How to Use Your Work to Get a Better Life

I was an actor for many years, and then the magic started to fade. Part of it was about the actual job and wanting to do something more service-oriented so I felt like I was making a difference, but part of it was about the quality of life I had in that profession.

I didn't like what I had to give up in order to advance my career. I was sick over living so far away from my family and seeing them only once or twice a year. I was done having to miss weddings, graduations, and funerals for gigs or auditions. And ask any actor: as soon as you buy a plane ticket to leave town, you will get an audition that you and your agent will resent you for missing. I was tired of being on call and having to reshuffle my schedule at the last minute to make it to auditions, and I was really tired of battling LA traffic to get there.

Funny thing: none of those things bothered me when back when I was in love with acting. They were just part of the package, and the rewards outweighed the inconveniences and sacrifices.

Maybe you can relate. Perhaps it's not just the content of your work that's bumming you out, but also the life that's built around that work. A long commute. Being zonked at the end of the day so you can't even really enjoy your time off. Having to wear a uniform that makes you feel bad. Bringing your spouse down. Not having the vacation time to see the people and places you care about.

When you find a Homecoming Career, you have the privilege of doing work that matters, and you get to choose a job that helps transform your life.

Yes, I want you to do work that's going to change people's lives in some way (I know you want that, too), but your work should also change your life. It should feel like home.

Of course that doesn't mean that you can just throw together a laundry list of everything you want for yourself and expect the money to roll in. But let's say you pick one or two things are most important to you and start there. For me, it was time for family and being my own boss.

I could have done lots of things that met those requirements. Guiding people through career change is what jived with my sense of purpose, strengths, interests, and all the other stuff that goes into finding the just-right career.

Now, the grass is greener. I got those two things that I most wanted for myself. I'm the boss, which is a huge responsibility and a thrill; I love the autonomy and being the creator of my work. And I see my family several times a year. I also work from home where I can spend lots of time with my sweet little son.

When Wyatt was born, I took 4 months off work to adjust to life as a parent and to get to know my boyo. It was a beautiful, exhausting time.

Some people have commented that I'm really lucky to have had that time. Here's where I got lucky: I was born in a time and place where I get to choose my work. I had great parents and an amazing education. The internet exists and makes my business possible. The rest is not so much luck as it is planning and choices.

I feel really fortunate to have had 4 months with my babe, but I want to take credit for making that choice possible. I chose a career that would give me some flexibility because having time for family was a priority. I chose a supportive spouse. We chose to leave behind our friends and old careers to move away from money-sucking Los Angeles. We chose to live a simple life without much travel or stuff. 

We don't live in deprivation, but we do plan for what matters most to us. Me having time with boyo was one of those things. We even planned his birth to coincide with my husband's summer break from teaching so he could have more time with him. Ok, there was some luck involved there :)

My point is that you have an incredible amount of power when it comes to building the life you want. It doesn't happen overnight. You've got to know what you want, put your biggest wishes first, and start building the pyramid stone by stone.

Think about your biggest wishes right now. Do you believe that you can have them?

Work is not just about the work; it's also about using your work to craft the life you want. You can do that. You have the power to do that, just like the people you see online who you think have it so good. They made the choices they needed to make to build the life they wanted.

Why? They believed they could.

If you think there's no way for you to have a job you love and a the kind of life you want, let's challenge that. Today. In the comments, hit me with your "but it will never work for me" thoughts and we'll take them apart one by one.

Because once you believe it's possible and make the decision to make it happen, a new life will unfold for you.