Life is a series of steps and it’s not the destination it’s the journey, right? Statements that are much easier said than believed most of the time because the majority of us have places we want to go and we just want to get there.
I am a pretty big proponent of the above. My life experience has shown me that everything I do in life sets me up for the next ‘thing’ I’m supposed to do. Personal or otherwise (they all tie together really), everything that has happened in my life, from crawling to walking, secondary school to college, job to job has been a necessary progression of lessons that primes me for my next endeavor. Some of these lessons I enjoy very much and others not so, but each is monumental in the bigger picture that is my life. Each step, lesson, failure, success and everything in between is responsible for where I am today.
As it pertains to our careers, I think that being acutely aware of your desired destination(s), both near future and twenty years out helps you to better navigate through the journey part if you know what direction you’re headed. Totally logical, but somehow astonishingly difficult or everyone would be where they want to be, right?
Last Friday marked my last day as marketing communications manager at the job I occupied for the past 14 months. Today marks my new beginning in a digital PR and social media specialist role for Mall of America. A role and opportunity that I’m honored was presented to me. It is an exciting time in my career.
It’s not just exciting because of the position I’ve landed in, but the path that has led me here. Each job I’ve had has taught me an obscene amount. Not just about my discipline and many others, but about management and business overall. I’ve loved and have deep gratitude for each job experience. While I have love for each job, there was something about each that didn’t fit for me – to the extent that staying was not a long-term option. So, I did what you’re not supposed to do early on in my career, despite being told that I should ‘put my time in’ or not switch jobs because of how it will ‘look.’ I mustered the courage to act based on what I knew in my gut (but was so scary to do) – I moved around a bit in pursuit of what I wanted for myself and what I knew I could find; an environment and/or organizational culture that better suited me and what I value as a professional (a place and team like MOA).
Doubtfully treading through these waters most of the time, I was exposed to a phenomenally diverse set of experiences and afforded many opportunities I would not have had if I chose to play it ‘safe’ or ‘accept’ what I knew wasn’t really for me. There have been a number of times in the past few years that I’ve questioned the path I chose. Simultaneously, I kept on doing the next right thing, even if I wasn’t sure of any of it at the time. Faith is key in any journey.
The beauty in all of this is that by setting my sights on something greater, not giving up on it, doing the work and having a general respect for the process, I’ve now arrived at the most desirable of destinations at this point in my career life. I’m so looking forward to the next journey, whatever it brings.