Jennifer’s Story

For me, summer presents a rare opportunity. It’s the one time of the year when I have time and space to dream and gain clarity about my life. In the hustle and bustle of the school year, in the midst of balancing family, work, volunteer, and other obligations, it can be difficult to truly reflect on life and how things are going for me. But in summer… ah, summer…this is when I find a bit of breathing room. And what comes from that can be pretty incredible. In fact, taking advantage of this breathing room is how I came to work at simplify 101!

welcome summer banner

This story is a great illustration of how giving yourself the time and space to get clear about what you want can make magical things happens. Aby is also going to chime in with her side of the story, too. So get ready…this always gives me goosebumps!

In July of 2011, I was on vacation with my family, which involved several hours of driving. While I do not consider myself a road trip person, I definitely enjoy having the chance to get into deep conversations with my husband. As we drove through Indiana that summer, we had a few discussions about our careers. I gained a lot of clarity about what was and was not working so well in my job at that time, some of which I hadn’t been able to really identify until then. My super-smart husband asked me some great questions that helped me define my ideal work situation. I wanted a job that would allow me to:

  • Continue working close to home/near the girls’ schools
  • Continue working part-time
  • Continue working in a flexible environment that allowed me to attend occasional field trips or be home with a sick child
  • Write more
  • Get more involved with social media
  • Grow and learn in my field of marketing communications

At the end of the list, we had a nice laugh about how that was total “pie in the sky.” I commented that a job that offered all of this just didn’t exist. And oddly enough, our conversation helped me recognize that my current job was closer to ideal than I had been acknowledging, and that in turn helped me feel more grateful than I had been feeling.

So imagine my surprise when I received an email from a friend just a day or two later (while still on vacation) that started with, “Hey, there! I’m not sure you are even interested in a job change right now, but this is perfect for you…” In my in-box was a job description from simplify 101. If I had written a job description based on my discussion in the car, this would have been it. It fit me to a T! Sounds too good to be true, right? But it gets crazier. Two days later, I had a second friend approach me about the very same position. I knew I had to pursue it.

I contacted Aby about the job, which resulted in a phone interview and shortly thereafter, an in-person interview with Jay and Aby. This still amazes me to the point that I had to look back at my calendar to be sure I was remembering correctly…but here’s the deal:  Less than two weeks after I got very clear on my ideal job, I had been offered and accepted the job with simplify 101, a job that met every single one of my dream job requirements.

I feel like I should put up a disclaimer at this point, something like, “Results may not be typical. Expect to achieve goals and dreams at your own pace.” Obviously not everything we go after in life comes to fruition this way! I continue to be truly surprised by how quickly things fell into place, and how well they have worked out since then. But whether or not the opportunity had unfolded that week, month, year, or beyond, when the opportunity presented itself I was ready to act on it and accept it. All of this was possible because I had become clear on what I wanted. I recognized the job as an excellent fit because I had taken the time to dream about a better life.

Aby’s Turn

checklist simplify 101At the same time Jennifer and her husband were discussing her dream job, Jay and I were putting the finishing touches on a list of qualifications for our dream employee. When we were done, we looked at each other and laughed thinking there couldn’t possibly be someone with all of those qualifications in our small town.

But I plunged forward with the plan anyway, emailing our job description to my local friends, asking if they knew anyone who might be a good fit. When we met with Jennifer a few days later, we literally laughed in amazement as we worked our way down the list of job duties, qualifications and skills: Jennifer got a check mark next to 22 of 23 bullet points. It doesn’t get much better than that!

The Takeaway

If you’ve been itching for something better or different in your life, I invite you to give yourself the space and time you need to become clear. What do you want? Even if it feels completely out of reach or impossible…give yourself permission to explore what you want and let yourself want it.

If you’d like guidance and encouragement on your journey, I invite you to join me for the summer session of How to Achieve Your Goals and Create a Life You Love. (Update: This class is now available as a self-paced online class.) And whether you decide to join me, or go it alone, promise me that you will carve out some time for yourself this summer…to dream about your better life. Deal?

Your Turn

What’s your dream? Once you decide, or if you already know, please share your dream in the comments. I’d love to congratulate you on taking that all-important first step in making your dream life happen!

Happy dreaming,

Jennifer and Aby

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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