I realize the above statement sounds easier than it is, but I am speaking from experience. Have you ever felt like you have been striving for something in your life only to fall short every time? We all have had jobs we didn’t like. Or maybe a relationship that seemed great at the beginning but is no longer making you happy. Finding happiness and your life’s passion is not an easy task. I hope my story will give you some inspiration to not give up and to follow your dreams.
Just Another Job Search
Itoo felt like there was something missing in my life and for me it was that great career that I saw many other people pursuing. For some reason every time I found a job it always seemed better than it really was. Let me tell how after struggling for many years I was finally able to hone in on my passion, grow my skills and have the ability and opportunity to do what I really enjoyed doing.
Over the years I worked in many different office environments from fairly large to small organizations. I had peculiar bosses with up and down moods, dealt with office politics and conflicting personalities and had crazy workloads. After a while I became pretty tired of the whole situation. My ideal job was to work for a good company where I could do what I was passionate about. Everything else seemed very empty. So I decided to go back to school and get a management certificate. After completing the course I embarked on a search for a better job.
Unfortunately, this search turned out to be much harder than I thought. I received zero support from my school to help me find a job so I was pretty much on my own. I sent out so many resumes, kept track of them all, followed up, only to get a handful of interviews that went nowhere. You don’t have enough experience was what I often heard. I didn’t want to settle for yet another administrative job. This went on for a while and I was pretty much at the end of my rope and running out of money. Then I finally got a an interview at a pretty big organization. It went well and I ended up getting a job offer.
You Got The Job And Now What?
Itook the job although it was again administrative in nature but I was told it had growth potential. It also paid well under what I made at my last job and the commute was not a picnic. I had to take two subways, a bus and a long walk to the front entrance. In the summer it didn’t seem like such a big deal, but in the winter relying on public transportation and the constant delays made the commute that much worse. Also, the sidewalks in front of the office building got so icy I felt like I was going to break my legs just trying to cross the road. It was virtually impossible to walk around on my break so I felt trapped in the building for weeks on end.
This made the winter months seem to last forever and it definitely contributed to feelings of depression. But I felt like I had no choice but to stick it out. I simply took the job based on the promises that I wouldn’t be in the same position for too long. There was a real chance to progress and grow within this organization, or so I thought.
As time went on, I worked really hard and made my bosses, supervisors and fellow co-workers (everybody) happy. In addition to my regular job duties, I was constantly thinking of ways to help the organization grow their online presence. My passion for marketing and social media has grown over the years. I was already taking marketing courses, attending workshops and conferences and reading a ton of articles online.
For a few years my online following was growing steadily. When the organization had events I promoted them every chance I got. I became really passionate about what I was doing and soon everybody noticed it. The organization even asked me to offer suggestions on how improve their social media presence. And I even got to present a social media audit for the CEO. This was very exciting and the future looked very bright.
Too Good To Be True?
Then a job opening for a social media coordinator became available. This was amazing and after preparing very hard I applied right away. I hoped that my passion for social media was going to shine through. There was even encouragement by numerous people in the organization to go for it. The optimism was palpable! It was really hard to wait patiently while other people got interviewed because this was the job I really wanted. Finally I got the news and it wasn’t good. They decided to hire someone else. This was truly crushing!
I honestly couldn’t fathom not getting it the job. It felt like all I have worked for so hard ended up meaningless. I was informed that they hired someone brand new because this person had more experience. The same old story I’ve heard before. But after doing some research, I found out that this specific person had no experience at all. They had virtually no marketing or social media experience and only two months of crowd funding experience. At this particular time the organization was planning a few crowd funding campaigns so this made total sense.
In addition, the person they hired was very young and I suspect they took a much lower salary. I was shocked! How could this be? This really angered me! I felt like I was tricked and basically strung along all this time. This was the last straw. I’ve had enough! Eventually, after all the anger subsided, I started thinking and analyzing all my previous working experiences. And finally, I saw a clear pattern!
Finally Seeing The Light
At every interview, the job seemed so much better than it actually was. There was always a question about “where do you see yourself in the future?” and “how would you like to progress within the organization?” but these are not even questions worthy of an answer. These are just statements thrown in the air and they hold no weight in the real world. They completely cloud your judgment and make you think you will do really well at this particular place. In the end they are just empty promises. And many people like me (dreamers) fall for them every time. It just never seemed quite so clear until now.
“Almost every other job I had, had the same profile. You get your ‘foot in the door’ and start working either in administration or sales, thinking that you will move up the ladder in the company only to get stifled in the process. What all these jobs had in common was the promise of the future.”
