One Year Ago Today I Left Corporate America For Good.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of my new job at the University of Pennsylvania.  I have worked for Apple, Western Digital, and Keyence all leading up to this job but it wasn’t easy.

After leaving Apple my career path slowly turned toward outside sales.  I was really good at it, but after being laid off by Western Digital (not for performance reasons) and moving to Keyence my territory was much larger than what I was used to.  This meant spending 5 days a week (at least) on the road and away from home.

I knew when I took the job that it was going to be a lot of traveling but I didn’t realize how much it would impact my personal life.  It was difficult to maintain friendships, get involved in my local community, and have any type of routine.  All things that are important to me.

When I got the call that I was being offered the job at the University of Pennsylvania it was a very difficult decision.  The offer was much lower than what I was making in outside sales but the the job would allow me to take back all of those things I was missing by being away so much.  Plus I could go back to school.  What made the decision more difficult was being away from all my friends and family since I was training out in Chicago for 8 weeks.  My gut told me it was the right move.

Accepting the position was one thing, telling my current employer who just spend thousands of dollars training me and flying me around the country I was leaving was another.  Fortunately Keyence took the news very well and sent me on my way back home.

I will never forget the feeling after landing back in Philadelphia with my new career on the horizon.  It was a really warm sunny day (which is rare this time of year) and coming from freezing cold and cloudy Chicago, it was just the validation I needed that I made the right choice.

I was completely pivoting away from sales and primarily focusing on technology at Penn.  If you can’t tell from my website I’m way more interested in technology.

Here I am one year later excited to go into work (most days).  This balance of work has allowed me to go back to school, adopt an amazing dog, start a relationship, work other jobs that I find interesting, build a website, and rediscover my passion of photography.  Sure some of those may have happened either way but I’m certain that decision helped.

We shouldn’t need to be reminded that life is short and money isn’t everything.  Make sure you enjoy what you do.  If you don’t love your job that’s okay too as long as it allows you to do the things you love to do.

This has been on of the most entertaining years of my life and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me.

How Budgeting My Time Allowed Me To Have Multiple Streams of Income, Start Graduate School, and Pursue Passions.

Let me start off by saying I am, in no way, a financial expert.  Good glad we’ve established that.  I spent the last decade budgeting off of what I could afford based on whatever my expected income was for my single job.  I paid my bills, saved what I thought I could afford to, and spent the rest on whatever.

About six months ago I started working a 2nd job as a Postmate’s Courier as a way to expand on my savings and fun money.  Postmates, if you’re not familiar, is a delivery service mostly in major cities, that will deliver you almost anything from stores that don’t provide their own same day delivery service. If you want $10 off your first delivery use Promo code 7S9H.

So with another income I was able to do save more, go out more, buy more, you know, everything you’d expect.  But it also opened up a world of new opportunities.  Keep in mind that I do not use these funds in my monthly budget as they can change frequently.

I have been using these funds for things such as help pay for graduate school.  Something that will most certainly increase my primary salary later on.  Even if it’s not toward a degree education is so important in any career.

It also has allowed me to get back into pursuing my passion of photography.  (A very expensive hobby)  Since they I’ve built a list of clients that are offering me paid photography gigs creating a third stream of income.  (Anyone who shoots knows if you make enough to pay for the gear you continuously aquire, you’re in good shape)

Lastly I’ve used some of it to invest.  I’ve researched companies that offer dividends as a way to create ANOTHER stream of income.  This by no means is going to make me a millionaire but I look at it as a way to safely put money aside that’s harder to access.

You can see how this becomes addicting.

So now here I am, now able to earn more, attend graduate school, continue to pursue passions such as Photography and Blogging and feel more financial freedoms than ever.  All of this started from jumping into a 2nd job that I do on my own schedule.  Very similar to Lyft or Uber. (Available in almost any market). The craziest part was just taking the leap to try something new.  If it didn’t work I could easily fall back into my existing lifestyle.

I’ve learned an extremely valuable lesson by taking the time that may have been spent watching Netflix or playing XBOX and allowed it to snowball in a few things that have made my life so much more fulfilling.

If you think there is more out there for yourself and aren’t sure exactly what it is.  Take a journal of how you spend your time.  After a few weeks dig deep into this journal and see exactly how you spent your time and don’t be afraid to make changes.  They don’t have to be permanent.

Point is, don’t be afraid to step outside the comfort zone and try something new.  I am by no means poor (nor am I rich) but knew I wanted to earn a bit more money but I had no idea it would jump start so much else.

J