Art McCormack MDI Contributor
For most of my professional life I have not been intentional with my career. I have mostly fallen into industries and jobs rather than intentionally seeking a career path in a specific field.
A recipe for disaster? Probably.
I did own a business once, and for awhile it flourished and grew. But then again, it was the business that found me rather than me finding the business so, as much as I worked hard to build it, I never truly felt it was a path I had intentionally chosen, which eventually led to burn out and my selling the business.
If there has been a common thread in my professional life, it would be sales and customer service. I know I’m good at delivering top-notch customer service, but customer service is mostly an undervalued skill. Sales can pay well, but truth be told it’s not something I have ever been truly passionate about, or that good at.
It is not hard to imagine that this wondering – in addition to some other shortfalls that are best left for another article – made it challenging to ascend professionally. Consequently, income growth was equally erratic; feast and famine are old pals.
And yet, time is relentless; years passed; my son was growing up.
The specter of funding a college education – with a less than optimal job, while not saving the necessary funds to ensure he could attend the college of his choice without the burden of crippling student loans – loomed ominously on the fast-approaching horizon.
Something had to be done.
And so it was in early 2018, something shifted inside me. I decided it was time to get intentional.
So I took stock of where I was and where I needed to get to, and what paths I could take that would help me get there. At age 48, and with a career trajectory that mirrors the heart rate of a slob running a marathon, options were, let’s say, not bountiful.
Go back to school? Yeah… but that would take a lot of time and money, neither of which were in line with the urgency I felt to do something.
So what to do?
Well, call it introspection, divine intervention, or whatever floats your boat. Something clicked. I knew I enjoyed driving and traveling. The idea of trucking came to me as a viable option and, with the support of the people I love and care about, I found a path into the industry that would assure me a job at the conclusion of my training. Mind you, this was important because fresh-out-of-school drivers can have a hard time finding placement in the area where I live.
And so it is, now almost two years later, I find myself in a career that I chose to pursue, enjoying what I do, earning consistent income, and making a decent living. Unfortunately, my son didn’t make into his number one college choice, but he still made it into a top-tier university, studying the course he wants to. And here I am within my reach the ability to pay for a good portion of it. Though credit must be given where deserved: my son always had good grades through school, so he did qualify for some financial assistance.
That all being said, as far as I’m concerned, I am now able to meet my financial obligations with confidence, and I’m putting money away towards retirement.
I feel good about myself, and that is priceless.