We often hear how our experiences prepare us for our next step. I’d like to introduce you to Kathrine Farris. Her encouraging story of preparation illustrates this beautifully. Kathrine, tell us how your career path began and led to your heart's desire.
After finishing my degree in Administrative Office Management, I was left feeling like I had learned how to become a secretary; certainly not what I had in mind. Then, while planning my wedding in 2008, my college advisor contacted me about teaching a computer applications course; I needed the extra finances and God provided. I soon learned, He was not just providing, but positioning me for future endeavors.
Working at a bank as Assistant Branch Manager, and instructing at the college in computer applications helped me format a business concept. The banking position gave me immense opportunities for interaction with business clients, business development, working with personnel and operations management.
How did you begin to use these connections? And, how did you find your way to where you are now?
I began by offering basic services such as data entry, word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and other administrative tasks as an independent contractor to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Researching my concept further, I learned it was not a new idea, but known by the term Virtual Assistant.
In March of 2011, just after finishing major renovations on our new home, still working in banking as a VP and Branch Manager, running my business, and teaching; I learned I was pregnant with our first child. In early January 2012, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy.
The additional income from my business, enabled me to take a full 12 week maternity leave from the bank. We felt blessed to have this. I was able to grow my business during my maternity leave, and took on my largest client just weeks before I had to return to work.
For a combination of reasons, we decided my husband would be a stay-at-home-dad. With a heavy heart, fighting back tears, and breast pump in hand; the time came to return to the bank. The next few months were some of the most difficult of my life! I cried every morning as I left my son, knowing that between both jobs I’d be lucky to see him before bed. My nights were sleepless, because he was up every two hours, and I couldn’t bear to let him ‘cry it out’. The stress was killing my marriage.
It sounds like you came to a crossroad. Tell us how you struggled with decisions during that time? What comfort did you sense from God through it?
My desire was to work from home, however, we would lose our only stable income and benefits like health insurance. I prayed and held onto the Bible verse “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4)
In July my husband and I had a serious talk about our options, ultimately deciding to trust in God! I left my job at the bank. Within two months, my virtual assisting business doubled.
After three months we heard about Christian medical sharing, and we now have better coverage for less than half of what a major medical plan costs.
And, now a year later, my business is flourishing, my family life is great, and we are excitedly awaiting the arrival of our second child. . God is so good!
Looking back, it’s so amazing and humbling to see where God has brought us, and the faithfulness that he has shown me before I even knew what I needed. Without his guidance, I would not be where I am—appreciating a lifestyle that allows me to enjoy my family and the work that provides for them. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for our future!
Kathrine is seeing Jeremiah 29:11 played out: God does have plans for us. He has given her heart's desire. She is an amazing mom, wife and business owner. I am learning about the role of a virtual assistant by seeing her serve her clients efficiently and professionally.
Thanks, Kathrine for sharing your story of God’s faithfulness with us!!
Kathrine Farris is Owner and Virtual Business Professional behind Strategic Office Support, a Virtual Assisting company that specializes in supporting Professional Speakers, Authors, Consultants, and Business and Life Coaches. She is married to Paul and they have a son, Kaiden and another little one on the way.
Also visit www.BecomeAVA.com for training, resources, and coaching for new and aspiring Virtual Assistants.
Do you have a story of God's guidance?
Do you have a story of God's guidance?