When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, I decided to quit my job because I was already looking for a way out.

I was an engineer, and I just was tired of doing it. I didn’t love it at all. I loved the result of it, which was making people happy because we created solutions for them. But the process of doing it was very tedious for me, and I would not say I liked doing it. I dreaded getting up and going to work every day. I was the kind of person who counted down the hours before I could leave for the day and looked forward to all of the vacation time I had. And I was like, “I cannot live like this.” Even when I went out on my own with partners to do engineering, I thought that would be better because I was in more control of my time, but I realized I didn’t love the work. And so I decided when cancer came that this was my opportunity to get out of engineering.

And so I took time off. And then, after I healed myself, I started thinking, “Okay, going back to work, what am I going to do? Am I going back to engineering and defense?” And I was like, “No, I can’t. I can’t. I can’t go back.” And so I decided I was going to find out what it is finally I love to do for free. Because I was always told, “Do what you would do for free.” And I never bought into it. I bought into, “If you’re making enough money, you’ll love whatever you’re doing.” And I found that not to be true because I was making perfect money as an engineer and getting raises in, I think, every six months or yearly. And so I realized you do have to love what you’re doing if you’re going to do it for the rest of your life.

And so I saw and went to get help. Like, “How do I get out of engineering that I’m fully trained for? All my degrees are engineering. All my expertise in jobs has been engineering. How do I switch to something else?” And I searched for help with a head hunter that I was working with. He’s like, “Put in the characteristics of the job that you want to be doing.” And so I did that, and this job popped up nutrition policy manager, and it was literally like it had my name written on it. I was like, “This is the job I would do for free. Although I’m not, I would do this for free.”

And so I just got so determined that this was the job for me. I started stalking this company, everybody in it, to determine if there was some connection I had with them because I was determined to get this job. I applied for it. And I got the job. Not that difficult, because I was so determined. So determined that I could not look for any other job. I was like, “You should have a backup plan. You are supposed to have a backup plan.” But whenever I started searching for other jobs, I started feeling bad because I wanted this job. So I like, “I’m just going for it. I’m putting my eggs in this basket, and I’m going to get it.”

And I started packing my home before I got the job offer. I got the interview, and I always believed. Again, one of the things is self-belief. I always thought, “If I get the interview, I get the job. It’s a done deal.” I’ve always believed it, and that’s been true except the one time I interviewed for a job I didn’t want. I didn’t get the job, but I was not too fond of the job. So I had that belief.

So once I got the interview, and it went fantastic, I knew I had the job. Went home, started making plans to move, packed up my house. Four days before the movers are coming, I got the offer, and I was on my way. And so, to me, that taught the power of intent, being focused, and believing in yourself strong enough to make the moves to make it happen. And I’ve done that time and time again, betting on myself, betting on something new and taking a risk. And it’s always paid off. Always. Always bet on yourself.


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