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Taking a career leap of faith: Part 1

Amid the pandemic, a First Coast couple starts their own company after he lost his job and she realized she wanted the freedom to spend more time with their son.

The demands currently placed on working mothers during the pandemic are pushing many of them away from the traditional 9-to-5 and towards pursuing their dreams.

Patty Jimenez Winters says the pandemic has served as an eye-opener for her.

“I never thought that being home during the pandemic would make me want to stay home,” Winters said. “For the past 14 years that I've lived in Jacksonville every day I've woken up I've gotten dressed and I've driven downtown to go to work. That's been my life."

Her two-year-old son, Reef, played a big part in Winter's decision to put her skills in marketing and public relations to use in a new way.

“I started thinking about that 45-minute drive to downtown every day and what I'm missing and what I'm not missing and how I still love to feel productive and work because it's what I do and it fulfills me,” Winters said. “But also seeing this tiny creature grow up was so amazing."

Patty Winter's husband is among the millions of Americans who lost a job due to the pandemic. The couple realized they had to quickly come up with a plan.

“It just became a little bit more clear that ok it's time to really take a leap and do something,” Winters said. “If there was ever a chance if there was ever a moment to do something life-changing this would be it."

“It's an interesting time that COVID has brought people to the realization that they can step out on faith and do this thing,” Dr. Valecia Dunbar said.

As a Business Coach and the owner of The Center for Confidence, Dunbar helps to mold women into entrepreneurs.

TCFC's team of more than 17 experts in leadership, training, talent management, recruiting and business give our clients a 360-degree world view and needs-based assessment of what success and failure looks like. We are an action organization that is on trend with the latest information, research, and technology to move your business and life forward through Action.

“800,000 plus (women) have now shifted and thought about what quality of life and work-life balance really looks like,” Dunbar said. “That's tremendous because we were always shifting that way.”

Amid the pandemic, the Department of Labor Statistics shows women are leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men.

“I was so inspired by all the people I saw during the pandemic get creative, get hustling, doing something and I said ok let's do it,” exclaimed Winters.

Winters and her husband started Freemont Street Advisors, specializing in business development for mortgage banking industries.

Becoming her own boss has allowed the mother with a toddler in tow to experience the little things that ultimately mean a great deal.

“Being home and being with him and being able to see him it really changed my life,” Winters said. “It changed my perspective of what it means to be a working woman and to be a professional.”

Dunbar says the first step to taking a career leap of faith is to write a list of things you’re passionate about. She explains your passion is what will sustain and drive you.

Every Monday on Good Morning Jacksonville throughout the month of November you’ll hear the inspiring stories of women across the First Coast pursuing their passions and hear expert advice on how you can do the same.

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