What was your previous business/career?
I am an attorney. My first job after undergraduate school in 2000 was as a business consultant with a fancy pants US accounting/consulting firm. Then, after graduating from Howard Law School in 2007, my first job as an attorney was in the New York office of a large fancy pants US international law firm. I was a corporate attorney in the Private Equity/Mergers & Acquisitions Group. In between and after these two high-profile corporate America gigs I worked for a congresswoman, a non-profit, as a contract attorney, and founded, ran, and closed three businesses focusing on client experience and project management for startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.
Why did you want to leave and do something else?
Either I was restless working in an office for someone else or, although I loved each of my businesses, they did not speak to my heart. It was hard articulate to this idea during those moments in my life; I just knew that I was uncomfortable and ultimately unhappy or at least not as happy as I knew that I could be. So, I had to keep moving. In 2010, I left a very comfortable job that could have resulted in a financially stable and prestigious career because it was clear that it was time to move on – I needed more, I needed different. I had absolutely no idea where I was moving to or toward, but I was certain that I would know it when I found it.
Also, I noticed that each time I entered large firm life, my experiences were right in the middle of a financial crisis. First in 2001 as a business consultant with Arthur Andersen, I had to come to terms with the Enron Scandal. And then in the aught years as a corporate attorney at a well-respected firm, my career straddled both sides of the Great Recession and included work on notable PE/MA deals and bankruptcy matters. I decided to pay attention, listen to my heart, and accept that perhaps large firm life was not my life’s goal.
By the time I decided to leave the firm in 2010, I had accepted that I was battling post-raumatic stress disorder and depression and that symptoms of ADHD were suddenly front and center and affecting my quality of life. These changes were a result of the many deaths in my family that happened back to back in the course of six years – I watched so many matriarchs and patriarchs transition including my father, maternal grandmother, and both paternal grandparents.