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Taking a career leap of faith: Part II

At the height of the pandemic Kristy Flores was forced to quit her job when her daughter's daycare closed. She saw this as an opportunity to become her own boss.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If you're thinking about a career change and you suddenly feel the need to take action you're far from being alone.

Almost 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce in September, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic is disproportionately affecting women with many being laid off, for others childcare became an issue. However, there's a portion of the population that has come to the realization that their options are not limited.

 "I couldn't work and do homeschooling at the same time," Leesha Archie said. "I just couldn't do it."

Archie and millions of parents amid the madness of 2020 have had to make some tough choices.

"I ended up sending my son back to school and that was a very scary decision for me," Archie said.

Fear had to take a back seat for Jacksonville mom Kristy Flores who quit her job when her daughter's daycare closed due to the pandemic.

"I'm a planner," Flores exclaimed. "I plan for everything. I never thought about a pandemic!"

Both women were forced to quickly figure things out.

Archie was able to continue to do her radio show safely through the height of the pandemic but her main source of income as a photographer was halted.

"I had to shift what I was doing and fall back into some things I had done before," Archie explained. "So I started doing admin, and little things to keep resources coming into my house." 

Flores decided to stop putting off what she had dreamt about for years. She became her own boss by opening up Nailed it DIY Studios.

"Me and my sister are starting our business and if that hadn't happened I don't think this would be happening," Flores said. "It's such a great feeling."

Business coach Valecia Dunbar explains the first step to venturing out on your own is to identify your passion.

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"Start a list about what you're passionate about," Dunbar explains. "Passion is the thing that's going to sustain you and drive you." 

Journal and log your thoughts about what it is that you really enjoy doing.

 "What have people told you all your life that you're really talented at doing and you just haven't done it," Dunbar asked.

 "Quarantine gave me the chance to stop and think and reassess and go back to my purpose," Archie said. 

The mother of one is now getting back into photography and doing it socially distanced. She's also entering the podcast game.

"Starting a new series celebrating what people are doing," Archie said. "Bulking up my photography again and seeing where it leads." 

As a business coach, Dunbar says once you've identified your passion and know what you want to do, start to think about how you can put together a plan to open up a business. 

She says nothing has to be perfect you just need to start taking action towards getting closer to that dream you want for yourself.