You may have noticed I've been a little quiet on my blog this past month. I'd like to share what has been going on with me personally, as it relates to my career and what's been keeping me away from the keyboard for a little while.
I guess I might bury the lead here and start with this: I got a new job.
"Wait hold on a second, another new job? Didn't you just start at Unilever at the beginning of this year?"
Yes. Another new job. For those of you following at home, this new job will be my fourth job since I graduated college in 2018.
And before I get into telling you about the new gig, I want to reflect on some growth and lessons learned from this past year as it relates to career, and jobs, and life in general.
I've always been hyper-conscious to how others perceive me, especially when it comes to the workplace and my professional network. Since starting school I have always had very high expectations of myself, and I have strived to achieve the highest regards in what has been showcased to me as "success".
I worked very hard at getting highly competitive internships from some of the largest and most well-respected companies in the world. I received national sales awards, promotions, pay raises, and lots of pats on the back across my shortly lived career up to this point.
But I can't say much of it has made me very happy.
In fact, after receiving what many people in my professional network would perceive to be another promotion this past year into a big fancy job title at Unilever, I can honestly say I was never LESS happy.
Since studying business at Penn State, I simply followed what OTHERS told me success was. More money, more recognized brands, better job titles. I kept thinking to myself, "well this job will help get me closer to what I WANT to do down the road. I need to do this thing that I DON’T like doing now, so that MAYBE one day I can do what I WANT to do."
Well, I'm here to tell you that in my humble opinion, that just ain't it.
Unfortunately this past summer was the hardest time emotionally and mentally I have had in my life . I took a risk on a new job at Unilever that didn't pan out the way I had hoped for, and I let it really get to me. I had put all this pressure on that job because I knew it was my third job in only 3 years, so I NEEDED to make sure I stayed there and make it work, no matter what. I couldn't be perceived as a "Job-Hopper"! What would my peers think? My friends? Co-workers? But after getting into the role I quickly recognized it was very similar to jobs I had in the past that had caused me a great deal on stress and unhappiness. I felt trapped in a world that I did not want to be in. It was downright depressing.
I had to get some help for my mental health this summer over problems I had mostly created in my own head. They were all related to worries about my career. I had created this ultimatum in my head that THIS JOB WAS IT. THIS JOB AND THIS CAREER IS MY LIFE AND MY PURPOSE, AND IF I AM NO GOOD AT IT OR NOT HAPPY WITH IT THAN THAT IS THE END OF EVERYTHING.
It seems ridiculous reading that but I really did feel that way. And maybe some of you out there reading this have felt that way in the past or do so today. I am writing this to help not only myself, but others recognize it does not have to be this way.
After going through these experiences over the last few years, I truthfully believe the real gauge for success has nothing to do with how much money you make, your job title, or your company name.
The only measure to success is happiness.
It can be hard to come to this conclusion without first experiencing it for yourself. Many people work their whole life and never come to this realization. But if you are unhappy with the work you are doing, and you are feeling the pain that I have felt for almost the last two years now, you owe it to yourself to make a change. Do not let a paycheck, or a $ amount in your head make you think you can't leave and do something that makes you happy. There is no one holding you back but yourself. We in society have not been programmed to think happiness is success. We think that money and cars and fancy benefits and designer clothing is success. You only get ONE life to live. Don't live it doing something you don't love doing.
That's what I'm going to do.
This past week I started the next chapter of my career at Michael Page Staffing and Consulting Group. I will be a Senior Recruitment consultant focused on recruiting within the Financial Services industry.
If you know me, you know I love talking to people, and if you read this blog, you know that I enjoy talking to people about Finance. After recognizing that my career was not bringing me joy or fulfillment in the context of what I was doing, I set out to think about a job that can allow for my passions and my skillsets to interject. I landed on recruiting within the finance industry.
I have a lot of confidence that this will be a great fit for both my skillset and my personality. But I will not let this job, and how I preform in it, be how I define myself. I believe that who you are to your family, your friends, your passions and community, is a much better reflection of how you should identify yourself.
I will continue to write and make content as it relates to business, finance, and investing here on the BonkerBeat. I also plan on adding more content as it relates to career and development. I might share some stories about jobs I am hiring for or candidates I have met. Hopefully the Beat can help advance my career at Michael Page. But if it doesn't add even a drop in the bucket, that's okay too. It makes me happy to write, and that's all that matters.
I saw my Rock n' Roll idol Bruce Springsteen on Broadway a few weeks ago with a close friend of mine. Although I've listened to the setlist a million times, his first song of the night still moved me to tears. It made me think about my own life, and all the growth I've had in my time here so far. It's one of my mom's favorite songs, and I encourage you to give it a listen. My favorite verse is the last one, I'll leave you with it.
"I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere
And you know it's really hard to hold your breath
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared
I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
Well, my feet they finally took root in the earth
But I got me a nice little place in the stars
And I swear I found the key to the universe
In the engine of an old parked car"