When I was 20 years old, I was convinced that my career path would lead me to the Los Angeles Angels. I made connections to secure a position that year, but a hiring freeze derailed my efforts and killed my momentum within a few months. Shortly after, the “real world” with its real bills and responsibilities collided with my dream world, and I found myself focusing more on the "here and now" versus "what could be" if I kept trying.
Multiple jobs with a temp agency ensued, eventually landing me a full-time position in the airline industry. I thought I had it made because I actually had a “real job” after college, but I never checked in with myself to see if it was what I wanted to do with my life. Seventeen years later, I found myself in the same industry. In that time, I received many promotions, earned a substantial salary, traveled frequently and established myself within the industry quite nicely. But was I truly fulfilled? Was I happy?
I wondered how I had gotten where I was and thought about how it differed from what I really wanted. In fact, I don’t think I ever stopped along the way to figure out what that was. The last thing I could remember wanting was that job with the Angels and putting my undying love for sports to work. So, that is where I re-started.
I began researching jobs on TeamWork Online and had the privilege of meeting the site’s founder and TeamWork Consulting president, Buffy Filippell. She introduced me to WISE, simply saying, “They can help.” I became a member of the San Francisco/Bay Area chapter, and a new journey began.
I was accepted into the WISE Within mentorship program as a mentee and expected that I was going to get great advice on breaking into the sports industry later in life. What I got in return instead was an awakening — a glimpse into my own psyche — and an introspective road map of what made me tick. My mentor had faced her own challenges in finding a similar path and came out intact on the other end. I found her guidance and life coaching invaluable in determining my next move. It was not about getting a new job — it was about finding a home where I truly felt my efforts were aligned with my beliefs.
I am still a work in progress, but securing a position on our chapter’s WISE Within committee to help others find direction has inspired me to continue adding layers to my endeavors. I am currently enrolled in a sports philanthropy certificate program and recently became a wish granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have yet to make the official career switch, but I am slowly moving in the direction of my heart, using the guideposts my mentor helped me find.
Not everyone has the same journey or a clear-cut path for their lives. Some may be late bloomers, as I have been, in finding their true passion. But it is never too late to make a change, and if you have the courage to try, others will reach out to help you. WISE is a great living example of this, and I encourage any other women looking for direction to give it a try.