Who Moved My Cheese?

After my clients this morning I hit the free weights and did my own workout. I made it up as I went along, which is odd. I have a handful of “go-to” strength sessions written out that I usually use. I rarely just “wing it”.  I’m not sure if I got the best workout, but I’m wearing my calorie counter armband, so we’ll see later!


On the way home I had to make a quick stop for seltzer. I ran out mid-day yesterday and was already having withdrawals.

I noticed the tortilla chips were on sale – maybe, because there were 4 different huge displays throughout the store! Then, I realized this weekend is Cinco de Mayo = my second favorite holiday! Aaaand, I have a ton of avocados from my mom’s trees so I grabbed some.

Guacamole and chips, deconstructed. Directions: Cut, salt, scoop.IMG_0486 (800x600)

Lunch was leftover chili on a salad. (Those are the few grapes that didn’t go straight into my mouth on the drive home.)IMG_0488 (600x800)

So, what’s up with the cheesy title and my announcement I mentioned earlier?

Let’s start with a story… When I was in college I got a job at a small recruiting company. I was a researcher and worked 20-30 hours a week depending on my class schedule.

The company grew and so did my responsibilities. I eventually became executive assistant to the Director of Recruiting and then a recruiter myself. When I graduated college I was offered a full time position. That is what I did when I started the blog.

But, that’s not what I went to school for so I left if for a reporting job in Maryland. Fast forward to a year later I found myself back in California and a Personal Trainer. I’ve been training for a year now, talked with a lot of local trainers, co-workers and trainers from around the country. And I’ve realized that it is really difficult to make “living wage” money.

One of the many times my co-workers and I talked about this someone said, “This is gravy money. It’s like extra money for your stuff or to put aside, but not to depend on.”IMG_0505 (800x533)

Then, I realized ALL of the trainers at my gym either have another job or husbands who make a lot of money (and don’t necessarily need to work).

It wasn’t an immediate concern because the blog makes money and Ben makes money. But, after looking at our long term goals (read: house, baby, trips) and the fact that we turned down a VERY SWEET offer in Healdsburg – I started looking for more consistent work. (Remember my little breakdown post Healdy?)

Then, my old boss called me last week and offered me a job. No lie, how perfect is that?!

So, as of Monday I will be working full time in the recruiting field again.

It was a fun place to work. I had really really good friends. We had a cool walking club. And at one point we were encouraged to read, “Who Moved My Cheese?”.

By some random twist I found a copy at a used bookstore in December and put it in Ben’s Christmas stocking.

I re-read it while we were in Florida for the holiday and knew I needed to smell the cheese and figure out where I was headed in the maze. So, I’ve been sniffing around for a while Winking smileIMG_0510 (800x533)

The book is a fun little story about how two mice and two people deal with change. You can check it out on Amazon here.

Here is the post where we started our roadtrip across the country.

Here is the post where we moved back to California.

What this means for RER and stuff:

Sorry to those of you who hoped this was my retirement announcement.  I’ll still be blogging and training a few clients in the evening.

Because of the location of the office I will be working from home 96% of the time. BUT, I need to go into the office for training next week so I wanted to give you a heads up as to what will be going on Monday morning Smile

This also means I’ll have to piece together something decent to wear all week next week! AH! Send help.

Question: How many different jobs have you had?

I’ve been a Barista, Collections Rep, Researcher, Exec Asst., Recruiter, Writer, Blogger and Eater (cause I eat like it’s my job).

Oh, I’m getting my eyebrows done and a massage before my evening shift! We had a great special on employee discounts end of April! See ya when I have two eyebrows again Smile


  1. says

    Congrats on the new job! That’s awesome that you will be able to work from home most of the time – my ultimate goal in life is to NOT have to drag my sorry self to a cubicle 5 days a week. Someday….

    I have been a movie theater concessions worker, cashier at Panera, academic adviser, youth counselor, 4th grade classroom assistant (in Kenya), temp with the Country Registrar of Voters, and am currently a customer service rep. Sheesh.

  2. Jenny says

    Congratulations, that’s exciting. I love reading your blog. So I’m happy your not retiring.

  3. Patty says

    Glad everything seems to be falling into place for you and that you aren’t retiring from blogging!
    I’ve been a lifeguard, swim instructor, teller, collections rep, loan officer and now an accountant (and hopefully soon a CPA if I pass the exam).
    Can’t wait to hear how the new job is going!

