Monday, February 3, 2014

I Don't Know What I Want... Chapter 6, Part 2

I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This

By Julie Jansen

Chapter 6: Been There, Done That, but Still Need to Earn

Step 2: Explore Roadblocks and Opportunities

We start this step by looking at our financial situations. Now, I'm going to be pretty vague here, but I'm going to be doing this exercise on my own, and you should, too. It's just, my financial situation isn't really our business, and yours isn't mine.

We're supposed to start by making an appointment with a financial planner, and if you're one of the people this chapter is actually meant for, that's not a bad idea.  But I'm not doing it.

There's a nice reminder that switching to a career in another field doesn't necessarily mean a pay cut, but the point is that reviewing your finances can help you figure out what kind of pay cut you can afford to take, and how to put yourself in a position where you can afford to take a bigger one.

Next, write down every job you've had since college and identify your level of satisfaction and your reasons for it; your greatest couple of accomplishments in each; the strengths and skills you learned and otherwise used.

All right, here goes:
  • Vanguard
    1. 5ish. The work was interesting, but being a phone jockey is rough on an introvert.
    2. Creating a team newsletter so my co-workers could be up on company events; getting an internal internship in marketing.
    3. Internal networking; making my skills fit the position; general financial knowlege
  • Weitz and Luxenberg
    1. 6ish. The work was dull but relatively flexible, and my co-workers were great.
    2. No real accomplishments; I just did the job I was there to do.
    3. Legal language; creating a system for processing my work.
  • Microbin
    1. 4ish. I'm not convinced my skillset fit the job, and my personality definitely did not. Still, there was some satisfaction.
    2. Heading up a mailing campaign; designing marketing materials.
    3. Marketing skills; schmoozing; social media
  • Assorted freelance projects
    • 7ish. My biggest complaint is that there aren't more.
    • Just a job well done; I feel good when a project goes out visibly improved because of me.
    • Copy-editing; networking; flexibility with style
So now we're looking for common themes. What makes me happy and satisfied at work? An introvert-friendly job environment with compatible co-workers. Interesting, challenging work. Visible, tangible evidence of success.  

No real surprises there.

Now there's a bit about turning outside interests into careers. Because this chapter involves financial concerns, it suggests that maybe, if you can't afford the pay cut right now, you do meaningful on the side, as a side hustle or volunteer gig, until you're in a better position to move over.

How about you? What common threads do you see in your work history?

Updated 2/3/14 to fix a link.

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