Steve started his corporate career path right out of college. We moved our little family out to Wisconsin and he started in retail buying with Kohls. It wasn’t a job he had ever envisioned for himself – in fact its one of those jobs you don’t really realize is even out there when you first start your job hunt. But he fell in love with buying and he was good at it. Kohls was a great company, but after 5 years, we were ready for a change. A change of scenery for our family and a change of scenery for Steve’s work.

Although it wasn’t our intention to come to Arizona – that’s where the job offer came from with Petsmart. It was a tough decision – but we relocated and Steve continued his growth and development in buying. Petsmart was a completely different environment than Kohls but equally good. It was more casual with people bringing pets to work and being able to dress in business casual. They had great team building activities and charity events that Steve enjoyed. He also got to travel to new lands which excited him on many levels. He spent many trips in Asia and worked with the sourcing and manufacturing side of retail which interested him.

After two years of working with Petsmart Steve went back to get his MBA in Global Management. Through this process, Steve was exposed to a much larger business world and his eyes were opened to new possibilities. Although he loved his career in buying, he started dreaming of a different path. A path that might utilize the skills he had developed and yet challenge him in new ways.

His work with Petsmart grew long. He had a tough year as the company transitioned under new management as they tried to recover from a few stumbles.

Just months before Steve graduated, Petsmart (a public company) was sold to a private equity group and once again they transitioned to new management and of course experienced some struggles with change and vision for the company as a whole.

After 10 years in corporate – with a new degree under his belt, Steve was ready for a change of scenery. But not a change of scenery within retail – he was ready for a pivot. He searched and researched and spoke with mentors and connections and he landed on something he’s more than excited about. He will be managing a few companies for a private equity group. It’s new and challenging. It will draw on many of the things he has learned over his corporate career and yet push him to learn so much more.

As of Friday, Steve made his last 45 minute commute (each way) and walked in the door with his final box from his office. Our hallway currently looks like this:
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Picture frames, awards, old calendars, candy jars, mugs and other collectibles from 5 years of being in an office. Luckily he didn’t bring home the ginormous aquarium and turtles – he found new homes for those items!

Corporate life has its advantages and we’ve enjoyed those benefits over the years. This career pivot has risk and reward awaiting us and it’s what Steve has always hoped for in his career path.

For Steve it means not spending an hour and a half every day in the car. It means being able to see the kids before he leaves for work in the morning. For us it means having him around just a little bit more and having the flexibility to enjoy life as a young family. The programs during school he had to miss, class parties he wanted to be there for, Halloween parades, birthday lunches, vacation time with us in Idaho – all of it can be possible. Its not as if he will be working any less – but the flexibility will make a world of difference for our family.

Steve closed a chapter in his book. But he did it with a skip in his step full of anticipation and excitement. It’s time to pivot.