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This week marks 8 weeks without working, and it has truly given me time to focus on ME. Thinking about a 12 hour shift right now gives me a headache and anxiety. When looking for jobs in the past I would always look for non-big brands company as an Event Manager, Event Director, Senior Event Manager, etc. It didn't matter the distances, I could work 50-80 hours work weeks, no matter what days, $65K salary minimum with commission, along with the bells and whistles. TODAY, I'm looking at Big Brands, or somewhat established company as an Event Coordinator, Event Planner, Event Specialist, etc. $45-$50K Salary, 10 miles radius, Monday -Friday 40-50 hours MAX work weeks.
Funny how life changes, when you are able to sit back and see life is NOT passing by you. My work days were normally 11am-11:30pm two-three times a week, and 10am-9pm the rest of the week. From opening/closing the restaurant, answering emails, weekly schedule, vendor schedule approved, daily orders, phone calls, guest relations and service, events & catering orders, building the brand, marketing ideas, social media input, weekly meetings with management staff, etc.
Those 70 hour work weeks, 6 days a week all the way in Los Angeles can take a toll. I not only did not have a life of my own, I was stuck in traffic for over an hour and 30 minutes every morning (Aside from weekend, then that took an hour and 5 minutes) and around an hour and 15 minutes at night (no matter what day it was). I lived my life more in my car than anywhere else; to the point that I had a brand new 2018 Toyota Camry which was purchased in September 2017 with 8 miles, today I have 23,000 miles. I would speak to my mom who lives in Miami, FL every morning to work, this was the only actual time we could talk #1 due to the time differences and #2 by the time I got to work, it was truly non-stop until I left around 8:30pm–9pm everyday if not later. I would then see my boyfriend once a week on that one day off, however that was never a fun day. Because it was normally filled with errands or school stuff for his two kids (11 and 7 years old) or family events. Our relationship was going in a direction neither of us expect nor wanted. My one family member who lives in California I would see every other month if that, because there truly was not enough time in the day.
Restaurants are a non-stop industry, open mostly 365 days a year every day is a new day, with new challenges. It is also a VERY VERY small world. So many people know each other from passing, working together, manual friends and so on. It makes for a family atmosphere, these employees begin to become family. And this is what keeps you so invested, the PEOPLE! It's not the job, title, company, it truly is it's PEOPLE. They who become your work "husband," work "wife" best friend, "sister or brother" because you start spending more time with these individuals than you do with your own family, wife, or husband. This is the part that makes it HARD to walk away.
I have been in the restaurant industry for 10 years now, which is crazy to think or even say out loud. As a kid you dreamed of days you are older and where has life taken you. And in a blink of an eye, 10 years has passed and I have worked in four different restaurants in three different cities. It is also the reason I moved to from Miami, FL to Orlando, FL for 8 years and Orlando, FL to Torrance, CA 4 years ago. Restaurants can take you to unexpected places.
Today, I have decided to leave the restaurant industry and pursue other avenues. Having a work/life balance has become so important in my life today and just being able to enjoy life a little bit move. And when I mean enjoying life, it's simple things like being able to help my aunt around the house, able to help my boyfriend's kids do their homework, help my boyfriend with errands, see my girlfriends a little more, plan weekend trips in near by areas in California that do not cost so much, attend concerts or sporting events, and so on. All things I truly could not do when working those crazy hours.
What exactly is next...we will see :)