Real Talk - Working Differently

HerVenture has lived in my head for years now. Through talking with friends, meeting people in the workplace, and my own personal experience, I found that there is a massive void in information and opportunities for women who want a different version of “working.”

I wanted to find a way to help and had an idealist vision that I would be able to start this company and immediately make the transition to working differently myself. I introduce to you, reality. I have a mortgage to pay and dogs to feed, and leaving my full-time secure job is terrifying. My goal here on HV is to be a real as possible because we are in this thing together, so I wanted to share with you my checklist of considerations I have on my own HerVenture and what I am doing about them.

1. Benefits: I may date myself here but when I graduated college, I had a three month window to where I needed to find a job that offered benefits before getting kicked off my parents’ plan. Cool, easy right? Well, it was 2009 and the market just crashed. I lived in Florida where there was 0% chance that I was going to find a job, let alone one that offered benefits in that period of time. So fast forward to 2 days after my benefits were cut off, and I get this weird painful rash on my back (which I soon would find out was shingles). I go to a walk-in clinic to get my situation figured out because the itch and the pain started to be unbearable and it was starting to gross out my friends. While it sucked to look like a scaled lizard due to my stress induced geriatric virus, it didn’t hail in comparison to the close to $200 bill that came with it (keep in mind, very poor post college student) and I was devastated. Luckily, my dad took pity on his blistering daughter and transferred enough money into my account to pay for my doctor’s bill. I still think of that experience when the thought of not having health insurance pops up and I can't help but get itchy all over again. I know that if I were to ever leave my full-time job that may be a real possibility. So.. 

What I’m doing about it: Researching the best insurance options out there (post coming soon). I’m not in a spot now where I currently need to health insurance but the planner in me wants to know all of my options if I were to ever want to venture out on my own.

2. My Current Job: So, if we are being really honest. I like my job a lot. I like the people I work with, I find the work challenging but rewarding, and I get all the snacks I could possibly want. But… it is intense. There are days I work 12-hours and sit in two hours of traffic. On top of that, working in HR usually means that there are days when the work isn’t fun (tough conversations and spending hours in spreadsheets), and I long for more creative and meaningful work.

What I’m doing about it: Working differently doesn’t have to mean quit your job and find something new.  It can mean adjusting your current work situation to work for you!

  • Ask for a flexible work schedule. I flagged that I was feeling overwhelmed with my 10 hour days and 2 hour commute to my boss. Rather than have me leave, we were able to figure out a schedule where I could work from home a couple days a month. I also set boundaries on when I was available to answer emails or hop on a call. My team knows I have date nights on Thursday and will always make sure that I get out of the office on time these nights.
  • I started making time in made for HerVenture. I wake up 30 min earlier and will pull out my laptop when my husband and I are catching up on the latest episode of Jersey Shore (don’t judge, it’s so good). Having time that is dedicated to things outside of my day job, makes me feel like not only am I accomplishing a goal but I get to work on this I want to work on.

3. Savings: My mindset on money has always been, try to make as much as I need, save a lot and spend a little. And try to avoid going to Target because my money just instantly disappears when I walk in those doors. I realized if I ever wanted to venture out on my own, I would need to have less laissez faire perspective on my finances.

Here’s what I am doing about it: Taking a look at current finances to see how to save more for the future.

  • I’m getting myself on a budget. I started to look at what was coming in and what was going out and realized I could make some small changes that would help me save a lot more. For example, I realized my husband and I both were paying for Amazon Prime and Spotify accounts so I combined our accounts, which sounds small but it was money we were just throwing away.
  • Investing money always felt a little unapproachable for me. I didn’t have a broker and wasn’t sure where to start. To save money for our wedding, I decided to put some money each month into a betterment account. I set a goal and year later I was able to exceed the amount I was saving for with the help of my returns on investments. For my long-term savings goals, I try to put as much as I can into my 401K plan. I read recently that if you save $20 per month adds up to $240 per year. Over 25 years, that is $6,000. If you were to invest the $20 per month for 25 years with a 10% return, you would have $26,537 at the end of 25 years. That’s a crazy return and it is never too early to start.
  • While I may have a full-time salary right now, I may not have a steady income in the future. I wanted to start looking into ways diversify my income. One way I found to this was to sign up for consulting and freelancing work. Through sites like Freelance or Upwork, you can start to establish your consultant work on the side, while you still have the security of your current income.

Want to know more? Stay tuned! I’ll be posting more and diving in deeper with more tips on benefits, finances, savings, and consulting work soon.