Friday, December 10, 2010

Wisdom (Reverb10, Day 10)

December 10 – Wisdom
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

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I’ve written about this a little, but the wisest decision I made this year was to leave my old company. The decision was not easy – I loved my company, the industry, my co-workers. But when it came down to the wire, I didn’t love my job. As the lowest on the totem pole, I was spending the majority of my time on a litany of small tasks that fell to me by default. There wasn’t enough time for me to work on my development, and there wasn’t enough hope that someday soon, I’d be promoted out of this catch-all role.

When a woman I was freelancing with told me about a writing and social media position, I asked her to recommend me without thinking twice. Then I started to panic, which only relented in the middle of my interview two days later. I was explaining my college major, Rhetoric, and how the study of Greek philosophers is still relevant in the marketing world today when I realized that I didn’t even recognize myself. I was confident, bright-eyed, well-spoken, engaging. I had ideas.

I soon realized my presence in that interview came from a desire to be heard out, a need to be involved on strategy instead of just tactical execution. The new job would be an exit from entry level and into the 2nd tier, an opportunity I knew I was ready for.

Then I got the offer. Immediately, I thought of the self-directed projects I’d been working on, how the social media strategy I’d slaved over would now be dead in the water. I was bummed that I’d be stepping out before making my impact. I was an emotional mess, and I felt like a quitter.

I wondered what would have happened if I’d fought for a bigger role, taken on more duties, worked longer hours to propel my career forward instead of letting myself feel stifled in an admin role. I won’t ever know for sure, but I do know that in my new job I’ve been growing, naturally, into a more insightful and strategic thinker, and a better writer. I’m trusting myself more and I’m making more recommendations.

The wisest decision I made all year, then, was not just to leave one job in favor of another. It was to push myself forward before I was ready, and to not look back wondering what could have been.

3 comments:

dw said...

Hey - fun with math: Since you quit blogging 10 days ago, you have posted nine times. That's .9 posts per day since you quit. If you quit blogging nine more times after each 10-day interval (assuming the trend holds and you drop to 8 out of ten next time and so forth...), you might kick the habit altogether.

Where are these topics coming from? It's a fun idea for a blogging challenge.

Shannon Clattenburg said...

Isn't it funny how, in the heat of the moment we open our mouths and all of a sudden sound smarter than we ever thought we were?

It's like the moment when we realize "this is were I should have been all along" and it's so exciting!

Congrats on pushing yourself before you were ready and landing on both feet. Sometimes that's the only way to really make yourself believe that you ARE good enough.

PS. Someday we should tots meet IRL haha.

Jamie said...

NICE POST! This is how I feel about going to law school (see also: I hated all of my post-grad jobs). Really happy for you!