  4. says

    Congrats on the job Monica! I really love your blog and I’m excited to see how you balance your new job with your other hobbies, goals and responsibilities. I have a full time job and freelance on the side, and it can be tough to stick to working out and cooking healthy eats for myself and the bf. I’m looking forward to your tips :)

  5. says

    Congratulations! Funny how things fall into place. I had to read Who Moved My Cheese? in a food service management class in undergrad. It was probably the only assigned reading from college that I read start to finish. Such a great message.

  6. says

    Love that book… it definitely puts things into perspective on how we choose to make decisions in work/life.

    Congrats on the new gig. I’m an HR person, too, and used to do recruiting for a short bit.

  7. Summer T says

    Congrats MOnica, you will love it I am sure and will be great at it. I did some recruiting for Steak n Shake for a few years and LOVED it :) Does thismean you get to do your runs when the mood hits you? That would be a nice perk of working from home!

  8. Summer T says

    Congrats Monica, you will love it I am sure and will be great at it. I did some recruiting for Steak n Shake for a few years and LOVED it :) Does this mean you get to do your runs when the mood hits you? That would be a nice perk of working from home!

  9. says

    Sounds like the timing of it all was meant to be- congratulations! That’s awesome you’ll be working from home most of the time.
    I haven’t had too many jobs: swimming instructor and lifeguard, lifeguard at summer camp, and now my current job in PR.

  10. says

    Congratulations! Exciting news! I’ve been a real estate appraiser, waitress, restaurant manager, bookkeeper, interior designer to the stars ;), wife to Grammy award winning mix engineer(gotta brag when I can) and now I’m a mum and treasurer for an NPO. Soon to be a pt nanny and hopefully a second time mum.

  11. janae@hungryrunnergirl.com says

    MONICA, that is so exciting…great timing:) Love it when things work out and if you were retiring from blogging I would cry for 2 years straight. Don’t ever even think about that.

  12. Tia says

    That’s awesome! I would love to be able to work from home, so jealous!!

    I was a Sandwich Artist at Subway in Highschool, Administrative Assistant, Dispatcher, Maintenance Administrator and currently I’m a Maintenance Planner. However I plan to go back to school in the next year or so to become a Registered Nurse :)

  13. says

    congrats! i am happy for you. and glad you guys will be working on makign more money. i often wonder how bloggers live off of their husbands income and manage to buy a house and travel. i am a high school asst. principal and can barely make ends meet! maybe i spend too much money 😉

  14. Denise P. says

    Quite the interesting turn of events. Sounds like things will be looking up for you in the near future.

    Nanny, Guest Services Associate at an aquarium, GS Senior Associate (or Senior Ass as we so lovingly called it), Legal Office Assistant, Legal Secretary, Office Manager, Judicial Secretary II, Senior Deputy Clerk.

    I did a fair amount of job hopping after college, but it was all in the legal field.

  15. says

    Yay for the new job!!! I know the feeling about looking long term and realizing you need more now to get there.

    My jobs have been, in order, starting at 16:

    File Clerk
    Title Typist
    Shipping Clerk
    Sales Associate (Retail)
    Mortgage Associate (Temp)
    Admin Assistant (Temp)
    Purchasing Clerk
    Stay At Home Mom (this is still going on, nearly 5 years later, the rest of the jobs were from home or part time)
    ChaCha Associate
    Ad Set Associate (Retail, again)
    Freelance Writer
    Blogger (this one is still going on too)

    And sometime this month I’ll be starting as a sample girl at Costco! And jeeze, that is A LOT of jobs. It didn’t seem like that many over the years, but several of them overlapped.

  16. Amy H says

    Where is your training? That’s so cool that they’re allowing you to work remotely 96% of the time! CONGRATS!!!!

  17. Jennifer says

    I have had too many jobs since I was 14 years old – I have worked in a pizza place, 2 smoothie places (although they weren’t called smoothies then – they were “fruit whips”), as a chambermaid, a (un-)Merry Maid, entertainment counselor at a campground, artist’s model, Blockbuster video clerk, busboy, babysitter, medical technologist, substitute teacher, and paraeducator/lunch aide. I am sure I have forgotten something along the way!

    Best of luck with your new job!

  18. says

    Monica that’s awesome!! Congrats girl. I think you’ll really enjoy the office life again. Even if it’s just for the social aspect, it’s always good to get out there and expand your talents during different phases of life. Can’t wait to hear all about it girl.
    PS- We had to read that book in my office as well. Great story!

