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Reassuring Thoughts on Career Changes: This is my story by Pat Carver

Umbrellas symbolize shelter and protection, but they are often emblems of power and dignity.

As that saying goes, there are two things in life that are certain, taxes and death. Well, I think it should be three things that are certain in this life, and change should be added to these certainties.

Change mostly is hard and it is inevitable, like it or not. We make changes when we face a turn in the road on our journey, when we choose a direction and make that turn, continually moving forward because the alternative to making a positive forward choice is usually a dead end. No one wants to see that sign.

After working practically my entire life, since I was 16 years old, becoming whatever I thought I wanted to be when I grew up, all the while making great decisions and some not so great decisions, I finally reached what I imagined was the pinnacle of my career. I was a senior executive!

Before my imagined career pinnacle, I experienced lots of change in my life; thankfully it was mostly positive change. I married the love of my life, we raised our daughters, two of the most wonderful human beings on this earth, I earned an Ivy League degree, and now I am semi-retired. I recently told a very good friend that I feel so free in my day-to-day life, a freedom I’ve not experienced since I was a very young girl. Waking up when I feel like waking up, making my own schedule, walking my dog when I – when she – wants to go for a walk, visiting my daughters and their families in Philadelphia whenever I wish, and spending as much time as I want with my husband of 45 years—and time that is “my time” whenever and wherever I want! This is what change has evolved into for me. A better, more gratifying, less stressful existence. Change has opened a new and more fulfilling life for me, and I feel beyond blessed.

I mentioned earlier that I believed I had reached the pinnacle of my career when I was

appointed Senior Executive Director within a prominent university medical center. This leadership position offered access to privileges most executives or executives-in-the-making only dream of: the six-figure salary, the coveted parking space, the high-end of everything from travel to access to the most influential people internally and externally connected to the organization. I had worked so hard for so many years to achieve this level.

One day a little over four years ago and after working in my chosen profession for over 25 years in two large cities at two major universities, I was told that my department was being “restructured” and I was escorted from my office that very day. Change had been thrust upon me in a shocking moment! Others would determine my fate and not with their best intentions for me or my family’s welfare, I might add. Change was not my decision, but here it came, like a speeding train.

As stressful as that incident was, change happened. I decided quickly that I would move forward, and I educated myself once again in a very different arena. I became a wedding officiant and a Life-Cycle Celebrant®, meaning I studied rituals, traditions, and creating memorable ceremonies. I was ordained as a nondenominational officiant, allowing me to perform weddings and funerals with the ability to provide ceremonies for all of life’s milestones.

These celebrations and the many events fill my soul. My heart and my schedule are also full, and I could not be more grateful for the change. Fortunately, I was able to embrace change and now I’m my own boss!

I took a risk starting my own business. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and the world does indeed favor risk takers! It wasn’t easy or immediate, but I love what I do, and I work with such great people who appreciate my contribution to their lives through my heartfelt and thoughtful ceremonies. Life is good!

So, whatever life may bring your way – and change is sure to be one – choose a direction, go forward and take the risk! Change is certain––embrace it!

Pat Carver is the creator and owner of Perfect Promises, LLC, certified and ordained wedding officiants with offices located in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Pat was inspired to start her own business after a marked career in her role as Senior Executive Director of Alumni and Development at two major universities and as a graduate of Columbia University in New York City. Pat lives with her husband, Jim, and their Standard Poodle, Mary K, in Wexford, PA. Her two daughters, Maddie and Katie, live with their families in Philadelphia, Pat’s favorite place to visit when she’s not scheduled to officiate weddings!

If you are planning to be married and you would like a personalized, truly unique, and wonderfully memorable ceremony, contact Pat at Pat@Perfect or call 412-865-9474.

The happiness in my family––it's contagious!

Working as an officiant––bringing joy to clients.


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