The Right Job Brings Health and Happiness


I’ve held many jobs in my life. I’ve been lucky to have not only the ability to honestly assess my skills and preferences, but to reinvent myself multiple times. It hasn’t always been easy – or quick. When I decided to transition from accountant to educator, I returned to school to earn my Masters at George Washington University. Great things came out of that decision. I was rehired by a former employer to be their training manager while I was still in school. Some time later, one of my professors hired me to work on her team at a large non-profit. This turned out to be one of the best professional experiences of my life.

Eighteen months ago, I decided to return to my beloved Seattle. This required quitting my job, selling my home, leaving behind family and taking a HUGE leap of faith. I’m happy to report that it all worked out exactly as I’d envisioned. I have everything I’d hoped to achieve.

A funny thing happened four months ago. During my first year here, I was working with an organization that, while a great place, was not a great place for me. I was not a fit for the culture, so every day was a struggle of one sort or another. I suffered physical problems while there. I had significant knee pain, diagnosed as arthritis. Every day, I lived in pain was taking medication, keeping topical creams on my knees, and worst of all, limiting my physical activities.

Then a funny thing happened. I left that organization and began working on a new project where every moment of every day is spent coaching people through the job search after being laid off. It’s hard work, long hours, and a lot of giving. And I love every minute! I can’t wait to get to work each day. I come home exhausted, but exhilarated and happy.  One evening, while visiting with a friend, I commented that my knees no longer hurt and I hadn’t even thought about any medication or creams in some time. My friend commented, “You know when that changed, don’t you?” I didn’t, so he replied, “When you changed jobs. It was almost instantly.” And you know?  He was right. It’s been four months now. I’m still pain-free, happy and able to increase my exercise and enjoy the activities I love.

So, I challenge all my readers. If any of this sounded familiar, take a look at your life. What’s not a fit? What doesn’t make you happy? Take a good hard look and then take a risk. Go for it. As one who’s been there, it’s worth everything and I wouldn’t change a moment.

I’d love to hear your stories. Drop a note.


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is
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