Guest author Melissa Thayer weighs in on her Traveling Vineyard career decision

For the past 3 years, I have been an “at-will” contracted employee for a Massachusetts state university. Unfortunately, the job carries no benefits and I get paid for the time I work (which means if I take a day off for any reason, I’m left with a smaller paycheck at the end of the week). I have been on the hunt for a full-time, permanent position for almost 2 years now. While I’ve been a finalist for several positions, I did not have a job offer extended until recently.

Just the fact of receiving an offer from a prestigious private university in Cambridge, MA should cause feelings of excitement, especially when the position would be considered a large step up in the world of higher education. But for me, it caused confusion, worry, and anxiety. I’m a thinker and only make decisions after considering all of the options and what would be best for me and my family. For several days I pondered what to do. In true fashion, I wrote up a list of pros and cons. On that list were the usual considerations including length of commute, benefits, salary, and position level. I shared the list with several people in my life, including my husband. What surprised him the most was the list contained my job as an Independent Wine Consultant with The Traveling Vineyard.

You see, taking the job at the private university would have involved overtime hours, reduced my availability, and added a long commute. With these restrictions, there would not have been the opportunity to continue working as an Independent Traveling Vineyard home based business entrepreneur providing free home wine tastings. Being a consultant is something I do for myself, not for anyone else. Although I have only been in the business for 4 short months, it has quickly become something very important to me. It also became one of the major factors in my decision-making process. Ultimately, I turned down the position at the private university.

You probably think I’m crazy after all I’ve already told you. Being an Independent Traveling Vineyard Wine Consultant has become part of who I am. It fulfills me in ways that my “day job” doesn’t and no job ever could. I have way too much fun in this business. I mean, who doesn’t love drinking wine while getting paid for it? In addition, the friendships I have developed with the other consultants will last a lifetime. Unlike many other jobs or direct selling companies, no matter the time of day, there is always someone available to offer non-judgmental support, encouragement, and advice. Thanks to the incredible commission plan, the financial reward has been outstanding. In combination with my day job, I’m taking home the same salary as I would if I had taken the position at the private university. And in September, I brought in more money than my husband earned (and of course, I was quick to tell him this!), which allowed us to fully pay for our trip to a friend’s wedding in Myrtle Beach. Plus, I’m on my own! I love the flexibility of working when I want to work and taking off days whenever I want to.

When someone asks why I’ve decided to become an Independent Wine Consultant with The Traveling Vineyard, I say I thought it would be fun. But it’s more than that. I always like to share why I continue to be an Independent Consultant and the position I gave up because I think that speaks to the amazing things this company provides to all of us consultants. I’ve always believed you should do what you love. And what do I love? Well, that’s easy – being a Traveling Vineyard Independent Wine Consultant.

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