Change isn’t always easy. For me it is something I rail against. Well, at least I used to.

There are two ways to describe how I operate, at my core: process designer and risk manager. It’s no surprise, then, that in my career I ended up as a Six Sigma Black Belt doing Risk Management at a major financial institution. It is also, then, no surprise that I like to plan my life and have it follow that plan. I assume some risk, but very little that goes unmitigated.

When there is no plan, I get scared. I find excuses. I find a whole lot of “I could do that, BUT….” Even when a situation is sucking the joy out of my life, I tend to go with the devil I know because I could make a change, BUT…there would potentially be greater risk of it all going even more sideways.

Then, one day, I gathered up all the fear that was holding me back, all the “BUT” I could carry, and I took it on a plane. To the sky. With a parachute. And jumped.

That’s when my world of possibilities changed.

Not long after that jump, I tossed aside the “BUT’s” that were keeping me in a job and career that I really didn’t like. I was good at it, BUT, I dreaded sitting in my cube everyday, trying to find the energy to tackle my to-do list. Nobody wants that; not me, not my boss, certainly not my family, BUT I was too afraid to jump. Until I wasn’t anymore.

Fast-forward almost a year and here I am, out on my own using my innate strengths to create something new. I am living on savings (which is decreasing); I am trying to build a business from the ground up (which is slow); I am learning more about blogging/websites/social media than I ever thought I needed to; I am not sure if this will succeed BUT…

I am happier now than I have been in a long time. My “but” still exists, but it’s a lot smaller now.

Today I felt like celebrating with an update (a la David Letterman’s Top Ten list) on what I’ve learned so far. I hope you like it!

“Top Ten Things I Have Learned So Far While Working on a New Career”

#10. DO, finally, go on a field trip with your kindergartener’s class.   Do NOT ride the bus with said class.
#9. Setting up a website and a blog will involve forming a really close relationship with Doug the support guy at, and the WordPress consultant, and basically anyone who is willing to answer your dumb I’m-not-a-millennial-what-does-this-button-do questions.
#8. Spending three hours trying to export and reformat your contacts from a Mac OS is stupid. There’s an app for that. It took five minutes. SMH.
#7. So, Mailchimp is not a great ape that works for the post office?   Got it.
#6. Coordinating calendars is difficult when you are on the same network and nearly impossible when you aren’t and you have to trade availability through email. Thankfully, there’s an app for this, too. (By the way, I would L-O-V-E, love to catch up with you. Tell me what you think of my scheduling called TimeTrade.)
#5. Taking a vacation to a third world country is the best way to disconnect from all things electronic (email, phone, social media). Hint: There’s a resort in the Dominican that has spotty internet for 1 hour every day and only in the lobby. Just sayin’ if you want some real downtime, I’ve got the 411.
#4. Writing your own website content is kind of fun, but it turns out the “About Me” page is actually the hardest part to write (cue René Descartes). Have you ever really tried to answer the question: “Who am I?” It’s HARD!
#3. QuickBooks: It is neither quick nor a book. Discuss. (#ihateaccounting)
#2. It only takes two years, the loss of all daily access to PCs, the installation of Microsoft Office for Mac, two OS upgrades, and a few Apple classes to turn a Mac from a glorified TV into an actually useful piece of technology. (Where’s that Staples button…)
And the number one thing I have learned while working on a new career…
#1. Receiving support and encouragement, and accepting help from friends and colleagues during this time of major change has been a bigger blessing than I could have ever imagined. Everyone should be as lucky as me.


What have you discovered or learned in your career transition? Share your best learning in the comments below!

Tara is a former member of corporate America who took a leap of faith in order to use her powers for good (and for income). She is now a speaker, blogger and coach working to help others use what makes them great to define and achieve success. You can find her at, or follow her on facebook and twitter.