Making the Leap

Two years ago I made the leap!  I left my comfortable, easy, no responsibilities desk job to take on having my own Insurance Agency.  A very scary change but exciting all the same!  I took the opportunity of being my own boss to get involved in my community.  I joined the chamber, the young professionals group, the junior chamber, started a networking group, and I began volunteering for different events.  I spent more time in the classroom with my kids because I could leave the office anytime I wanted. It was pretty cool being able to make all the decisions.  I was successful.  I won contests within the company; I created a marketing strategy that came natural to me and imbedded myself in the community. Then one day it dawned on me, something was not quite right.  I was happy but I wasn't satisfied.  If you asked me what I loved about my job as an Insurance Agent, my answer was never "the products," or "I love selling insurance." My answer was always the freedom and flexibility the business afforded me.  I was able to give back my time as much as I wanted.  There were no timecards to consider, no PTO requests needed.  I could just do it.


The true epiphany came to me after my dear friend urged me to apply for job within her organization, a non-profit.  I was on the fence and finally decided to take the plunge!  Applying didn't mean I'd get an interview so what was the harm?  Besides if somehow I did get offered the position, I could always decline if it wasn't right for me.  I filled out the online application and forwarded on my resume; but I was late.  They had their final candidate identified.  My response was that of disappointment.  I did want this position.  If only I had not waited so long.  A few months later I made the decision to tell people that I wanted to switch careers; I wanted to work for a non-profit. While vacationing in Mexico, I shared with friends how I wished to work for a non-profit.  I loved event planning and have always been good at fundraising.  I wanted to make an impact on a scale that I couldn't do on my own.  The day I said it out loud to someone else was the day I solidified my future career within the non-profit world.


In January of 2015 I left my career as an Insurance Agent to work for a large non-profit organization.  Opportunity arose shortly after returning from my vacation for the same non-profit I had applied to months before.  This time I didn't wait, there was no hesitation.  I applied for the position the day it posted and again forwarded my resume on to my friend who worked within the organization.  It is an amazing feeling to know that every day I am working towards making an impact and am making an impact on such a grand scale!  It is also so rewarding to know that I went after what I wanted and achieved it.  I've learned so many lessons in the past two years but one of the most important is to do what you love and love what you do.  In the end that is all that matters.





Bio:  Kim Hanken is the 2014 Ankeny Young Professional of the Year and the 2015 Chairperson of AYP. She spends her days as the Heart Ball Director for the American Heart Association and takes great pride in building healthier hearts in our community and her nights as mom, wife and volunteer extraordinaire! Kim has passion for young professionals and loves to network! She is very active within the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ankeny community. Kim not only belongs to the Ankeny Young Professionals Board but sits on the Steering Committee of Art for Ankeny; is an active member of the Ankeny Jaycees assisting in the planning and organizing of the Ankeny Unplugged Music Festival; President of her Center Sphere networking chapter; Board member for the Ankeny Service Center; and the Events Coordinator for the Ankeny Little League. She also volunteers within her children's schools when needed and various other non-profit organizations. Kim loves to meet new people; if you would like to grab a cup of coffee you can reach her at