“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Today marked my 8th week in my new marketing role. If you would have asked me where I would be in my career 6 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where I am today — not even close. Being an influential part of marketing and branding for my favorite brand has literally been my dream. I’ve gone from an obsessed fan to an employee in what feels like days! But in order to get here, I’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions.
Since graduation from ASU last spring, I’ve had my fair share of firsts. An apartment to myself, car payments, and my first big girl job. And it was all I could have ever hoped for…until it wasn’t. I absolutely adored my job at the marketing agency and everyone in it. The exciting work, thrilling projects, and down-and-dirty work environment with my coworkers. But my wide, innocent eyes had narrowed over the course of the year in my role and unfortunately, I was beginning to outgrow it.
This can’t be happening. I’m just getting started!
I felt like I was just getting my career started, but I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t doing what I really wanted. I envisioned being an active part of the campaigns, the concepting, and the execution (the fun stuff) but I felt limited due to the nature of my coordinator role. My teammates were fantastic and had quickly grown into lifelong friends, but it still wasn’t enough to give me goosebumps like it used to. I was growing faster than my role, and I don’t think it was ever able to keep up.
It wasn’t until one late night at the office that I completely hit rock bottom.
It was 11:30 p.m. and I hadn’t had a bite to eat since I came in that morning at 8:30 a.m. It was one of those down-to-the-wire deadlines and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t imagine having to bite my fingernails and stress through my entire career in new business. But how could I have both the project engagement and the company culture that I had grown to know and love?
The fact is, I couldn’t have both. So I had to make a decision.
Work was really starting to bite me on the ankles and I was crumbling under our workload. I was working crazy hours, responding to emails in the most bizarre places at all times of the day (and night), and truthfully, I wasn’t making enough money to live comfortably anymore. Something had to give. So I took a good look at myself and asked the question that so many of us wrestle with, “am I happy here?”. I could think of so many things that I loved about the company, but far fewer things that I enjoyed in my job duties. I didn’t think that I was taking advantage of my strengths, talents or passions.
What if I could get paid to do what I love?
In retrospect, I had known all along. Anyone who knows me can tell you, I’ve always been a loyal fan, alumni, and supporter of the brand and truly believe in the organization. So that was my shot. I took a closer look at open positions and right before my eyes, as if it had been waiting for me to put it all together, was a marketing position in the enrollment services department.
Initially, I wasn’t sure if I was qualified, but I put my fear aside and made the decision to go for it with all that I had. I wrote a kick-ass cover letter, polished my resume, and started praying. Within 48 hours I got a callback. It was finally happening! The stars were aligning and my dream of giving back to the university that had given me so much was coming true. I had only dreamed of being in a role like that. Truly, it was my dream job.
My takeaway message to you all is to never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game. Go for your wildest and scariest dreams and don’t look back. No matter how young or old you are, early in your career or close to retirement, fearlessly pursue your passions and do it without regret. I’m so glad that I did.
Until next time,