I’ve always been very aware of Cyber Safety 101 & protecting certain information from the internet. I even used to color out my college name from my uniform in old pictures, even though a simple Google search of my name would have told you which athletic program I’ve ran for! (Northern Arizona University, go Lumberjacks!) I’ve always made sure that anything posted publicly doesn’t share specific locations, license plate numbers, or employers and I usually post social media stories many hours after they were actually taken. You just can’t be too cautious these days!
That’s why I’ve always been vague about the specific employer I’ve had for the last 6 years. BUT my badge and computer equipment are all turned in, and my last day was yesterday!
This wasn’t the first time I quit this job though….there’s a whole story time that goes with this one!
In college, I majored in marketing. I briefly thought that Sports Marketing was going to be a route I pursued but after I couple of internships I realized that it “sounded” cool but wasn’t my thing! My mom had worked in purchasing for an international food manufacturing company her entire career, so my first official job was in their Supply Chain and transportation department. I was able to work remotely from college for them 10 hours a week throughout my senior year, and continued with them full-time after graduation. Even though it had nothing to do with marketing or writing, it was a great-paying position in an international company so I kept it!
When I moved to Boise in 2016, I was job hunting for primarily marketing-related positions but it seemed like almost everything that was entry level was sales heavy and that is SO not my personality! My brief stint as a personal trainer ended rather quickly when I realized the bulk of the real work is selling fitness packages to clients. (I thought, “don’t they know they can get all of this for free on the internet….?” haha.)
I found a job posting for Idaho’s largest health system – St. Luke’s – in their supply chain department. Supply chain was pretty much the only thing on my resume at that point! It was a manger position, so a little out of my league but I applied anyways. When they offered me an interview, I was told it was for a different position than I applied for. They saw that I had a marketing background and even read my blog (I’ve had Strong Like My Coffee since 2012!) and had a hybrid position in mind.
I interviewed in their corporate office with the vice president and my soon to be boss and her director, and found out that I would be half analyst/half communications coordinator for their department. I started in June 2017, and my blonde short hair from that first day has been on my badge ever since!
One year in, I knew I had zero passion for supply chain and didn’t love working in a corporate environment. However I was also aware that it was a great paying job in a well-respected organization with a lot of flexibility. It was conveniently only 2 miles from my townhome, I had a boss that I liked, and I made friends with my coworkers. I would walk around the office and chit chat at other cubicles each day, walk laps around the empty fourth floor of the building, and go to the Starbucks in the parking lot so frequently that they all knew my name there.
In February 2018, I took a vacation all by myself to North Carolina. Wilmington, to be exact. Sound familiar? It’s where all of the Nicholas Sparks movies take place 😉 (It also wasn’t my first time there – read about my southern road trip here.) I was a single 25 year old, feeling like I wasn’t meeting anyone in Idaho…..so yes, maybe a tad on the dramatic side, but I came home and I quit my job.
Not only did I quit my job at St. Luke’s, I ended my lease on the townhome I was in. I found a Wilmington apartment online that was still being constructed but would be open in the summer of 2018. I paid thousands of dollars for a POD storage container that my parents and friend Zach helped me load all of my belongings into and send off to North Carolina. I moved back into my parents’ house until my Wilmington apartment would be ready.
My parents and I worked out the logistics of getting me there and set up – I don’t remember the exact plans because it’s been so long now. But I think we were actually talking about SHIPPING my car and flying? My parents had to take off work, oh and did I mention that I didn’t have a job in North Carolina yet? I started to fill out applications but hadn’t gotten any interviews. I thought I would have enough savings to live off of until something came along. And in the meantime, I could live my best Nicholas Sparks movie life 😁
(Are you laughing out loud at me yet?)
When I put in my notice at St. Luke’s, I said I didn’t have a hard end date and could stay until they found a replacement. I could even stay for a couple extra weeks to train that replacement. Hey – I needed to pad my savings account, after all! They did offer a candidate my position, but he would not be able to start for a few weeks.
