|Find a Job You Love.|
I remember in college a professor told me that it's typical to have three careers after college. The first job you get is to have a job. The second job is to get out of your first job. And your third job is a job you love.
Well, for me it took a few more jobs (I'm on job #5 now). Along the way I learned what I like to do, what I'm good at doing, and what others thought I could do. I also started gaining an understanding of the value of what I do, and how important that is in a career.
I'm the Director of Marketing at Walsh College, where I was recently promoted from Marketing Manager. Now that may not sound like a big deal to you, but if you work in marketing, you probably understand that it IS a big deal! I remember reading a fictional career book many years ago in which the main character became the Director of Marketing for a hotel chain, and thinking at the time how cool it would be to be a Director of Marketing.
I started as an Assistant Media Planner at an Ad Agency, then was promoted to Media Planner. Left after 2 1/2 years, and became Area Marketing Coordinator. Left at just under 2 years to become Marketing Coordinator. Laid off from there and became Marketing Specialist at another place, and shortly thereafter promoted to Marketing Manager. I then held the title of Marketing Manager for the past 7 years (wow... just realized that). Now I'll admit that when I first was promoted to Marketing Manager, I didn't feel like my job had changed at all, nor that I was really qualified for a "manager" title. But my manager saw a lot of potential in me (thank you, Keith Woodman!) and supported me in my career.
I love my job. I've been at Walsh for the past three years, and remember when I was interviewing how excited I was to finally find a position that gave me the opportunity to blend my expertise in marketing with my love of professional development. It really is a perfect match for me, and I can now see how all my previous experience has been perfect in preparing me for my current role.
I love my job, and I think you should, too. Life is too short, and it's not going to get any better if you stay in a job you don't love. You should look forward to getting up in the morning and diving into your day. You should leave the office feeling like you've accomplished something, and the stress of your job should leave you feeling invigorated. Mine does that for me.
You should work for a manager who supports your personal and professional goals. You should work at a company that you believe in. Your company's mission should be your mission as well. You will be far more productive and happy in life if you are passionate about your career.
Now I know there are circumstances that are beyond our control, especially in today's economy. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep an eye on your goal, and focus on finding work that is in some small way related to that goal. If you want to work in sports marketing, blog about sports. If you want to be on FoodTV someday, find a culinary arts program and enroll. But if you are miserable in your current position and don't like the work that you do, please don't go find the same position with a different company. You'll find the same results.
I love my job. Do you?