Happy “up the hump” day! As my dad calls it…
I thought today I would bring everyone up to speed on what’s been going on in these parts. If I’ve seemed scatterbrained the past month or two, not myself, or just ‘meh’, this is why.
I’ve been unhappy. Not unhappy in my marriage. Not unhappy in my friendships. Not unhappy in myself. But unhappy in my work. Unhappy in those 9 hours a day I’ve spent sitting at a desk working at a job that was literally draining ME from ME. So much so that Adam eventually just told me I should just quit so he could have his happy wife back. Obviously I’m not going to quit my job without a plan, so thus began, the job hunt.
My brother, knowing I’ve been going through what I like to call a “quarter life crisis”, suggested I read Dan Miller’s 48 Days To The Work You Love. He said it would help me hone in on what type of work I should be doing, and what would make me happy, and how to make it happen. I put it off for the longest time, but after being miserable for too long, and questioning why on God’s green earth I majored in a useless degree such as Psychology instead of sticking with Marketing, I finally went and bought it.
I’ve always known I wanted to work in a more creative environment, but for some reason wanted the corporate experience so, so bad. I always told my mom I wanted to work in a big building, wear a pencil skirt and heels to work every day, and carry a “big girl” purse to complete my outfit. Now, I have re-thought that mindset and decided that corporate life is maybe not my cup of tea. Bless those souls who can endure it for their whole careers. Now I know why people say they “live for the weekends.” More power to ’em, I say, but I’m too young to dread going to work day in and day out, and start the countdown to Saturday, on Monday morning. I refuse to let that be me.
So, I did something about it. I made up my mind that I would find something else, and wouldn’t stop looking until the perfect opportunity came along, even if that meant making sacrifices before or after.
First let’s back up to what exactly broke the camel’s back. I really was okay in my adminstrative job. I didn’t hate it. Didn’t love it. But it was easy, tolerable, somewhat enjoyable, and still offered great benefits. A blessing, really. Then, Adam and I decided maybe it was time I pursue photography full time, and stop overbooking my free time. The decision was made. That was the plan. Then this happened…
The very same day that we had decided that’s what I would do, my boss called me back into his office and offered/gave me a promotion. A “lateral” promotion in terms of monetary thinking, but a HUGE step up in terms of company growth. I was shocked, but thankful all the while. The only problem was that it wasn’t a promotion I wanted, but a promotion I knew I had to take. I explain it like this: to anyone in the finance industry, any finance major out there, this would be an incredible opportunity, and they would kill to have this chance that I was being given. But for someone with no related background, no interest, and no drive to make it in this field, it’s less than enjoyable.
I started in my new position, but quickly realized I was miserable, stressed, and hated coming to work everyday. This was probably evident by my daily ponytails and lack of eyeliner. I know. I really did try to enjoy it. I really tried my best. I really tried to learn it. But, it just wasn’t happenin’. Not this time, and probably not again in the future. Ever. So, the job hunt was back on. Oh, and we decided against going photog. full time, thus the job hunt.
I started reading my 48 Days book, got myself motivated, wrote down my plans, continued blogging and teaching myself new things, and then it just all sort of worked out. As usual, God is a silly, silly man. Or thing. Whatever you believe.
The past several months, as you’ve noticed, I’ve been blogging my little heart out, just for funsies. Well, along with blogging comes a whole new world of online marketing, SEO, SEM, online presence, social media, google analytics, html, web design, and all things related. I didn’t think much of it at first, but eventually realized I have a huge geeky passion for these things, and was actually really interested in them. They’re topics that just click. I understand them, and I’m always excited to learn more. They’re constantly changing, so I’m always intrigued. I felt like if I could pursue a career in something similar, I would be set, and it’s a field that will always be needed. I felt like it also blended in nicely with my background in owning my photography business, and in my mind, all of my previous creative “work” that I never considered to be “work” had actually been teaching me loads of info that I could now apply to the work world!
