I recently made an important deposit at TD Bank. It wasn't the amount that was significant. It was that the deposit signified a critical moment in my new career as a freelance writer. The journey of how I got there involves several steps, including working with our local TD Bank store.
My background is in business and my initial job was in taxation. I enjoyed success in my career for over a decade and never imagined leaving the workforce. But several years later I had three young children, one with multiple disabilities. I was stretched thin and, even though I was reluctant, resigning from my career made the most sense. I needed to give my kids the support they needed to thrive, and I was lucky to have that option.
Suddenly, I was shuffling my three kids to activities, doctor appointments and therapy sessions. In the beginning, I stumbled. I was overwhelmed. But as with most things, the more I did it, the easier it got. However, my experience led me to see so many accessibility and inclusion challenges. My son uses a wheelchair, and many local places aren’t accessible or inclusive. Those moments frustrated me. I wanted to find a better way to navigate those moments. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and my thoughts with the world.
When my children were a little older, I found a local writing class. Some amazing people helped me learn how to express my ideas and feelings in a concise way. I took more classes. I wrote and rewrote and read my stories to friends. A few months later, I was thrilled to have my first article published.
The words started flowing from there. I published more articles about my experiences parenting. I branched out into creating content related to money management, inclusion, and accessibility. I was excited to start working again. To have a new career that I had created out of my experiences and passions. Having the ability to make my own schedule was key. I could be around when my family needed me, but also have independence which allowed me to connect with amazing writers and advocates.
When I started receiving income, I knew I needed to get organized. I registered my company online. I created an LLC, got a tax identification number, and generated a profit and loss statement, all skills that my business degrees helped me achieve. A few weeks after my company had been established, I received a check in the name of my LLC, but I couldn’t deposit it. I needed to open a new bank account. After some research, I realized that opening a bank account for my business wasn’t as simple as opening a personal checking account. I needed a lot of help that would likely take a lot of time. I knew from previous experience that a manager was always available at TD Bank and enthusiastic about helping customers.
The check voucher on the wall
I was right. That afternoon, a manager was readily available and took the time to understand what I wanted to do with the right solutions for me. She then provided all the information necessary to accomplish it. I learned that day that TD Bank puts people first in everything they do. It's what it means to be Unexpectedly Human – they're always seeking ways to provide service that goes above and beyond.
The following morning, I headed back to the TD store and worked with the same manager to complete the steps. It was so much easier because we already had a relationship.
The TD store manager patiently walked me through the steps, explaining why I needed each of the forms. I knew how to deposit a check but, once my account was ready to use, she had me deposit a check to confirm that my account was working properly. Before we left, she made sure all my questions were answered and then even took the time to bring me over to the ATM to make sure my debit card was ready to go.
On that second day, I brought my children along so they could see how the importance of this career milestone for me - that when life changes and shifts, there are ways to recreate yourself. That our passions can open doors we never knew were there. My children had inspired my new career, and I hope they are inspired by my example to take on new challenges even when the odds are against them. What made that day even better was how sweet the TD Bank manager was to them – so different from than what you may typically expect at a bank.
Today, I have the flexibility to work any hour of the day, which allows me to be available for my family. Juggling my portfolio of clients and my demands at home keeps me busy, so I use the TD Bank app on my phone to direct deposit checks I receive in the mail. I love that convenience, but I also know that I can go to our local TD Bank store anytime I have a question.
When I’m out, and I see a local business displaying the first dollar bill they earned next to their cash register, I smile. I keep the voucher of the first check I deposited displayed on the bookshelf in my office. It’s next to a frame with my favorite published article and a picture of my family.