Changing your work-life to welcome more freedom and fulfillment is a process and a journey. Here, every month, we will share stories of women who are doing it. Real stories, real transformation. This is a virtual treasure chest -- full of the challenges, struggles, lessons and insights of others -- which you can use to enrich your own path.
This month’s featured “woman on purpose” is Bianca Jackson, a former IT project manager. She’s currently a virtual app entrepreneur and a career coach for women.
Describe the big shift you’ve made in your work-life. What led you to that change?
My job was amazing. I had the perfect supervisor, fun, smart coworkers, great pay, and incredible perks and benefits. My department had a start-up culture where you could wear clothing that represented your personal style. Then, one day it all changed as if someone sucked all the fun out of the room in one fell swoop. I was sitting at work staring out the window. And, I found myself distracted. I couldn't concentrate; instead, my thoughts wandered.
Have you ever had a moment when you said to yourself, “what am I doing with my life?” That was me. I realized I wasn't happy anymore. I wasn't walking nor living my purpose. Every day was like Groundhog Day, the movie. I would drive to the work, sit in the parking lot, give myself a pep talk, do my job, give myself another pep talk for my hellish, traffic-filled 1-1.5hr commute home, go home and sleep and do it all again the next day.
I was a robot. I wasn't living. My job paid well. But, I had a burning desire to help women live better lives than settling for what's handed to you. Therefore, I decided to turn my side hustle of career coaching into my main hustle. Empowering women with the tools and confidence to get what they want from their careers and lives.
What were you most fearful of in making that change?
In general, I'm a pretty determined and resilient person. Once I have my mind set on something, I go after it with full force. The only thing I was fearful of was the possibility that I selected the wrong thing to pursue. What if my life’s assignment is not to help women? After realizing that I'm the oldest of five siblings with four girls and one boy, I was the national president of my sorority for a number of years, and that most of my volunteer efforts center around girls and tech, I put the fear to rest.
Because I still loved tech, I found a way to incorporate it into my new phase of life as well. Based off some conversations I've had with my coaching clients, career women needed a way to de-stress. So, I'm building a mindfulness Virtual Reality App which I will be pitching soon for funding.
How is your experience of life different now?
This is the most peaceful I've had in my life ever. After almost 20 years of working on someone else's time, I finally get to make my own schedule and select the type of work I want to do. I'm absolutely in love with my new life. It hasn't been easy, but it's been worth it.
When I left USA Today, I went on a mini-vacation in the mountains where there's little cell phone coverage. A friend took me to his property, and I met his neighbors who have been living off the grid for years. I found myself coloring with their 1-yr toddler in the middle of the day. At that moment, I realized after 20 minutes of coloring I didn't have any more meetings I didn't want to be in, no more status reports to complete, and no more long commutes in traffic that I didn't want to drive in.
I left my corporate job in September 2017, and I haven't looked back. I finally felt that I'm in the driver seat of my destiny.
What’s your biggest concern in this moment?
My biggest concern is feeling I might not be doing enough with this new found freedom. Like, are my dreams big enough? Am I utilizing my time and resources to make the biggest impact possible? Am I connecting with people in my most authentic way to inspire and encourage them to live their best life and help others?
What are you most excited about going forward?
I'm most excited about meeting and building relationships with other people who:
- want to see more equality in the world, especially for women.
- want to build and maintain diverse and INCLUSIVE environments where all people feel safe and welcomed.
- want to have fun and give and receive great energy wherever they go.
If you could travel back in time, what’s one piece of advice that your current self wishes that you could tell your former self?
Speak up for yourself because you are your best advocate.
Bianca is a Career Happiness Expert for motivated women who want to achieve dream careers filled with growth, happiness, and personal fulfillment. Her mission is to empower women with the tools and confidence to achieve their own definition of happiness in their careers, and most importantly, in life. To know more about Bianca and her mission, follow her in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.