It’s Business Women’s Day. Cool!
When I was little, my mom envisioned me in a business suit carrying a briefcase. I felt called to a different path, so teaching became my career for 18 years. Yet, my mother’s vision for my life did come true.
I left teaching five years ago to join my husband in his charter bus company. I don’t carry a briefcase, but I do have a couple of suits and added to my dress and skirt collection. I always did like dressing up – even as a teacher. I am now on boards and attend business networking events. I replaced my teaching vocabulary with words such as ROI, IBIDA, AI, charters, shuttles, electronic logging, etc. I have even visited my Congressmen on Capitol Hill with ABA to advocate for my industry’s needs.
My travel has increased greatly. Before, I traveled with my husband during school breaks. Now, I travel monthly to meetings across our great nation. I know how to get on and off a plane efficiently and quickly by carrying just my “travel purse” that houses my laptop. I still check a bag – just can’t seem to get that toiletry kit down to all three-ounce bottles. My kids are managing their schedules while I am gone. I love the cooperative effort I see them making to be sure everyone is where they need to be and when.
Speaking of kids, there are five in our midst - ages 23 to 7. While I sometimes pine away for the month of July and breaks off, I appreciate the smaller moments of togetherness we share. I have learned to not waste time (although we recently binged watched the entire Pirates of the Caribbean series) and be more present in the time we do spend together. (I wonder if they would agree. Probably not. Ha.)
There have been many changes in my life since I entered the business world. They both required a great responsibility to others. In the teaching world, I had a student’s future in my hands. But in the business word, we have not only our employees’ future in our hands, but their family’s livelihood as well.
When asked if I miss teaching, I often say that I miss students, the act of teaching and my co-workers. Will I ever go back? Highly doubtful. I love this new path I am on, the challenges it brings, the wonderful people I have met across this country and yes, working with my husband. Today is a day to celebrate all women in the working world as we juggle all of our roles and responsibilities. In the words of Helen Reddy, “I am woman, hear me roar.”
Kim Grzywacz, CTIS
CIT Signature Transportation, Ames, Iowa
Chairman, Women in Buses