I Made the Decision to Leave My Corporate Role to Pursue My Dream

I Made the Decision to Leave My Corporate Role to Pursue My Dream


After working for a global engineering and environmental consultancy firm for over 8 years as a Senior Marketing Coordinator, the decision to move on came quite easily once a new manager came on board who, in her own words, “did not understand part time”.

I remember having many conversations with my good friend Alli Price of Motivating Mum (Alli and I met when I started working at Rydges Melbourne for Bobby McGees where she was my manager). Alli and I developed a friendship during our time working together and she had started her own business. Once Alli heard about my issues at work she tried to encourage me to leave. “Just leave Sam, there are so many opportunities out there.” It took me a while to work out what she meant though, as I just assumed she meant I needed to find another job.

So I started looking for other corporate roles. But with my son due to start school I started to wonder how I would be able to juggle school hours and a part time role in marketing, not to mention school holidays. I was determined to find another job before I left my current role, but that started to problems. My new boss was micro-managing me which was in turn making my work life quite unenjoyable. I had previously loved my job until a new manager was put in charge, and the work environment soon turned toxic. My mental health started to suffer.

My husband and I organised a holiday to South America as part of his 40th Birthday celebration, sans kids. I remember a particular moment when I was trekking through Machu Piccu in Peru, sitting on a mountain and just thinking how I was going to try and change things when I got home. There on the mountain, I had a vision. I would start my own business. I didn’t know what I would do, but I knew would do something. I had to get out of my current rut.

I returned home refreshed and energised after a month exploring South America with my husband. I was determined to set things up so I could leave my corporate role where I was becoming anxious and depressed as a result of being micro-managed. It wasn’t long before I made the decision to leave my corporate role to pursue my business dream.

Social media was a skillset required for all the marketing positions I was saw advertised. I arranged to spend some time with Alli Price to learn more about social media. After chatting with Alli and with much encouragement, I walked away with a my first client, creating the social media content for a Facebook page. And Sam Says was born. Four years on, I work anywhere from 20-30 hours per week working with small business owners assisting with social media management, event organising and administrative tasks. My children, now 7 and 9 are at school, so working during school hours, and often when they are in bed at night is the norm, but when you are doing something you love it doesn’t feel like work, and I have the best of both worlds, I am there in the morning and at night to spend time with my kids, something that I feel is important while they are still so young.

There is a saying that “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid a 40 hour week” working for someone else. After working for myself, I would have to agree. It is having the choice that makes it all worthwhile.

The Virtual Assistant industry is a growing industry, there is such a variety of other VAs with a range of skills from graphic designers to website developers, all assisting other small business owners with their “to do lists”. And there is no shortage of work. Our changing economy has led to the rise of the entrepreneur, which means that the need for VAs will continue to grow. If you are considering making a lifestyle change I urge you to research the Virtual Assistant industry. I absolutely love the flexibility being a VA has given my family and I, and I love helping my clients achieve success in their businesses.

Learn more about Sam and her business here! 


Sam McFarlane

Sam McFarlane

Sam McFarlane started Sam Says in 2012 to help small business owners with social media management, event organising and administration. Sam is a proud mumma to son Tom and daughter Charli, a self-confessed shopaholic who has a (small) addiction to chocolate.
Sam McFarlane

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