Being diagnosed with a serious, chronic illness can really shift perspectives and priorities. It can lead to deep self-reflection regarding how you want to spend your time.

When doctors found early-stage cancerous cells in Diane Sigurdson’s lung six years ago, Diane took a good, hard look at her life. She was working as a CFO and wasn’t happy in her work. What would she want to do if she only had a few years to live? Diane wanted to be more present in her personal life. After spending most of her career working in finance, she wanted to explore options that would involve more coaching and mentoring.

Fortunately, Diane is now cancer-free. The self-reflection she did following her diagnosis has set her up for what she considers a second chance. “I went on a mission of exploring [recruiting and consulting]. What did that mean for my life? What would my days look like? What would my compensation be? So, I talked to a few recruiters I had worked with [and] asked them some questions to try to get a feel for it.”

Diane’s exploration led her to meeting with a Salo team member. During this conversation, Diane discovered that it could be possible to provide direction on the type of consulting projects she wants, where she would like to work, how much time off she has and the level of compensation she needs. “So, I’m thinking, ‘This is too good to be true. What’s the catch? This can’t be a job, because why wouldn’t everyone do it then?’”

Diane felt interested in consulting, yet unsure about giving up a guaranteed salary and benefits. Her fiancé, a lifelong entrepreneur encouraged her to give it a try. “Salo started solving my career move the day I met with them. So, I decided to go for it.”

In six years with Salo, Diane has been able to live a more balanced life. In having better balance, she feels both her professional and personal life have flourished. “I think I’m a better person in my personal life because of my professional life.”

She works no more than 40 hours a week. Without guilt, she gets to choose when she takes time off, including for a couple of memorable and extended vacations. Things she couldn’t do in her previous corporate work.

The flexibility she has as a consultant not only keeps her invested but has prompted her to recruit three others to Salo—including her daughter, Alana (check out her story here). “The work/life balance is life-saving. I mean, I truly believe your health is affected by [working too much].”

Jumping into consulting was liberating for Diane. The transition helped her envision what the rest of her career might look like, and even how she might transition into retirement. “I had a whole new outlook on life. I started seeing the possibilities ahead of me.”

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