Photo Source: Cierra and Instagram
It takes a lot of courage to leave your job during a pandemic and launch a traveling business. That is definitely crush-worthy, and that is exactly what Cierra did. Let her tell you more!
1. Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?"
My name is Cierra Chesir, and I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Still currently living there. I'm an Attorney by trade and own a Travel Agency Franchise, Dream Vacations. I quit my full-time Attorney job last year to pursue my travel agency full-time because traveling has been my passion for a long time. What inspires me to travel is being pushed out of my comfort zone and allowed to see, taste, and try new things. I come from a neighborhood where traveling wasn't an option for many people. I've had, and still have, neighbors who have never left the city or the state. I want to inspire and show my community a whole world out there, and they can explore it.
2. How did you know it was time to leave lawyering?
I knew it was time to leave lawyering once I fell ill at work, and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me because all of my tests and examinations were coming back normal. They ultimately determined it to be a stress-induced illness based on the chaos at work. When I started my job, our department had three attorneys. Then, it was only me for far too long. They wouldn't hire anyone to help me, and they also wouldn't give me a raise for doing the work of three people. I got fed up with them treating me poorly, so once I reached a certain amount of money saved, I quit to pursue traveling full time. It was easily the worst job I've ever had towards the end, but it was a blessing in disguise because I don't know if I would have ever quit had I not been so miserable. So thank you, I guess?
Traveling has been a passion of mine for a very long time. The summer going into my senior year of high school, I was afforded the opportunity to study abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico. That experience changed my life. It was my first time out of the country, and most of my family had never traveled internationally. I knew I wanted to see more of the world after that experience. I've been a traveler in almost all my social circles since then. People would always ask me for travel recommendations, and I'd happily give them. A light bulb went off that I should start making money off my travel tips because there was clearly a market for it in my network. One of my former coworkers was a travel agent, and she offered to help me start my business and mentor me, and the rest was history! I started my business right before the pandemic in September 2019. I used the shutdown to brand myself so people would come to me once traveling was back, and it worked. The business was doing well, I hated my job, and I felt it was the perfect time to quit and take a chance on myself. And here we are!
4. What was the most intimidating factor in switching careers and following your travel dreams?
MONEY. Easily. Giving up a secure government attorney job for an industry in total flux due to the pandemic was a HUGE risk. It was all about having faith. I knew I was supposed to quit my job at the end of 2020 because I was praying about it. Once I mustered up the courage and took the leap, everything just seemed to start falling into place. That encouraged me to keep going for it. I feel like when you're truly walking in your purpose, everything works out. You're going to have obstacles, especially as a new full-time entrepreneur. Still, I have yet to find an obstacle I couldn't overcome.
5. What advice do you have for those who are at a crossroads in their career?
For my people of faith, pray and trust your gut. Over the last few years, I've learned that my gut instincts rarely steer me wrong. You genuinely have to learn to trust yourself and your capabilities. Because when you find what you're really supposed to do, it's all going to work out. I genuinely mean that. Get a mentor. This is a major key. Talk to someone who has been in your position before. There are so many people out there willing to help. You just have to find your community.
Where else can folks find you?
TheeTravelingAttorney on TikTok and Facebook; TravelAgentCiCi on Twitter
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