This past May, my husband started feeling like it was time to move on from his 9-5 job at a mortuary. He was tired. He was burnt out. And most of all, he wondered if he should do something different with his life. You might even say that he was having some sort of mini-mid-life crisis or something. But, after working alongside my husband in the mortuary for six straight years, I totally understood his frustration.
For those of you who don’t know, the mortuary business can be brutal for a person’s family and personal life. Mortuaries literally work around the clock, and Greg used to get called out in the middle of the night all the time. Can you imagine working from midnight until 6:00 a.m. then being back at the office for a full day’s work two hours later? I can’t. On top of the crazy hours and overnights, he also spent many weekends, evenings, and holidays “on call,” meaning that he was kind’ve off work but could be called out at any time. Simply put, his job seemed to suck more than other people’s. So, he started to wonder if he should consider a different career path altogether.
A Career In Sales
After a lot of thought and consideration, Greg started to embark on a new career in life insurance sales. He had all of the makings of a sales super star. At least, I thought so. He’s good with people. He’s charming. He’s a good listener. And, most importantly, he’s an extremely hard worker. After deciding to try this new career, he started the company’s training program. He put all of his extra time into earning the various licenses that he would need to do the job. During training, he left the house at 6:00 a.m. and returned home at 6:00 p.m. – only to play with the kids and then study from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. He also found out that his new job expected him to quit working at Club Thrifty, which kind’ve broke his heart. But, he got over it. And more importantly, he worked really hard and did everything that he was told. And from what I could tell, everything was going great!
Unfortunately, my husband was secretly crumbling within as he realized that he absolutely hated sales. The new job required that he call 40 people per day, mainly family members and friends. He felt uncomfortable. He felt weird. And, during that time, he realized that he also didn’t believe in the products that he was supposed to be selling. And it got worse. He started having panic attacks and waking up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat. At a certain point, I noticed that he looked miserable and confronted him about it. At first, he swore that everything would be fine.
Then, a few days later, he completely broke down. “I hate my new job,” he said. “I’ve ruined our whole lives.”
Honestly, I should’ve seen this coming. Greg was never meant to be a salesman. It just isn’t in his soul. When we worked together at the mortuary, I would constantly hear him give people advice on how they could save money on caskets, flowers, and vaults. He never tried to upsell anyone, even when it would benefit him, and he felt uncomfortable when people spent more than they needed to spend. And, that’s okay. A life in sales isn’t in Greg’s future, and the truth is that he didn’t ruin our life at all. I love my husband, employed or not, and I honestly have to say that our life together is currently the best that it’s ever been.
Yesterday I wrote about how I’m glad that we have an emergency fund. Today, I add to that list. I’m glad that we live below our means so that Greg can take some time off to figure out what he wants to do with his life. I’m glad that he can stop and really think about where he’s been and where he wants to go. We’re not sure what’s going to happen now, but I’m so thankful that we’ve experienced all of the crazy things that we have. I married Greg in sickness, in health, for rich and for poor, and I meant it. And, it’s nice to support him for once. I’ve never been the bread winner before, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it while it lasts.
For the time being, Greg is going to help me work on Club Thrifty. However, I’m excited to see where we end up. He is he smartest and hardest-working person I know. Regardless of what he decides to do with his life, I know deep down that he will find a way to succeed. He always does.
For more thoughts on work and life, check out these boss stories:
- How Much Money Is Enough?
- Quit Your Day Job: How to Start a Blog
- Quit Your Job: How to Know When It’s Time
- Getting Life Back Into Balance
- How to Get Anything You Want in Life