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First Career is not your last

First Career is not your last

Today, I want to share a wild and inspiring journey that started with a student visa and led me to where I am now. Buckle up, because it’s gonna be one heck of a ride!

Back in 2006, I landed in the land of opportunities – the United States. I started with a student visa, eager to make the most of every chance that came my way. I did it all – COT, OPT, and even snagged an internship at the prestigious University of Akron. Life was good, or so I thought.

But then, a curveball came my way. I scored a job right after college, but fate had other plans. I got fired, and boy, did that sting! But you know what they say, every cloud has a silver lining. So, I packed my bags and headed to the rugged wilderness of Alaska on an H1B non-exempt visa. The experience was surreal, but it wasn’t meant to be forever.

Fast forward a bit, and my life took an exciting turn. I became a mom to not one, but two adorable kiddos in just three years! Yup, you guessed it – mommy time! It was a beautiful phase, but in my heart, I knew I couldn’t let go of my dreams and passion for HR.
Now, let me tell you, during those years of mommyhood, I explored a gazillion career options. I considered everything from sales to running a grocery store, but my heart kept pulling me back to HR. I decided to get back into the game, and boy, was it a journey!
I got my EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and dived headfirst into preparing for a certification in HR – the CCP (Certified Compensation Professional). It was like a degree, studying hard and juggling life’s responsibilities. Along the way, I became a self-help and corporate learning junkie, soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

Finally, I landed a gig as an HR analyst at the Louisville City Government. Yes, you heard that right! You can work at government offices with a work permit. It was a stepping stone that led me to Mercer, where I had five incredible years of growth and learning. I started as a compensation analyst, dipped my toes in sales, and eventually became a global compensation specialist. After that I worked for a non-profit for a year and another global fast-food chain. And let me tell you, hard work truly pays off – my salary went from 40k to six figures in just six years!

But as life often does, it threw some challenges my way – family health, kids, and well, the desire to make a difference on a global scale. I wanted to empower and inspire fellow immigrants, and I realized social media and YouTube were my tickets to ride.
I took a leap of faith and said goodbye to my corporate HR career. Instead, I embraced my creative side – photography, movie-making, storytelling, and inspiring others. I wanted to build a network of women who could uplift and support each other through life’s ups and downs.

Enter the “Aware Naari” – a place where women can find content related to career, health, relationships, and finances. From podcasts to monthly blogs, I’m sharing the wisdom and experiences I’ve gathered over the years.

And guess what? That’s not all! I opened a vegan restaurant in Fairfield, Iowa, with my husband. Together, we manage the kitchen, operations, and finances. It’s a beautiful collaboration that reflects our passion for food and sustainability.

So, my dear friends, if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this crazy ride, it’s this: don’t ever give up. Keep learning, stay curious, and follow your heart. Life is a beautiful adventure, and with awareness and determination, you can conquer any challenge that comes your way.

Let’s build a community of strong, empowered, and aware women who support each other through thick and thin. Together, we’ll embrace every opportunity and create a world where dreams know no bounds. Cheers to learning, growing, and living life to the fullest!