Hale claims that she’s been ready to leave her position for two years, but was wooed by the salary increases and “fantastic” benefits. The raises were just enough to delay her decision to branch out into a new career.
“You know… that first year, I got like a $3,000 raise or something,” she stated in an interview with reporters. “The after-tax deductions didn’t have me in tears anymore, just annoyed.”
The past year was when she really knew that it was time for a change. After working 16-hour days for almost two months straight, she said it was enough. During that period, she’d only see her family long enough to shower and eat microwave Kashi meals. Her son complained that he hadn’t laid eyes on her in a week the one weekend she was able to relax and even then, she slept for 36 hours straight.
“I forgot what my mom looked like,” he said angrily. “She came in the door and I was like ‘who are you?'”
It was at that point when Hale realized something had to change. She made the decision in April 2009 to leave in 2010. The vast difference in workload and her growing interest in and love of creative fields began to take its toll on her number crunching analysis. But as she made plans to leave, the worst recession in recent history struck the state hard. With unemployment rates in double digits, Hale had to make a choice between changing careers or maintaining a stable, unfulfilling one. She chose to change careers.
“At first I enlisted for the Navy Reserves, but I realized that I have an unnatural fear of water and I’m too old to be yelled at by kids,” she laughs. “I had to reverse that plan and focus on what brings me the most joy and how to turn it into a profitable enterprise.”
As her last day approaches, her plans are more focused and clear. She’s not thinking about the economy and what the pundits are predicting, but instead trusting her strengths and talents to make her dreams as a public relations guru, writer and wellness coach come true.
“It’s a lot of things all at once, but I have a five-year plan” she said. “I just needed to take the first step off the cliff to put it in action.”