By Bobbie-Jo Martin Grinder
With graduation in our recent memories, I thought I would share my journey. I graduated high school and headed to college, as a first-generation college student. I was the youngest of four girls and decided this was my opportunity to shine! I decided to go more than 1,000 miles away from home. Unfortunately, the distance enabled poor decisions and I dropped out of school after only a year and a half. When I returned home, I immediately started working in an administrative support role at a local company. I worked hard and was rewarded for my effort moving into roles of increasing responsibility through the years. Eventually, I was told my promotional opportunities were limited because I didn’t have a degree. So, numerous years, marriage, and two children later I earned a B.S. in Business Management. My family was important to me but so was hard work.
Now to the point of my story…I worked for the same company for 24 years. I saw a lot of changes over the years and had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and learn a lot about business. The greatest challenge of my career was recruiting and developing those in the areas of computer technology, engineering, and finance/accounting. Simultaneously, my relationship with God grew stronger. For approximately 15 years I worked in Human Resources and Organizational Development and volunteered at my church. For the last two or so years of my career, I began to see changes that didn’t feel right to me. I no longer enjoyed going to work. I needed something new with purpose and meaning. I was making good money and I had two children getting ready to graduate and attend college. Why in the world would I consider leaving this position/company?
Have you ever heard the phrase “Money doesn’t buy happiness?” Truer words have never been spoken. My husband and I talked extensively about how I felt and he said he would support me 100 percent with whatever I decided. I shared a concern and scenario with him and said that I needed God to give me a sign. If “this” happened it was time for me to leave. The very next day, what I feared the most happened. I knew it was time to go. I took a leap of faith and communicated that I would be leaving the company.
I took a chance and opened an international franchise that teaches S.T.E.M. concepts to elementary age children. Many friends and family members were concerned about our decision. Six years later, I have never been happier and love what I do. I am now developing the leaders of tomorrow and know that we made the right decision. My advice to anyone reading this…Trust God! He will provide. Also, follow your heart. It will tell you what is right and wrong. We never thought we could make it with a single income but we did and we now have two children who have graduated college and are pursuing their dreams.
“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5