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My Sabbatical Experience

I sit here enjoying an authentic European Coffee in Paris, France and I cannot believe how quickly the six months flew by… I say that now but during the actual timeframe,

I felt like it was never going to end and that I would never get back to my expertise. This European trip marked the end of my six month journey, but truthfully it was not planned nor expected but came to me through others who believed in my power to get through this and wanted me to have a good ending to my journey. The powers of positive thinking as well as those who surrounded me during this time frame were phenomenal. I cannot believe the amount of people who came forward after my first write-up on Linked-In “For The Record”. Since then I have had daily words of encouragement to go on and not to give up and people just checking on me and giving me their well wishes. I thank those of you who did this, as this truly kept me going.

So many of you have asked me…”was it worth it?”, “do you regret not taking the easy road”, “how did you survive?” Well here are all of your questions answered. . .

When I stated in my last write-up … “I have never been afraid of a challenge - it only makes our character stronger and brings more wisdom as we learn from our difficult experiences” I did not anticipate all that I would have to give up in order to just make ends meet. I feel like my mind and body were broken down but then re-built to become even stronger than I was before. I learned how to say no to unnecessary spending and to live only by my means.

What I found to be the hardest part of this journey was not having medical or dental benefits. Of course as soon as your body hears you do not have benefits, it starts falling apart, even my teeth were acting up!

Did Obama Care help or Cobra? Not at all….the Affordable Care Act and Cobra would of cost me $900 a month so in the end I paid for my subscriptions out of pocket. I did discover is that there are some great apps that will help you hunt down the cheapest pharmacies to buy your meds. There are even pharmaceutical companies that will give you financial assistance with your medication based on your situation. In particular, there are quite a few financial programs for those in need and so many people are not aware of this; GoodRx is one of those companies who will disclose what pharmaceutical companies have special coupons and programs to reduce your cost of prescriptive drugs.

Not working in your industry means; you lose a good chunk of your salary earnings, no-one wanted to hire me because I was either over-qualified or did not come from their industry…and how many times did I tell others that very advice when they would tell me they want to make a career change in the middle of their career??? Yet when you need a job you need to try no matter the obstacles. I have always tried to make sure that my office worked respectfully with candidates but this experience gave me a greater sense of how people really felt worthless in the world of work. I have now seen first hand what others were talking about when they describe the painful experience of companies/personnel not taking the time to respond or responding rudely when you would follow up via a phone call. I was not going to give up that easily on being ignored and would continue to dress up daily and get out there hoping someone would give me a chance.

I eventually got that chance by walking into a Cadillac Dealership dressed to buy the place. They did have an opening and when they asked me if I applied on-line (I knew this was the brush off) I told them a white lie and said that the “website” froze on me; which is why I came down to talk to the hiring manager in person. Well, that trick worked and I was interviewed on the spot and I was hired the following week.

I also sold Avon on the side to feed my skin care habit, it was easy thing to do because I did it with social media and had my own website where people could click and order their products. It was just enough revenue for me to continue to take care of my own skin without spending a penny. Avon has come a long way and has done a great job of streamlining their sales process to a click on the internet.

The third job I secured was Uber and out of all of the jobs, this one ended up being the most rewarding because I could control the amount of money I generated depending on the hours I wanted to do - if I focused on the surge times. Many people could talk about the problems of Uber, but for myself as an employee I was very satisfied. They helped me keep my sanity and pay those extra bills. I will continue to do Uber until I start generating revenue from the business, it really is a job based on your own ability and drive.

These three jobs helped me cover the bare essentials so I could get through the timeframe. The lack of indulgence I was used to was difficult at first, but then it helped me grow up and be more appreciate of indulgences rather than making them a daily habit (like Starbucks or going out to eat) I can make a cup of coffee from home and I'm a great cook - Thank You!

Well through it all this experience has made me a better person, more focused on what I need to do moving forward and more appreciative of my personal time. That is the one thing I missed the most, having downtime to spend with family or friends. I now have greater appreciation and respect for those individuals who work more than one job, it is not easy and certainly not for the faint of heart!

The fight is still not over, since I know need to fill jobs in order to make revenue, but at least I can now work on my own business as well as doing a juggling act with side jobs.

I have had six months to think about a name, and there was really only one name that came to mind. The people I have served over the years only required one thing of me when providing my services… it was to give them higher Talent….and this is how Higher Talent Group was born. My next write up will be about recruiting advice for either customers or candidates so look out for the next chapter. Here are some pictures from my journey....different places, different roles and different situations - trains, plans and automobiles!!!

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