Being in your young twenties can be extremely confusing career wise. There is this constant nagging thought that maybe you shouldn’t be in the job you’re in, or maybe the 9-5 lifestyle really is a wasteland for youth. Maybe you should move west, become a yoga instructor, spend all your money on traveling…
Being at my current company for two years now, all of these ideas are very fresh for me. I was ready to leave Chicago this past June, quitting my job and heading to Bali to become a certified Yoga instructor. I was about to book a program when my boss called me into his office to offer me a promotion. What was promised was an “Associate Director of Media” title upgrade and a hefty raise. Of course I couldn’t say no to that, and ended up taking the promotion. Here I am, only $10K a year richer and stuck with a lower title of “Senior Media Planner”. Its been 6 months since the promotion and my life has not improved since. The job I am doing is not the job that was promised. And although it is a great resume booster, the restraint of the lower job title while doing the higher job title’s work has hurt me in my new career search. I am over worked, under paid, and don’t receive the recognition for the actual work I am doing. Promotions for young people are not all they’re cracked up to be.
The idea to leave the city and start a new life is top of mind again. However, this time around, I don’t feel myself as willing to risk it all to up and leave. Things like car payments, student loans and health insurance are in the back of my mind. The idea of stopping my career now and trying to re-start it in a year or two makes me very uneasy. Then again, the idea of maintaining this career for another 2-3 years also makes me uneasy. I know the 9-5 lifestyle isn’t for me, yet I am scared to leave it and venture against the status quo.
As a solution to my internal struggle, I’ve tried to look for alternatives to the 9-5 that are still considered valuable experience on a resume. Things like working remotely, freelance work and side gigs have all come to mind. The most difficult part of actually finding the next job is having the time to search for it. While maintaining a stressful 9-5, there’s a lot of burn-out by the end of the day. Its not enjoyable to spend 8 hours on a computer and then come home to try and spend another 2-3 job hunting, filling out resume’s and constructing cover letters. If anything, I find myself just shooting my resume out to everyone without much thought behind it. This half-ass approach is showing in each and every denial letter I receive back telling me my resume “just wasn’t the right fit”. If I actually had time to change my resume to fit each job description I applied too, this might not be the case.
I am currently submitting resumes at every odd moment I get throughout the day (and yes, even while I’m at my job 0_o). Have a sip of morning coffee, submit a resume. Finish up a two hour client meeting, submit a resume. The drive to leave my current job pushes me to keep looking for the next. The drive to live a different more free lifestyle pushes me to not settle.
The hardest part of all is maintaining the hope that something will come along eventually and someone will say “Yes Taylor, you’re a great fit.” And that great fit won’t be another soul crushing marketing agency that over works and under pays, but a flexible job that instills creativity and drive in its employees, giving purpose to their days. And who knows, if I can’t find it, maybe I’ll create it. All in good time.