

All of these things coming together so perfectly at just the right time just emphasizes to me how much God loves us and cares about our dreams and desires.  He always has our best interests at heart, and He knows the perfect timing for that next chapter in our lives.  My blog is simply going to be a recount of my observations as I make this transition from career woman to SAHM.  Hopefully my future posts will be a little more entertaining and less like a history lesson. :)

Psalms 37:4  "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

1 comment:

  1. That made me cry. God is faithful, and I am SO proud of you for taking this step! Looking forward to seeing your journey progress!

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