  19. says

    Moved cheese was the buzz phrase for my school district after they over hauled the computer system. No one could find anything at the beginning of the year! Lucky for me, I was new to the district so it was new for me regardless :)

  20. says

    Congrats on the job!

    I used to be a snowboard instructor…all of us had “real” (full-time) jobs as well, and we just instructed in the evenings (we had lights on our hill) and weekends for fun. What’s funny is that my advisor in graduate school told me that she wasn’t sure if I should be there (even though I was performing well). She told me she thought I should drop and be a snowboard instructor. I thought, “Hey lady, I would if I could pay the bills doing that!”

  21. says

    I think it’s sad that for a profession that does more to get and keep people healthy than, say, being a doctor, it’s so hard to find a well-paying position as a trainer in a reputable facility. Most gyms take such a huge cut it’s not worth it to work there, and to work in a more medical or therapeutic setting requires thousands of dollars’ worth of certifications because many schools STILL don’t offer any kind of major for personal training.

    So to answer your question, I have my training income, but my real paycheck comes from somewhere else!

  22. says


    Have you ever thought about going in to like physical therapy? It seems like you’d be so good at it with your backgorund! Then again, more school :/

    I’ve been a softball umpire, restaurant hostess, assistant for a cardiovascular surgeon, and am now a high school teacher.

  23. says

    Hope you’ll fall back into place (at the office!) like you never left. Does this mean you won’t be doing any PT? Or will it be on a part time basis/selected clients? I know you enjoy this and exercise/workouts/run, so hoping you’ll continue.

  24. says

    Congrats on your new job!

    I’ve had such a variety of jobs over the years…many of them overlapping especially in college, etc. However, I’ve been with the same company since finishing grad school (7 years ago!)

    Since high school:
    –Clerical assistant
    –Retail associate (1st at JCP and later at a local outdoors store)
    –Assistant for a Personal Trainer (helping get people acquainted with machines, etc etc)
    –Music Therapist (first at a rehab facility and freelancer and later full time at a Children’s Hospital)
    –“Office Manager” doing AP and sales support for an online company
    –Graduate Teaching Assistant
    –“Healthcare Administration” (starting as an administrative resident, then project manager, then Senior Associate in Strategy and Business Development and currently Director of Strategy and Business Development + Director of Innovation)
    –Will be officially be adding “Adjunct Assistant Professor in Healthcare Administration” later this summer in addition to my current role :)


  25. says

    congratulations on the new job change! that’s so exciting and i’m sure you will feel a ton better knowing that you have another source of income coming in..!

  26. carrie bradshaw says

    Congrats!! God had a funny way of working things out.

    I got my Masters in Accounting and did the corporate world thing; then I became an elementary school teacher; now I’m a personal trainer in Australia. I totally understand about Pt-ing being “gravy” money; it’s an awesome “side job” but it is not a stable income at all. I have been flirting with the same idea as you — going back to the corporate world and doing boot camps and PT on the side.
    Can’t wait to hear about your new adventure. :) So exciting!

  27. says

    Congrats on the new job! That’s great that you’ll still have time to train and that you’re going into an environment that you know is good. :) I’ve had a few jobs in my twenty-two years, including a cheer/dance clothing salesperson (while I was cheering in college), a stocker at a book store, a freelance writer, a legal assistant, a bartender and now an office manager at an insurance company. Whew.. next up: attorney, hopefully!

  28. says

    Congratulations on the new job! I’m cheesy and believe that the universe gives us what we need at the time when we need and want it the most. I think this is what happened for you. I know I sound like a weirdo, but I don’t care. I’m happy for you!

  29. says

    Congrats!! I work from home and it’s tougher than some people think.
    and good luck on the race this weekend – such an amazing cause <3

  30. Amber says

    Congrats! I would love a recruiting job from home. Where can I get one of those?! Are they looking for more people??

  31. Courtney S says

    My husband read that book for his job maybe I should read it as I need some direction in what I want to do. I thought I had it all figured out then budget cuts hit are school district and I had to reevaluate. Now I work part time in an office and full time as a stay at home Mom. I also love me some good cheese or a cheesy grin from my youngest son will do in a pinch. Feliz Cinco de Mayo.

  32. Courtney says

    How do you become a recruiter? Any suggestions on how to get in the field? I LOVE researching and finding jobs for friends, and think I would really enjoy something like that. My degree is Psychology, though (aka useless). Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)

    • says

      You don’t need experience for lower level positions, so just apply when you see openings! Try to find a company that is a recruiting company not a head hunting firm (I’ve heard those are really competitive and stressful). Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *