“What will you do for a job while on Remote Year?” asked…everyone. While I was still in the throes of determining my job, I knew immediately what I was not going to do anymore – anything that doesn’t make me happy or feed my soul. Ya feel me?
Life Truth #1: It is just as important to know what you DO NOT want to do as it is the things you DO.
I just threw the biggest Hail Mary of the last ten years by quitting my job in search of something “more me.” It had escaped me that I had also pulled this stunt ten years ago during a status with my boss. During that conversation, the words “I think I’m going to resign from this job,” flew out of my mouth before my mind even had a chance to register them. He looked at me with confusion and asked, “Do you want to rescind that statement?” to which I replied, “Mmm…(3-2-1) No, thanks,” as if I were merely turning down a cookie. “I guess it flew out of there for a reason. I’ll stick with it,” I continued.
One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that my hand-eye coordination is superior to my mind-mouth connection, clearly. Oh, and if history does, in fact, repeat itself, I’ve got a couple more career changes ahead before retirement.
Little did I know at the time, this “decision-making method” of mine would land me my dream job in Event Marketing…then Entertainment Marketing…and then down a path of creating and owning a few brands of my own.
Life Truth #2: You won’t find out anything new about yourself if you keep doing the same shit.
Over the last fifteen years, I busted my ass and built a successful marketing career for myself. The higher I stood on the corporate ladder, the more I felt burned out from the wear and tear of Corporate America. It is all I’ve ever known.
The demands of last-minute requests causing me to rearrange personal commitments and pressures to outshine favorite colleagues for advancement opportunities got to me. But it was the vicious “spin, twirl, repeat” cycle of the “meeting about the meeting” where teams tried to align in “real time” (and hit a word count for the day) and would “circle back” on action items by EOD. Are you kidding me?!
All of it, little by little, began to feel like I was selling my soul for a good paycheck and excellent benefits. Because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do, right? Or so I thought…
I needed a break from the life I was leading. Actually, settling for.
So, I quit.
And figured out my plan and my new job.
Life Truth #3: Take a chance on yourself. If you won’t take a chance on you, why should anyone else?
Once I got accepted into Remote Year, I spent endless hours writing proposals, applying for jobs, setting meetings and selling my skills. Since then, I have been crushing 12-14 hour days, six days a week, for the last couple of months, and have faced more rejection in this window of time than I have in my life. However, every morning I woke up with optimism and new-found hope that I would receive word of good news in my inbox.
One by one, I was served up these delicately phrased rejections letters, each stating a different version of the same thing: “Thanks, but no thanks.” The job interviews I had even led to rejection letters, most of which said, “We’d love to hire you when you’re back. Please keep in touch.”
Ugh. Ugh. And ugh.
I quickly learned that despite having a breadth of experience, excellent background and an extensive list of accomplishments, I was going to need a new plan. By the end of last month, I had heard it all. More often than not, I was either over qualified or an exciting, promising candidate but would be abroad. If nothing else, I could make money writing an e-course called “50 Shades of Saying No.”
But I knew I could create a new path for myself, but it was going to be a bit harder than I intended. Lucky for me, I like a good challenge.
Life Truth #4: Quit fighting what isn’t working, and pay attention to the path you are traveling. All paths lead to something.
There are three key things I know about myself:
- When I stand still long enough and remain patient, the answer I’m seeking is always in front of me. Sometimes I just choose not to see it.
- I always land on my feet, right where I’m supposed to be.
- When it seems like I lack direction, I’m being forced to figure it out. (Spoiler alert: I figure it out every time.)
Finally, I threw my hands up and said, “F*ck it. I’m going to work for myself and create opportunities for myself.” Now, that’s what’s up!
That, my friends, is precisely what I’ve begun to do.
Life Truth #5: The only thing that remains consistent in this life is change.
What you are doing today doesn’t always need to be done again tomorrow. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s right for you. And because you are good at doing something doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it.
If you do the things you love, success will find you. You may just discover you’ve been standing in your own way and limiting your success. This is YOUR life. Design it in a way that appeals to YOU.
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