I’ve always been sort of Type A.
My academic career shaped me that way. The schools I attended were super competitive. I had to be the brightest, first to finish, most insightful. Weirdly enough, I always wanted these things out of pure, personal drive – even at 10. For good or bad, this drive only grew stronger with age. My friends would see me pouring over a pile of books and tout the “Cs get degrees” line, laughing at my horrified expression every time. Suffice it to say, I was often stressed. I let a lot of carefree fun in college pass me by.
After I graduated, I immediately darted to Boston’s top staffing agencies. Started interviewing at every high-profile company who’d agree to see me. I was hell bent on landing the highest paying, most respectable position I could. If I could do it, no matter what the job was, I wanted it. I’d make it work.
As of now, I’ve spent a year working in Finance. Certainly not a field related to my degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. But it paid well. That’s what mattered, I thought. I was wrong.
Money is important, yes. Money is power.
But are you willing to sacrifice your passion, a career in a field better suited to you, for the money?
Some people might be willing. I wasn’t.
Waking up each morning dreading going to the office, not feeling confident in my work as it strayed further and further from my area of expertise, and missing the sense of fulfillment that comes with a good fit, wasn’t worth the money to me.
The decision to leave this sort of position and take on the unknown is a difficult one.
Why would I leave where I’m at now if it’s safe?
Will I be able to adjust to a pay cut?
Am I willing to continue my education?
What if I leave, and don’t find something better?
What if the next place is an even worse fit?
These are just a few of the questions that arise. And you must let your thoughts on these topics marinate.
It is not a choice one should make lightly.
In my own, personal case, my leaving was a long time coming. I wasn’t happy. It all boiled down to just this: After all the work I’d done, all the passion I’d poured into my craft, why would I let the opportunity to pursue what I love pass me by?
If you are thinking of changing career paths, know that you’re not alone.
People choose to start over every day. Sometimes, leaving a job is not giving up – it’s letting go. And bottom line – Do what makes you happy. You have to work to live, so whether you’re fresh out of college like I was, or contemplating a change later in life, don’t let fear hold you back.
And if your financial situation just doesn’t allow room for the unknown, I encourage you to keep up your preferred skills outside of work. It could eventually lead to a great opportunity!
If you’re in the Boston area looking for work…
Beacon Hill Staffing Group:
Seriously, check them out! Send Shannon Dempsey or Alicia MacDonald an email with your resume and cover letter. Make sure you say Emily Hight sent you!
Manning Personnel Group:
Mary Manning is an absolute gem of a recruiter. Make sure you let Mary know I sent you. With Mary Manning on your side throughout your job search, you are in good hands!