Julie Ashlock makes a living helping people deal with stress. Walk in her business, MBJ Health and Fitness, and you’ll see exercise equipment. Head into one of the private rooms, and you’ll get a sense of relaxation. But Ashlock’s world hasn’t always been built around health and serenity. Until 2008, she worked in a high stress job, as the manager of a title company.
“In September 2008 the market changed and life all changed and I had to decide what I wanted to do,” Ashlock said. “The concept of finding another corporate job didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t want to rely on anyone else for my future anymore.”
U.S. Labor Department statistics show 2.6 million people lost their jobs in 2008. Then, according to the Kauffman Foundation, 340 people out of every 100,000 started a business each month in 2009.
That’s exactly what Ashlock did. She went back to massage therapy school and eventually opened her business in 2009, that encourages health and fitness using exercise and massage techniques.
“I’m happy to get out of bed in the morning,” Ashlock said. “I’m happy when I go home at night and I think about the people I make feel better and made a difference in their day.”
Dianne Kipp is an Executive Coach in the Bay area. If you’re thinking about a career change, she recommends getting back in touch with your passion.
“In general it’s time to make a change when people get to a place they have no energy and no excitement,” Kipp said. “It’s a dread to get of bed to get to work everyday it’s probably time to do something else.”
At the same time, she advises to “adjust your expectations” and realize that no job is going to be perfect.
As for Ashlock, she recommends, “Do a lot of research and find out what the market is like to do it. Talk to people who do it. I spent last six years getting more educated which is something I never thought I would be doing in my former life.”
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