A Career Not a Just a Job
This summer I accepted a new position. This "new" position just happened to be my "old" position. Almost two years ago, to the date, I left a company I had been with for four years in search of something more. I loved my role and the company but I wanted to learn more and experience more of the industry—so I left.
I went on to work for one of the world's largest companies and was a part of an amazing agency team of marketers, writers, designers, and content producers. I got to experience my craft a global scale. I was a part of some amazing projects seen by millions and even received three national awards for some of the communication platforms I developed. Not to toot my own horn, but I was on fire.
But as I reflected back on my first year in my new gig, I noticed that—although I producing great work—I wasn't progressing forward in my career. Feeling a little down, I met with my friendly Talent Management person to inquire about my positions career path and talent development plan to get some insight on where I need to be so I can align myself with what the company sees for me and my position. But much to my dismay, there was no formal plan for me or my role within the company.
Was I simply a means to an end?
In attempts to be the driver of my own destiny, I continued to meet with my Talent Management representative to put together a plan for me with the support of the company. It was a struggle and ultimately, I realized my real path was outside this company.
This was just my means to an end, a scenic lookout in my career path.
I created a road map for my career and then began applying for positions that would help me develop along the way. In the process, I ended up back at the company I left two years prior.
I've been judged for going back to the company I originally left. There's an assumption that I didn't accomplish what I set out to do and that I can't possibly have learned anything if I came back. There's an assumption that I failed.
But what I really learned was the true value of a job versus a career.
Although I was very successful in that interim role, it was merely a job. A checkpoint along my career path.
Personally, professional development and growth are the most important part of what makes me engaged in the workplace.
When you’re working in an organization who truly values you and what you bring to the table, they’ll help you develop your career over time and your leadership skills.
The key difference between a job and a career is your end game. Your goals are completely different. Instead of focusing on your next paycheck, you’ll be focusing on building long term relationships with some key mentors and developing a skill set that can power your future endeavors.
The money is an afterthought when you’re working in a place that you love building a career.
When you’re in a job you don’t enjoy, you’re spending most of your time looking for a new job. Job hunting is draining, demoralizing, and really tough.
If you’re hunting for a new job while you’re at your current job, you’ll be sneaking around too, which is never a good thing. It’s just not a fun way to spend your time and energy.
When you’re in an organization that you love, you spend that time and energy on building your reputation, making connections, and working your way up the ladder.
Do you find yourself grinding along during the day, wishing it was over, wondering if you’ll ever get out?
That’s no way to live.
When you have a career that you love, it’s a long term, enjoyable journey that can change your life.
Now I'm back where I started. At my old company with my old team, continuing the work that I truly love.
So did I learn?
Yes, I learned a lot professionally and personally. I learned what it was like to work for a company, much larger than what I work for now, on a global scale. I learned how another team handles the workload and other ways to work processes and set each other up for success. I also learned a lot about myself and what I wanted to my future.
Was I a failure who came crawling back?
No. The only thing I failed was myself during those two years where I was acting without a clear career path. Aimlessly working a job with no real future. Thankfully I pulled it together and put myself back on a path to personal success and fulfillment.
graphics via OfficeVibe