‘Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.’ ―Denis Waitley
Any job change is a risk. As the company I work for and my tenure as an employee, both turn two, I reminisce over the decision to work with a start-up, what motivated me to take this risk and the consecutive life lessons.
Communications consultancies need hands-on deck. Which is why, as young communications professionals, we are often hit up on LinkedIn or get those ‘are you looking for a job change’ calls. It is easy to get waylaid with the enticing promises of big names, more money and impressive titles. As a wide-eyed Jr. Account Executive in the communications business, I was fascinated by the power the corporate world offers. To be able to run an account, shape the way a brand is perceived and influence the people you work with, drove me to do better, grow faster.
But, when the time comes to move on, it becomes difficult to take a call on which direction to head in. I took over a month, after I quit without an offer in hand; to deliberate and carefully consider the offers I had. A choice between better brand names for my portfolio, more money, better designations, people and purpose.
Here’s a condensed list of my learnings on taking up a new challenge that helped cement my decision:
Choose the people you work with
You spend majority of your time at work. More than you spend with your friends and family. It is important to like the people you work with. When interviewing, ask to meet 1-2 of the people you’d be working with directly. Trust your gut about people and their vibes. Ask yourself if you can see yourself working with them. See yourself growing with them.
Choose a place where you belong. A place you can build yourself, and the environment you want.
I was at my previous organisation for three years, and two at my current one. The only reason I could stay for so long is because I chose the people I work with. It’s a rare blessing to be able to choose your team, take advantage of this opportunity.
Choose the direction you want your career to take
It is important to have an idea of what you want to do, and then action it. You might discover a new interest or skill and your plan might change midway, that is okay. It is important to start with a direction though, even if you change courses and factor in, how the new job will help in your journey.
After a stint in media relations, I realised I didn’t want to be stuck with one skill set. I wanted to be a generalist. A one-stop solution for all communications needs. This was the driving factor in my switch to a start-up, which provided a great opportunity for learning. There’s a lot we take for granted in a formal/corporate set up, all of which we need to do ourselves in a start-up. This switch helped me align with my goal by adding to my skill set.
Choose work that drives you
It is important to find work that motivates you to do better. Challenges that translate mundane tasks into opportunities for you to do things differently.
For me, it was combining my passion for social causes with my fascination with the communications profession. I got to choose issues we wanted to champion as a company and do meaningful work on, which I know will make an impact. Knowing that your work contributes to a cause that is bigger than you, is a great motivator.
It is important to find your drive and align your job search to it.
So, if you are thinking about making a switch – sit, ponder and paint a picture of what you want in life. And have the courage to ask for it. Cheers!
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Reputation Today.