In the meantime, I was in a limbo state. Living with my parents temporarily while most of my belongings were in a POD who-knows-where. Waiting for my Wilmington apartment to open up, with my days of employment numbered. I went to a happy hour with some girls from St. Luke’s one evening, and we were talking about why I wanted to leave. I said Idaho has the worst dating pool, and it’s so hard to make new friends after college! At some point, we all made me a dating app profile. I’m sure some wine had something to do with it ;)
We went on a few dates, and right away I told him about my plans to move to Wilmington and me just wanting to meet people and have a social life in the meantime. Well, when he responded “I have free flight benefits, so I can come visit you in North Carolina…” I was a little stunned. Hmmm. I met a guy that I actually really like, who has so many friends in Idaho that he introduced me to. In our summer dates between May and June 2018, he made me fall in love with Idaho.
Okay not to get all cheesy, but it did make me stop and think that maybe my Nicholas Sparks story wasn’t in North Carolina after all. I started having doubts about moving when I realized that I could have a relationship, friendships and a social life here after all. BUT – I had already quit my job and signed a one year lease across the country! I was locked in now! Right??
First – I voiced my second thoughts to my parents who were all too eager to agree with the new plan to stay.
Next – my Wilmington apartment complex called me. They had oversold their 2 bedroom/2 bathroom units. I had the option to move into a 3 bedroom at a discount, or a 1 bedroom. I took this as my opportunity to ask to be let out of the lease, penalty-free. They gladly accepted. Okay, this was too coincidental. Decision made, I’m staying.
But now I still don’t have a job.
I told my boss at St. Luke’s about my sudden change in plans. He was very sorry, but the position had already been offered to someone else who would be starting soon but I could stay long enough to get them fully trained.
The next week – the candidate called my boss and said he could no longer accept the position, his circumstances had changed.
My boss asked me if I would just like to keep my position.
Now that’s the most “fall into place” thing that’s ever happened in my life! I couldn’t believe it!
I did still have to pay to have my POD returned to me and find a new apartment, but all things considered that’s not bad.
I still think about Wilmington and I think it’s such an amazing area of the country that I would love to continue vacationing at. But wildly enough, 4 months later Wilmington was hit with a massive hurricane that was on national news for days/weeks. I would have been there, stranded 2,000 miles from my parents with presumably little friends and likely no job. I can’t imagine!
Life has worked out so crazily with all of that. Thankful for my stable income once again, I kept my supply chain analyst/communications position for another 5 years. I never did find a passion for supply chain, but all of the previously mentioned qualities about the job have been more valuable to me.
I worked full-time in the office until March 2020. We were sent to work from home after the pandemic hit; they supplied us with monitors, a docking station, keyboard, webcam, and headphones. I never set any of mine up…….I worked from my laptop in random rooms around the house because I thought we would eventually return to the office! Once they decided to make remote work permanent, Zeb and I were house hunting. Once we moved into the house, I was so used to working from the laptop that I just continued doing it. I returned all of my equipment yesterday in the same packaging and box I drove them home in 3 years ago 😆
Once I had Brynnley, I decided to just return to work part-time because I did not want to use daycare for her. I wanted to care for her myself, so I was able to use my mom and Zeb two days a week to do my St. Luke’s job and watch her myself the rest of the time.
Now that she is a toddler, I want to be much more hands on with different activities and outings we do every day. There’s a huge new park down the street, and a really nice library downtown that we want to take advantage of.
In January, I found a part-time work-from-home position for a small business out of Utah that is – marketing, writing, blogging, and graphic design. It’s made up of all MOMS that also have their kiddos home with them, so it’s not uncommon to log onto a creative brainstorm meeting and see a toddler or two sitting on someone’s lap. It sounded too good to be true, and once I started working for them I knew I was ready to let go of my St. Luke’s position.
I gave St. Luke’s a month’s notice and I told my boss, “I mean it for real this time!” Haha!
My new team and I all got together in Salt Lake City for a BBQ last weekend and had the best time getting to know my new work family!