So, I kept reading my book, outlining my plan of action,writing down my goals (because good things tend to happen when you put your mind to paper), and reached out to as many people as possible and let them know what I was looking for and to keep an eye open for me. A point that Dan Miller makes in his book is to not be afraid to tell people what you want to do, because by telling people you’re reaffirming your goals and are making a positive step in the direction you want to go. I also kept teaching myself as much as I could, and reading source after source and soaking up what I could.
I applied to several positions, heard good things from one, and nada from the others. I was getting so frustrated why these positions I was applying for that I thought surely I was qualified for, weren’t getting back to me, even after I followed up. I was about ready to kick the can and give up after one in particular job I thought I wanted told me no, when Adam said, “don’t worry, it just means something better is right around the corner.” That was a Monday.
On Wednesday, I got a surprise text screen-shot of a Facebook status from a friend of mine. (Hello God-send friend!) It was a picture of a status that said this particular company was hiring and looking for someone to do their SEO/Content Management. Taking it as a sign, seeing how the night before I had written down my goals with one of them saying “become an SEO specialist, or find something in advertising/marketing/web,” I emailed the person and frantically told them I was interested, but was at work so couldn’t send my resume over until later that night. I didn’t send a professional email, in fact I wrote it exactly how I talk. Over-it at this point, so I figured what the hay, I might as well sound like me.
Two hours later, I had an email in my inbox from them asking when I could come in and talk to them. That night after work I interviewed, and the following Monday I was offered the job.
Lesson learned #1: God knows what’s up. Don’t give up hope, He doesn’t want you to be miserable either. Something better probably IS right around the corner, and if you would just be quiet for two seconds and be patient, you will see it too.
I really am still amazed at how things worked out. So many answered prayers, and with perfect timing.
My new job title is Project Manager at a digital marketing/web design company that is a sister agency to a larger advertising agency here in town. I’ll be working with SEO and doing content management for clients’ websites. If you’ve been living under a rock, SEO = Search Engine Optimization (the reason Google and other search engines list their search results in the order they do) and SEM = Search Engine Marketing. SEO isn’t going anywhere. Every company these days has a website, and every company wants their website to rank high and appear in the search results when a potential customer either A. searches for them in particular or B. searches within that niche. There are specific strategies and tools seo’s can use to develop a plan to achieve higher rankings, and there’s a lot of creative thinking and results interpreting involved. It’s really interesting once you dive into it. Think about it, if you are an ice cream company in Little Rock, Arkansas, and someone types the keywords: little rock ice cream companies into their Google search bar, don’t you want to be listed first? Or at LEAST show up on the first page of Google’s search results? The odds of a customer clicking on YOUR link, on that front page, or better yet as the first result, and visiting your website, are much greater than that customer scrolling through pages and pages of search results and then deciding to land on your link somewhere along the way. Now, in order to achieve that ranking with Google, there are ranking factors that go into it, and certain things Google/Bing/Yahoo do and don’t “like” about websites, so it’s up to seo’s to figure out what those factors are and tailor the website so that it will perform better.
Basically. Very basically.
I’m super excited, and finally feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I can’t wait to learn more geeky goodness!
Lesson learned #2: To all you college kids out there. Listen to your parents. Don’t pick a dumb major. And if that major you’re picking REQUIRES grad school, you better be 200% positive that’s what you want to do.
Lesson learned #3: If you do end up not listening to your parents, and somehow graduate with a useless degree, behold, you still have a chance in this world. I taught myself a new career, and you can too. A positive attitude and a lot of ambition can get you a long way.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”- Henry David Thoreau.
And because I need more babies in my life, my sweet cousin had her baby girl this morning 🙂 Happy day!
I’m already feeling much less stressed, and ready to take on my half marathon and marathon training by storm! Bring it on world, I’m ready to be happy again!
Questions? What job/career would you like to pursue and hope to one day work in?