Unfortunately this happens a lot in many organizations and corporations. There simply isn’t enough attention paid to keep current talent and to foster it. I wrote about this in my article “How To Be A Good Leader.” Trust me when I say this but you will not find fulfillment in a job like this. If you are a creative type like me, staying at these types of jobs will only slowly eat away at your heart and soul.
At this point many people even upon realizing this exact scenario would most likely just go back to doing the same thing all over again (btw, this is the definition of insanity). After all, that is all you know. You feel comfortable in this situation. What else is there to do? How else can you get the experience needed to get unstuck from this sticky situation? It is easier to just give up. This was simply not good enough for me, not anymore. Granted, it took me a while to get over it. It is only normal to cry and feel sorry for yourself. But …
“ … the only way to succeed in life is to pick your-self up and keep going.”
Finding Your Passion
So I got back to fixing up my resume and I kept applying for jobs. The difference this time was that I only applied for jobs I really wanted. No more administrative jobs. I only applied for marketing and social media jobs and I was determined that something will eventually come up. In the meantime, I started to volunteer doing social media for organizations of like-minded people and I grew my skills and expertise.
It is also worth mentioning that it is vital to have support around you to get you through these rough times. You have to surround yourself with positive people who will keep you on track and are there for you when you feel like giving up. I had the support of my family and the most amazing partner and boyfriend extraordinaire who gave me a lot of encouragement I truly needed. Without this moral support I don’t think I would have been able to get through the lows of the job search. I also surrounded myself with successful and driven individuals.
The most influential of them all was a nice fellow I met at the AFP Toronto conference. Paul Nazareth and his passion for networking has been a valuable resource to me over the years. He has a great way of connecting with people. I suggest you read his article “Your Personal Board of Directors” and get some insight on how to build your network effectively.
Well, after a very long and challenging job search, I finally found a great marketing and digital media coordinator job!!!
This was so amazing and I was ecstatic, scared, overwhelmed and pretty much freaked out! I was embarking on a brand spanking new career! What if I did not know what to do? Who would I turn to? Could I figure it out all on my own? There were so many unanswered questions and fears. They kept me up at night. My mind was spinning and thinking constantly. It was exhausting!
“But in the end, I knew it was what I wanted to do and because of that I knew I could do it!”
A New Challenge
Starting a new career is never easy! There are so many things you are going to have to figure out yourself. Google and YouTube videos come in handy!!! What did people do before the Internet was at your fingertips? Who has the time to go to the library every time you need to figure something out? I have learned so much over the past 5 years when I started to embark on this new path in life. There were lots of new things I had to try and I failed over and over and over again. I drove myself crazy, mostly because I am a perfectionist. When I can’t do something right, I can’t rest!
In order to succeed, you have to be willing to work extra hard! Know that you might get frustrated and be ready to give up. Just remember this advice when you get overwhelmed, remove yourself from the current situation and make sure you take a good break. I have done this to clear my mind and I still do this today! You simply can’t keep going if your mind is overwhelmed.
“When your mind is clear, the answer will follow!”
It is so true. Make sure you do something you enjoy to distract yourself from the problem you are trying to solve. For me it’s taking a lunch or a mid-afternoon break with my favorite talk show like The Social or The Talk. I also go for a walk or run outside when the weather is nice, do yoga or meet a friend for a quick catch up. Then I come back to my work and miraculously I can figure out what I was doing wrong. It works every time!
All these new challenges have taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of. They gave me strength I didn’t even know I had. I feel grateful everyday for the opportunity I have been given. It’s comforting to know there are people out there who will take a chance on someone and let him or her do what they’re passionate about. I feel lucky to have surrounded myself with good people such as family and encouraging friends and colleagues. Since I was able to follow my passion I truly believe you can do the same. You might have to start small, work multiple jobs or even work for nothing just to get to try things out and get the experience but it will pay off in the end.
“If you really want to do something, you will find a way to do it.”
A Brand New Adventure
This is not the end of my story. I am once again embarking on a new adventure. I have always loved writing even as a child in elementary school. My teachers would always complain, “she writes too much”. Really? And that is supposed to be a problem? Not in my mind and not in my world. In my world, you can write as much as you want. Go ahead! No word limit here! This is why I launched this lifestyle blog so I can write about the things I am passionate about. I am so excited; I am bursting at the seams! There are so many ideas for future blog posts I can’t keep them in my head.
Make sure you always have a notepad or any other means of writing nearby to quickly jot down any new ideas. This is a good and simple habit to start. Never let an idea escape because sometimes they don’t come back quite the same. My goal for my blog is to find its audience. And I hope whomever stumbles upon it, finds it interesting. After all, that is the fear of every writer!!!
I hope you follow my journey and let me know what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. If you want to never miss a new post, get freebies and enter great contests sign up for my newsletter!