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A Career Update

Remember how I left my career in advertising last September to “live the dream” and pursue my passion for fitness? I pulled it off. The mix of teaching yoga, training clients and my blog provided me the financial stability I needed to do the things I loved. Despite the fact that I was teaching upwards of 20 yoga classes per week, constantly driving from place to place and my work hours were very random, I was really happy.

And then in January I found myself contemplating several full-time career opportunities that came to me out of the blue. I wasn’t looking to go back to a full-time job and I thought I was perfectly content with the lifestyle I had created. This proves that when you go in the direction of the things that inspire and fulfill you, doors open and opportunities present themselves. Ultimately, I decided to pursue one of those opportunities and went back to working full-time as the general manager of Metro Fitness Club.

Although the overall feedback was positive, some people questioned my decision to return to “the working world” when I had created this whole new thing that was working fine and seemingly exactly what I wanted. Honestly, I questioned my decision a little bit too in the beginning but quickly realized that I absolutely made the best decision that I could have by accepting the job.

It is so nice to have my energy more focused in one place and I feel so much a part of an amazing community at the gym. The position provides a great mix of business and fitness activities. I have really enjoyed things like developing marketing materials, social media, building websites and learning more about what it takes to not only run a successful gym but to get a look at everything that goes into opening a gym. And I still get to train clients, teach classes and participate in classes as part of my job responsibilities.

One of the major benefits of my job is not having a traditional 9 to 5 schedule. My hours are flexible, sometimes I work on the weekends and I work from home a lot. I know that is not ideal for everyone but it works really well for me. I don’t need an on/off switch with work and I don’t mind being available various days/times.

This opportunity was a blessing and from a career standpoint, I feel like I am exactly where I need to be right now. The past few weeks have been totally crazy in preparation for the opening of the new location but I could not be more excited about it all becoming real next week!

This outdoor board posted yesterday across the street from the new gym and I’m so pleased with how it turned out!

So there is an update on where I am on the career front. I didn’t intend to write this post when I sat down to blog but then all the words came out. I have really enjoyed documenting my journey on my blog.

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit June 7, 2012, 1:39 pm

    So happy you are HAPPY doing what you love to do!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:34 am

      thanks bess! i’m happy too!

  • LeeAnn June 7, 2012, 1:45 pm

    I love that quote – very inspiring!! Congratulations on your journey – you should feel so good about it!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:34 am

      i love it too! thank you for the congrats. i hope you are well!

  • SD June 7, 2012, 1:53 pm

    It is really inspiring to see someone living their dream and choosing such a healthy lifestyle. You are a real inspiration! I love reading your blog!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:33 am

      thank you for reading. i’m so happy that you enjoy my blog!

  • Winnie June 7, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Woo hoo, Jen! Way to go! I’m so proud of all of your successes, you are an inspiration. Can’t wait to check out the new Metro CrossFit!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:32 am

      thank you winnie! i appreciate all of your support! 🙂

  • Danielle June 7, 2012, 2:03 pm

    It has been great hearing about your journey. It sounds like you have the perfect balance/mix of things in your current job! Glad to hear things are going well and can’t wait to hear what happens next.

  • Miriam@Bellaspire June 7, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I have really enjoyed following your journey and am so excited for you. What a blessing that things have fallen into place exactly how they were meant to. I wonder where you’ll be a year from now!!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:32 am

      oh gosh, my life has changed so drastically in the past year i don’t even want to think about next year! 😉

  • Danielle June 7, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Jen you’re so inspiring and living proof that following your passions can have big payoffs.

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:31 am

      thank you danielle! it’s been a crazy year but worth it.

  • Laura is Undeterrable June 7, 2012, 2:12 pm

    This is so encouraging to read. We will likely be moving next year and I will have to switch careers as we will move to a small town. I’ve decided that the move will coincide with my switch to a fitness oriented career (Getting my CrossFit Level 1 this year) but I’m still scared that I’ll fail. It is so encouraging to read stories where things go well! (I am totally aware that it could be a rough road though).

