Do What You Love, Not What You’re Supposed To: Why I Quit My Successful Corporate Career to be a Matchmaker 

TDR_Kate EBy: Kate Edwards, Three Day Rule Matchmaker

I have been called many things: Driven. Ambitious. Type A. Go-getter. “Most Likely to Lean In.” I did all of the right things. I got straight A’s in my advanced classes. I went to an Ivy League school. I graduated and moved to New York City. I worked long hours for a prestigious job. I climbed the ladder and rose in the ranks. My performance evaluations were impeccable, and my apartment was in Tribeca. My parents were proud, even though this is not something WASP parents would ever acknowledge out loud. Once, I went on a first date with a man who told me he was excited about how our joint pedigree would look in our New York Times wedding announcement. Bonus points for Brown and beauty, he said. He is now in politics.

At 27, I felt lost. At times I loved my career in advertising, and at times I felt bored and unchallenged. It was a lot like Mad Men, except we drank more. So I did what any confused yet successful 27-year old does – I got my MBA.  Two years and twenty theme-parties later, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I was deciding between going back to work at a well-known tech company, or risking it all and doing something completely different. I decided I was sick of all of the free organic green smoothies and free dry cleaning and free societal pats-on-the-back those big companies were offering, and take a risk. It was time to jump off the metaphorical cliff.

I became matchmaker. And I absolutely, positively love my job.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” is typically the response I get at a dinner party, when I tell someone I’m a matchmaker. Most of my friends are lawyers and consultants and investment bankers, so they can’t seem to wrap their heads around my occupation.

So here’s what I tell them. These are the reasons I left my successful career to become a matchmaker – and why doing the unexpected was the best choice I have ever made.

1.  I meet the coolest people

10915294_10100658098252631_2718700949510556804_nMy job is to meet as many smart, interesting single people as I can. At Three Day Rule, our clients are CEOs, entertainment studio execs, high-powered attorneys, tech startup founders, and successful artists. They come from every industry and all walk of life, but they all have one thing in common – they trust me with their love lives. My clients hire me to go out and meet matches for them, so they don’t waste their time going on bad dates, and I probably go on 5-10 bad “first dates” before I find a good date to set them up on. But it’s like getting paid to network for a living. I know more people than I ever thought possible, and my network keeps growing and growing.

2. I do the coolest things

10502105_10100653130727591_173669739736418757_nI go to events, mixers, conferences, and more, just to find matches for my clients. This means I get to put myself in situations I would never otherwise be exposed to. If my client is looking for an older man who is into spirituality, I’m at the yoga retreat, handing guys my business cards mid-downward facing dog. If my client is looking for a tall, dark, handsome doctor, I strategically find myself in the restaurant across from Cedars-Sinai. I’ve spoken at tech conferences and attended 6 am dance parties and been interviewed on the radio – all as part of my job. Who else can say that?

3. I hear the coolest stories

During the day, I take coffee meetings with as many as 7 different people, and I get to sit with IMG_2476 them and really get to know them. I learn about who they are, and who they are looking for in a match, and I hear story after story about their love lives. Romantic escapades, broken engagements, foot fetishes – I hear about it all. If there’s a story about dating in LA, I’ve probably heard it, twice. I can’t help but become an expert, but most importantly, I truly love hearing people’s stories and helping them when I can – it’s truly my favorite part of my job.

4. I make people happy

When you make a great match, sometimes you’ll receive a text message that says, “Date Screenshot 2015-03-20 11.25.12
was wonderful – thanks for being so great at your job!” Those little texts are the most rewarding things in the world. I feel so happy to help people find love every single day, and I feel lucky they let me try. When I worked in advertising and marketing, no one ever said “you’re so good at your job” – that simply wouldn’t happen amidst the air of professionalism and ambition. But when you’re helping people with their personal lives, all of that goes out the window, and you get to see people smile like crazy.

5. I do what I love, not what I’m supposed to

I wake up every single day and love to begin working. Sure, it can be stressful at times, and  unnamed
sure, we have all of the pressures of a normal job. But at a certain point in my life, I realized that I needed to be doing what I loved, not what I was supposed to do. Once you come to that realization, everything changes. I realized I could be ambitious and smart and do something crazy, all at the same time. I followed my heart, and everything else fell into place.

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