It’s a pretty shocking realization when all of a sudden it hits you. (No, not the top cupboard in the kitchen that I always leave open, even though it’s at optimum forehead clunking height. I’ll actually never learn.)
The fact that you’ve spent more of your life working than not. HOLYPAYCHECKSI’MOLD.
And while I’ve had some stinkers of jobs (quite literally. I worked in a bar when you could still smoke inside #ewww), I’m now finally at a place where I’ve got a job that fits me like custom McQueen couture.
How did I get here? A lot of hard work and some terrible decisions. But also moments of complete utter demotivation and a little bit of luck. And mostly, just following my gut.
Believe it or not, I get plenty of questions about career type stuff. From actual people. (Yup, I don’t know why either. They know that I go to work in lycra most days and that’s not exactly real life, right?)
But I have learned a few little things in the last almost-16 years and in the interests of saving Rach about $255.85 in text message charges – here’s what I know.
(Which is not a lot more than you Rach, but I love that you ask my advice x)
Love it or leave it.
Friends, it’s 2014. Do you know that we’ll change jobs 52 times in our lifetime? (I probably made that stat up. But it’s a big number, orright…) We are definitely past the days of shclecking off to the same place every damn day for 30 something years to get a gold watch and sail off into the retirement sunset. If you don’t love what you do, leave. It’s that simple. I’ve been in jobs where it’s been time to move on after 12 months – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’ve outgrown it, if it’s changed, if you’ve suddenly realized that it doesn’t have you jumping out of bed on a Monday morning, then go chase another career dream, stat. And don’t feel bad. There’s someone who is going to love that job more than a giant tub of Messina icecream, and if you stay, just because you feel some sort of ‘eeek, they only hired me eight months ago’ guilt, you’re just robbing that business of finding that person. Seriously. Sure, your boss might act a little miffed, but at the end of the day, it’s like a bad relationship. Getting out before the two of you waste time and all emotionally invested is so much better in the long run.
New shit is good.
I studied law at uni. That’s right. And then this is the part where I admit that I’ve never stepped foot inside of a court room since my days as a uni student, and I basically spent a house deposit worth of money on a pretty piece of paper. I was good at English, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, and then I got in, realized that corporate law was the driest piece of dull boredom ever and quickly added a marketing major.
So many folks follow what they study into the workforce, because that’s what you’re meant to do, right? And then after 10 years realize that it’s not actually their cup of tea, because truthfully they enjoy skim chai lattes or double strength mochas (you get that’s a coffee analogy, I’m not actually suggesting that everyone wants to be a barista…right?), but don’t do anything about it because they don’t want to start all over again.
Go back and study, change careers, take a year off and travel. I wasn’t even looking for a job when I was offered my current one, accepted it on a whim, and then went home and cried because I WASN’T READY FOR CHANGE.
And it’s turned out to the best thing I’ve ever done.
The easiest way to kill a passion is to make it your job.
You know those people who say that to find your passion, a job you really, really, love, you should look at what you do in your spare time and make a career out of that? WRONG. All the wrong. Fools.
I’ve been down that garden path. I effing loved photography. All my spare time was devoted to taking pictures and editing pictures and I basically stopped buying shoes so that I could buy more gear. (I know, WHO EVEN AM I?)
So I turned my hand to wedding photography. It’s a hard gig, but I was prepared to make a go out of it. I had a solid plan. I’d work weekends, gradually building up my little business and then one day, I’d stop working in marketing and just work for myself. And the irony is, that just as I’m at a point where I’ve got just enough work to make it my full time jam money, I’m about to give it all away. (That’s probs actually a post in itself, if I’m being really honest…)
But just know that there’s a reason they call it work, and that’s because it is, and if you’re going follow your hobby down in to the land of full time employment….well, just make sure you realize that you’re basically putting your hand up for a job at your favourite bar. Sounds great in theory, but are you really going to wanna hang around there on your weekends and socialize? (The correct answer is: heck no, Em.)
Buy the worst job on the best street.
If you’re an ambitious little petal like myself, oh boy this one is a bitter pill to swallow. A coordinator job when you’re practically ready to be a director? Try again.
But it’s the right thing to do, if (and only if), it’s the company you want to work in. Here’s the deal. With a little bit of elbow grease (that’s hard work folks, I do not recommend going into the office without a shower), you can work your way into a higher possie. Preferably with a car space and a generous travel allowance, amiright?
But if you’re in a small company, though they might let you in, in a role with a fancy pants signature on your email, at the end of the day, you need to wait for the company to grow before you can…and that could take, quite literally, a lifetime.
When I took this job at Nike, I took a (small, Mama’s got a puppy to feed and a rather ridiculous shoe habit) pay cut, and title-wise, effectively a demotion. But here I am, moving up, getting involved and the sky is literally the limit in where I can go from here. (actually, that’s a lie – Portland. Portland is literally the limit)
Small sacrifices for the greater good or some such nonsense.