In my last blog, How to Be More Employable, I spoke about thinking long and hard about what you actually want to do, and how you shouldn’t blanket apply.
This got me thinking about a few brilliant candidates I’ve worked with recently, and how they were brave enough to take a small step back so they were able to pursue what they were passionate about. I think this could inspire people to do the same…
Often, people spend several years doing a job they’re pretty ok at but one that doesn’t particularly excite them. Because they’re pretty ok at it and have displayed loyalty to the company, they progress into more senior roles. Progression usually comes with salary increases, and before they know it, they’re earning decent money, but doing a job they aren’t interested in.
Fast-forward a little, they get bored and begin thinking about what they genuinely want to do. They find their passion and start applying for jobs within it. Employers reject them due to a lack of experience, and they go back to their day job, spending the rest of their employment earning good money, but feeling unfulfilled.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes you’ll need to take a step backwards in order to move forward. That sounds very philosophical; it isn’t intended to, don’t get the wrong idea of me.
If you feel unchallenged and you have a genuine interest or passion that lies elsewhere, I urge you to bite the bullet and step down to begin the career in which you’re interested.
Yes, you may be accustomed to the money, but I guarantee you’ll find more value in feeling that you’re learning every day, feeling engaged, challenged, and loving Mondays. Plus, you’ll be back up to the salary you’re used to in no time as you’ll be awesome at your job and progress quickly because you’re loving it and working really hard.
Ollie spent several years working in a reputable law firm. While his role was exciting at first (because it was new), it very quickly became dull because he is a creative, energetic person, and spending countless hours reviewing paperwork doesn’t suit him. I helped him find an Account Management job with a forward-thinking marketing agency where he is helping clients with their marketing strategies. It’s entry-level to Account Management, but he’s loving it! Because he’s bouncing creative ideas with enthusiastic people, and it’s energetic and fulfilling.
Jess is a Marketing Executive with a huge passion for fashion (see what I did there 😉). Jess was working in marketing but in a publishing firm where she was working on campaigns to promote books. If you’ve seen my LinkedIn posts, you’ll know I love books, so I think this is awesome! If you haven’t seen my LinkedIn posts, here’s my profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jae-jackson-loveridge/ (shameless self-plug, I don’t care). Due to Jess’ love of fashion, she wanted to work in a fashion company where she would be super enthusiastic about the campaigns she works on and, you guessed it, feel fulfilled.
I helped Jess find a marketing role with a well-established local fashion company which she was already a big fan of. Jess took a small salary reduction for this opportunity, and does she regret it? Hell no!
See the correlation here? Ollie took a slight drop in seniority in exchange for a role that excited him and is better suited to his personality. Jess took a small drop in salary in exchange for working for a brand she loves. Both individuals love their new roles and are far happier. Both have a clear route of progression and will achieve it quickly.
I think my conclusion here is simple. If you think you’ll find more satisfaction and quality of life by doing a job or working in an industry you’re genuinely excited by, don’t be scared to take a small step back.
Note: I’m not suggesting you take such a step back you can’t pay your bills! Don’t put that on me.
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Jae Jackson-Loveridge | Director