“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Super lame question.
It should be, “Where do you want to be at each stage in life?”
Maybe if a question like that would have been posed to me, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to realize I needed to find a job for each stage in life and not the status I was pursuing.
Don’t go through each mistake I made…
Setting the Scene:
I was pretty motivated to be one of the youngest, successful people out there. Since about the age of 15, I worked both full-time and part-time jobs while going to school.
By 21, I obtained an associates and bachelors degree. At age 23, I graduated with my MBA and by 24 I found myself in a managerial position supervising 6 full-time positions and 1-2 interns. It worked out great to pay off school loans, make house & car payments, gain experience and fit for the “in debt up to my eyeballs” stage in life.
By 28, I was making 6 figures and was comfortable enough in my job to where I had everything settled, in good order and deemed it the right time to start a family.
Hoping your situation is going to miraculously change and you will start loving to go to work is a mistake.
The truth was I actually hated my job. It was draining, but I was awesome at it. I knew all the ins and outs, and unfortunately people became too dependent on me.
By 29, I hit a wall. I came back to work after my maternity leave only to find the replacement they had brought in to fill in my position had a personal midlife crisis, and let everything, including the team, fall a part.
Everything I had worked so hard for in 5 years, was gone. Even a couple of my favorite employees left while I was on maternity leave. Knowing it took working my tail off in my 20s to get to where I was with the team and the business, it was impossible to go through that again.
I put my Supervisors on notice I would be looking for another job. However, they wanted me to stay, and gave me a promotion that at the time, any one would be foolish to turn down.
Unless it’s a DIY project, throwing money at a problem isn’t a fix. It’s a temporary band-aid. It doesn’t relieve the actual problems. “Here’s more money for you. Will you stay?”
It also made me wonder, “why the fawk wasn’t this salary given to me earlier if it’s so quick and easy to do now?!”
I regained focus. Dollar signs in your face will do that…temporarily.
And I gave it my all the next year. I attempted to replace those who left, train in new staff, perform at a managerial level, balance a 7 figure operating budget and advise executives who probably didn’t understand 3/4 of the words coming out of my mouth yet held the puppet strings.
You would have thought it was being employed by execs that deemed you as a puppet, but heck – that’s everywhere! Not a problem; just use survivor tactics to outwit, outplay and outlast.
The mistake was actually sleep deprivation. On top of working 8-5pm, I was also cranking out long hours working at home and only getting about 2-4hrs of sleep per night.
Before long, my immune system was shot. I was sick all the time and cocaine skinny. Which only looks cool if you are in a rock band. I knew I needed to make a change so I took a vacation day from work and spent my 30th birthday applying for jobs.
Resumes. Since I was never looking for a different job, I had not created one in many years. And it took me a long time to build a resume from scratch and create multiple versions tailored to each job I was applying for. I dedicated a whole other article about resume building and the key components you need to include to get a call back.
For reeeeels. Check out that article after reading this post…
I stayed due to loyalty. I made the mistake of being more loyal to a job than I was to myself, my family and marriage.
Hey, it’s good to be loyal……but not to your job.
Learn from these Mistakes:
Now these are mistakes and not regrets. I’m a firm believer (and feel challenged everyday) that God doesn’t give what you can’t handle. He gives what can strengthen you. Life is a marathon...you just have to have a little faith.
Luckily, I did find another job that makes me excited for Monday’s.
It was not an easy transition and very hard decision to make a move with my family. But I am glad to be in a job that matches the “Partner in Life Wife, New Mom, Caring Daughter, Quirky Sister, Best Aunt, Old Friend” stage in life.
Question for the readers:
Does your job match your stage in life? What stage are you in or would like to be in?
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