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My Career Saved My Life

Last week, I had the honor of doing hair and make-up for a woman speaker at the Dress For Success Twin Cities Luncheon and her story quickly and unexpectedly tugged at my heart and moved me to tears.  

But not for the reasons one might expect.

It wasn’t this woman’s struggles that moved me per se, it was the lack of hope and direction in her path, and the light and pride in her eyes when she shared that she had finally landed a job she loved.

That’s when I lost it, and my own truth hit me:

My career has been so much MORE than stability through my own story of chaos.

In my past 10 1/2 years I’ve worked for the same company.  I’ve held different titles, moved around and up through the company and have a deep love for what I do.

This job gave me stability amidst the darkest points of my life.

At my low points I was a couch-surfing, broke, divorcee struggling with intensely paralyzing PTSD, and at my high points (right now) I’m in the healthiest, most satisfying partnership I’ve ever experienced, I’ve started my own business, and I finally feel like it’s safe enough for me to leave the only stable thing I’ve had in my adult life: my job.

When my family and relationships fell apart, when I was struggling to make ends meet, when I didn’t know how I was ever going to get to where I wanted to be in my life,

I buried myself in my passion for my work.

When I heard this woman’s story at the luncheon, I heard echoes of my own story.  Except she didn’t have my saving grace- she didn’t have my career.

My career was my purpose.  My safe haven. My constant, my control.  My career was my self-esteem. It was my family when I couldn’t connect with my blood.  It was ME when I didn’t know who I was.

My career gave me hope.

It gave me a part of myself that I’d never previously known the depth of until I heard this woman speak.

Having a career, or even just a job can mean the difference between having a life worth living and one that you just don’t care about.  It can build confidence when everything else in your life is tearing it down, and it can help you belong to something larger than yourself.  The right job can give you financial independence and self-reliance, it can give you the power to support yourself and your family, and it can give you the freedom to chase your dreams.

The work being done over at Dress For Success Twin Cities to empower women through career education and emotional intelligence training is SO essential and SO FREAKING POWERFUL.  It’s giving these women the tools to acquire something that’s completely theirs, and helping them to become the best version of themselves they can be!

So, today I’m thankful.  For my career.  For the opportunity to serve.  And for this woman who moved me to tears.

It’s a happy-cry.




What are you thankful or grateful for today?

Do you have a job that had helped you through when times got rough?

Leave a comment below!


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