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:28 am

      laura – good luck with your level 1. it’s on the horizon for me as well. the move will give you the push you need to try a new career path. it’s takes a lot of hard work and passion but it’s possible!

  • Erin June 7, 2012, 2:22 pm

    You’re pretty much living the life I want to live, from leaving the advertising field, to working full-time in a gym. How much time did it take for you to get certified to teach Yoga?

    • Jen June 7, 2012, 2:32 pm

      i did a 200-hour certification. we met 8 weekends over the course of about 3 months.

  • Sana June 7, 2012, 2:31 pm

    I think you have the perfect career!

  • Devon @ the food bitch blog June 7, 2012, 4:04 pm

    There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with the decisions you make in your life… I learned that when I got divorced. I did what it took to make myself happy & you’re doing the same. Good for you!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:25 am

      so true devon! you can’t live your life to please other people.

  • russg June 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Perfect job doing something you really enjoy. I read your blog every day for encouragement and motivation. How is Sullie? You haven’t mentioned her in a couple of days! My Zico chocolate coconut water arrived today, it is in the fridge getting cold and I will devour it after my 2 mile gentle run later this evening. I am still doing the smoothie challenge, I sort of got addicted to it. What are your thoughts on Emily, will she find true love? And finally, Charlotte looks like a really beautiful place to live.

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:25 am

      thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. sullie is doing great – cute as ever! you’re right – i haven’t posted about her recently. she got a bath yesterday and wasn’t a huge fan of that! 😉

      hope you enjoy the chocolate zico! and who knows about emily!? she confuses me! 🙂

  • Kimberly June 7, 2012, 4:47 pm

    The important thing is that you are doing what you love! Congrats on the new gym!

  • Becca June 7, 2012, 5:49 pm

    You make money off this blog????

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:22 am

      hi becca – i’m a part of the blog her ad network, you’ll see the ads in the sidebars.

      • Becca June 9, 2012, 9:31 pm

        Wow. I am shocked that you profit off of this blog. I did some research on how much someone like you makes being part of the BlogHer ad network and again, shocked. So you make money by posting blog entries, but then if you do a special review (which you have been doing a lot of lately), you make additional money. “Products you believe in,” huh? It would seem to be a bit more complicated than that. Oh and if I’m correct you are also paid according to the traffic on your site, too. Needless to say I won’t be one of your minions any longer. Good luck running yourself ragged! Your blog is easily the most unhealthy example of how NOT to conduct one’s life. What in the world would you do if you actually had downtime??? Ciao!

        • Jen June 10, 2012, 11:33 am

          hi becca – i am really sorry to hear that i am losing you as a reader but appreciate that you did follow my blog for so long. i enjoyed interacting with you through comments. i have been a part of the blogher ad network since april 2011, around the time of my first blog anniversary. i announced to my readers that i would be including ads on my blog moving forward. i put a lot of time into my blog and i do incur some costs from things like technical support/design as well as hosting fees. i think i’ve participated in something like 6 or 7 sponsored posts ever and there is always a disclaimer at the top of my post that it is a sponsored post. i try to be as transparent as possible.

          i definitely do not consider my readers to be minions. i say time and again that my favorite part of blogging is the ability to connect and share experiences with women (and some men) across the country and around the world. it’s a pretty inspiring to hear about everyone’s unique journey.

          and yes, i’m busy but the purpose of writing the career update was to share that my new job has allowed me to feel a lot more grounded, stable and generally happy.

          again, i’m disappointed that you’re leaving but i understand and thank you for your honesty.

          • Teresa Marie November 3, 2013, 8:43 pm

            That was a surprising post to read on such a genuine website.

            Jen, I have really enjoyed following your blog. It (and you!) are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your life and our sincerity.

  • Lindsay June 7, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Hey Jen, I read your blog all the time. I love how you write, and how your passion for fitness and health shines through everything you do. Leaving your job was so incredibly brave, and I am just so happy that you are getting satisfaction through your daily work. Way to go following your dream! You’re an inspiration!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:21 am

      hi lindsay – thank you so much for the comment and for the nice words about my blog. i’m so happy that you enjoy it! the past year has been a bit of a whirlwind but it’s all been worth it to end up where i am!

