We want working women to love what they do.
The Washington Post reported that “13% of people worldwide like going to work.”
That is such a sad statistic and one that Lemon Crushers seeks to change. When a woman’s work is something that fuels her, gives her purpose and fulfillment, her whole world is better.
Women who love what they do: Ashley’s story of success
Today’s Lemon Crushing story about Real Women with Real Problems who achieved Real Success features Ashley. She wanted a job she loved and this is how she created her custom-designed career.
“I love art, and I love numbers. Finding my perfect career was a challenge.
“Selecting a college and a course of study was the first time that my two brains majorly collided. My heart and creative brain wanted an art school, but my science and math brain (and my parents) pushed for more traditional studies. I decided on a Science program at the University of Minnesota because I believed the phrase “you can’t make any money being an artist.”
I started studies, but within weeks I was miserable. Yearning to speak with someone who could walk me through my challenges, I ended up in the career counseling office at the university. I discovered that a degree in Retail Merchandising combined my love of art and business and I switched majors.
After graduation, I worked for 6 years in display merchandising with a large retail chain company when two different situations dumped lemons in my life. The first issue was the years of the heavy lifting was putting strain on my lower back and causing significant pain and the second was the company I was working for announced they were going out of business.
I faced an immediate future with a painful back and no job.”
“This set me up for a life change. “
“My Doctor asked a question which became a turning point for me. As she was working on my back, she asked: “Do you REALLY love what you do?”
The reason she stressed the question is she made it clear unless I stop my intense activity and heal my back, I would always have back issues. She wanted me to evaluate if being a display manager was worth the pain.
My back pain and the elimination of my job allowed me the opportunity to regroup and strategize what I wanted in my future, and my perfect career path then took shape.
To fulfill my love of art, I took over a Wine and Painting business which fuels my creative side and then a buying job opened in a local sporting goods business.
My current perfect career is a combination of leaning into my strengths and creating what I love to do. During the day, working as a buyer for a retail store I am analytical, using my education and connecting with team members. Then I get to host Wine and Painting events that juice my creativity. What I have found through this unique approach is I am whole. This may be an unorthodox approach to earning an income, but it is one that is true to me.”Ashley
Ashley reflects on her adversity.
“Do you wish your adversity had never happened; or are you grateful it did?”
“100% grateful. Without the store closing, without throwing my back out and without the opportunity to help my girlfriend with her art business, I would not be where I am today.
Today I have a job I love, I own a business, I am more confident, healthier, happier and I have so much more to look forward to for my future. I am actually grateful adversity came my way even though it is hard when we are in it.”
What can we take away from Ashley’s story? How can we love what we do?
1. She was intentional
Ashley focused on the end in mind. She did not want a worthless degree and she proactively sought to find a solution early on in her first semester. I have met far too many college students who have a degree but no career. No vision for what they want their future to be. My advice is to align your studies with your vision of your future.
Don’t have a vision? Then the Lemon Crushers Vision Board is the perfect place to start.
2. She was willing to change things up mid-career.
“Do you LOVE what you do?”
We all need to be asked that question about our current occupation. Do you really LOVE what you do? Is what you do worth it? Is your current job building you up for a better future? If so; stay focused.
If not, then be like Ashley and evaluate where you are and where you want to be. If that means changing careers and taking some big, bold steps, then do so! There is no law that we must stay in the career/line of work/job, where we started.
Life is about progression and learning and advancing and your better future is waiting for you!
For more on making Lemonade Out of Lemons you would love Pearl’s book Lemon Crushers; A Working Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity! There are stories about the qualities for success and overcoming your challenges. You’ll be ready to start crushing lemons after chapter one.
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