Sunday, August 5, 2012

What do you do and why? - Joanna

What do you do and why?


Joanna and her son, Andrew

Joanna and I have known each other since high school. We’ve been in and out of each other’s lives over the years and have taken different paths, but I've always considered her one of my very closest friends. I am amazed at all she does and am so excited for the journey she’s on now. Plus, she has a fantastic sense of humor and a highly contagious laugh. Oh, and she is an absolutely amazing mom. I hope my daughter grows up to be as grounded as her son. 

1.   What do you do?

I am self-employed doing bookkeeping, budgeting, forecasting and managing Law firm’s bank accounts and Trust accounts. I also teach yoga. I am a graduated mother…notice I did not say that I have fulfilled the mother role because my son is in college, but that I am a graduated mother….this means that all the work of building a foundation for my son in his life is now “in action” on his own……my role as mother has not and will not end….no doubt, but my role has changed up a bit. I now can observe how every disciplinary reaction I had in his childhood years is affecting the very actions he takes as an adult. I am thankful that I was very open with my communication with him in all aspect; now as an adult it is all reciprocated.

2. Why did you choose to do this? Have you always wanted to do this? Did you fall into this career or actively take steps to get here? Did you choose it or did it choose you?

The Accounting and bookkeeping – I never wanted to passionately do Accounting/bookkeeping. I did things a little backwards to the cultural standard. I had my son first. I did not “chose what kind of life I was going to have”, it chose me.  Once I had my son, I started taking classes for a career where I could learn very quickly and use it very quickly so I could support my son.  I chose Business and Accounting. Before I could even finish two years of accounting I had already started my own business and began using what I was taught to make money to support my son. I was a single parent for 7 years; going to school, working and starting a small business so I could have more flexibility to raise my son. My job was not my passion, but my son was.

Joanna and her son

3. What did you need to do to get here? Did you go to school? If so, was your degree related to what you are doing? Did you do something like an internship or work your way up for years? Did you take advantage of things like Informational Interviewing with those in the field?

I attended college my son’s entire elementary, middle school and high school years.  Yes I know, tooooooooo long, but that is what happens when you go for Business, then Accounting all very part time and work.  My full time job was being mom. When I found my niche with law firms, I did additional training with the Bar to learn what was required with the Bar Association.  Then I marketed strictly with Law Firms and built a client base of all law firms.

By the way, somewhere in the middle of all of this, I thought I would get into web development….did 1 year of accelerated schooling in it and decided against it….it sucked!! That was even worse than accounting!

I also did the whole Nurses aid thing and got my C N A. I actually really enjoyed this, but wanted to work with youth and children.

4.  What would you do if you weren’t doing what you are? Would you do this out of necessity, because you happen to have the skill sets, or because it is your dream job?

What would I do if I could change it up? I can, so I am. Like I said earlier, I did things backwards. My career chose me at an early stage in my life because of my priorities. Now, my priorities have changed, so I am doing what I am passionate about - teaching.  Went back to school to find out what I was missing to transfer to the U of MN to do what I am passionate about. I became a certified yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance 300 hours strong! I am teaching elementary students and adults. I am working on completing a Yoga therapy degree with a minor in coaching and neuroscience. Plan to work with young children in elementary and middle schools and Youth treatment centers along with yoga therapy. This is my passion. Slowly but surely, I am weeding out the bookkeeping and now I am choosing my career rather than it choosing me!

Yoga in Sedona

It’s funny that it may seem like I did things a little backwards compared to all of my friends, but what I did learn in those years, is more than what I could have ever gained from going to college right off the bat for something I would have attempted to “choose” back then.   Truly, I would have had no clue. It would just be me taking part in the American dream!!  Funny to think about…it all changes as you age and your priorities change. Usually you age first and your priorities change  along the way.  My priorities came first and then I aged… I don’t’ know if that makes any sense, but that’s what happened. 

Thank you Joanna for sharing your journey and your goals with us!

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