  • jennyv June 7, 2012, 7:10 pm

    You seem well-suited to your new position — and if that’s where your heart led you, it has to be right!! Utilizing your advertising background, sharing your expertise in fitness, getting to participate! — perfect combo.

    I cannot tell you how much I love reading your blog.

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:20 am

      i love having you as a reader and your frequent comments! thank YOU!

  • wymberley June 7, 2012, 8:50 pm

    This post really speaks to me. Im so glad you found your fit in the world. I have been struggling with the idea of starting my own yoga studio…slowly, and taking less money. OR returning to a full time teaching job after 4 years away. My heart says yoga and my mind says teaching. Hopefully, the right answer will present itself before me soon. For now, I am so impressed with your opportunities! Good things are coming your way!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:19 am

      i am thinking of you and hoping that you find the path that is right for you and fulfills you. follow the flow of the things you love to do!

  • Tracy June 7, 2012, 8:59 pm

    Jen I’m so happy for you and glad that you’ve created the career that you’ve dreamed of! Congrats on your success!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:18 am

      thank you tracy! so great to hear from you. hope things are going well in atlanta!

  • Mary-Catherine June 7, 2012, 9:40 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sooooooooo excited, happy, and proud of you for following YOUR dreams 🙂

  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } June 8, 2012, 6:22 am

    Having confidence in a major life-choice you’ve made is the best feeling ever! Everything happens for a reason and I’m sure this is exactly where you are supposed to be!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:15 am

      it is a really powerful and GOOD feeling!

  • rachael June 8, 2012, 9:25 am

    I’m glad you’re feeling so great, sweetheart! Those are blessings and your hard work! A perfect mixture!

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:15 am

      thank you! i am happy! 🙂

  • Julie June 8, 2012, 9:29 am

    Your story is so inspiring, thanks for sharing! I have a friend that lives in Charlotte so I’m hoping to come check out Metro or Y2 the next time I’m in town to visit 🙂

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:14 am

      julie – i would love to meet you if you visit charlotte!

  • Clara June 8, 2012, 10:24 am

    Jen- I could not be happier for you, and I have so loved following your journey through this whole thing. Your story is especially inspiring to me, as I’ve been going through much the same thing as you have, and it’s not to know I’m not alone- even if our career paths are so different! I’ve been thinking a lot about your work and lifestyle as I’ve starting really focusing on weight training. It’s been awesome! I bit the bullet and got a trainer and it’s proving to be one of the best investments I’ve ever made. The most surprising thing I’ve found is how positive my mood has been. I’ve always been disciplined about going to the gym and have felt the positive mental effects from it, but the specific focus on weight training makes my mood even better! I don’t know what it is… maybe the testosterone? Haha… I know nothing about that stuff, but thought you might. Anyway, aside from that so glad to hear your doing well! Have a great weekend! xx

    • Jen June 8, 2012, 11:14 am

      hi clara – thank you so much for your comment and kind words. it really means a lot to me because you have been a long-time blog reader. i hope that your career path is heading in the direction that you want it to.

      so exciting that you’re working with a trainer and enjoying it. i’m not sure about the mood enhancements due to strength training…usually you hear that about more cardio-heavy things due to the endorphin rush? maybe it’s just that you’re feeling more focused and into your workouts and that’s boosting your self-confidence and mood?

      have a wonderful weekend!

      • Clara June 9, 2012, 9:37 am

        I think you’re right- it’s the overall focus and the improvements I’m feeling in my body. It’s make me want to go to the gym all.the.time. and it feels awesome.

  • Lisa June 8, 2012, 2:03 pm

    It’s great you are doing what makes YOU happy! Makes me excited for whats to come for you and that’s the only thing that matters! Its been really inspiring to watch you grow in this industry because I am starting to realize fitness is my passion, even though I may not make loads of money to start out why do something I hate just for a bigger pay check.

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