Whenever the topic of career path comes up during a job interview or if I’m chatting with someone that doesn’t really know me, I panic. I’ve had a lot of jobs since I graduated college. I’ve even had a lot of careers at this rate, and I’m only 26.
I’m every millennial cliche about being a job hopper and hate the inevitable reaction I get when I start talking about the jobs I’ve had over the years. Like being a job hopper means I’m a bad, flaky, unreliable, person or that there’s something wrong with me and I can’t keep a job. For the record, I can keep a job, I just choose not to.
Growing up, I was led to believe that you pick a career and stick with it. Often times, you even stick with one company, too. From the second I decided to major in theater, I knew my career would be far from linear or predictable.
I’m sure it doesn’t seem like it, but getting to where I am today, working in marketing, has been somewhat linear and one job led me to another. Acting led me to fitness because I loved the performative aspect of leading a group fitness class. Fitness led me to starting this blog + being active on social media which in turn landed me a job at a fitness start-up. At that fitness start-up I ended up in a social media / marketing position which is when I had the realization that hey, I really enjoy this and love that it allows me to be both creative and analytical.
Unfortunately, even when you find the career you love, finding the perfect job still isn’t so easy. Once I started to be vocal with my job searching frustration and the ever changing landscape of working at start-ups, I learned that my friends feel the same way too. I won’t even pretend that I have my shit together and everything figured out, but I’m slowly but surely feeling like less of a hot mess and that I’m heading down the right path.
Despite the annoying, winding journey it’s taken me to get here, and the long list of jobs on my resume, I’m grateful for my career-hopping past because…
Being a career hopper, I learned what I like… and what I don’t like.
When I was working with a career counselor a few months ago, we spent a lot of time talking about what I don’t like in previous positions I’ve held. This is something everyone has to figure out for themselves. For me personally, I like having a lot of independence, to-do lists, clear goals and a clear job description.
Being a career hopper, I have an eclectic network and group of work friends from previous jobs.
A lot of my close friends are former co-workers or people I met “on the job.” I’m not great at making new friends as an adult ,so I’m happy to have these amazing, inspiring people in my life. I’m grateful for this ever growing network of people– my former co-workers have been amazing about sharing jobs they think I would be a good fit for.
Being a career hopper, I’ve acquired random, marketable skills.
Even though I hated being a cold-calling sales rep (yes, another career path I didn’t even mention above), I learned A LOT about sales in that position. While cold-call sales was not a good fit for me, the skills I learned from that job are applicable elsewhere.
Whenever I’m on a partnerships phone call for work or the blog, I can hear my old manager’s voice in my ear coaching me. I may never be a “shark” of a sales person, but I’ve gotten a lot better and more confident.
Being a career hopper, I’ve had the opportunity to work with good bosses and not so good bosses.
If and when I have the chance to be a #girlboss, I know exactly the kind of boss I want to be based on what I’ve seen work and not work. I’ve had managers, bosses and mentors that totally inspire me to work my ass off, and I’ve also seen ones that are terrible at their job.
Being a career hopper taught me that I like being my own boss.
When I sat down and dissected what I liked and disliked about previous jobs and positions, one things I noticed was that I really craved independence and the ability to do my own thing without being micromanaged.
With this in mind, I’ve started leaning towards a freelance approach to my career because that’s what works for me right now. I like having the ability to go to Los Angeles for 2-weeks and work remotely (by the pool!). I also know I get bored easily and thrive when I’m working on different projects.
So my big news? I’m going to grad school in the fall for a Masters in Social Media and Mobile Marketing at Pace’s Lubin School of Business!!! Eep!
Since my first job in marketing in the start-up world almost 3 years ago, I haven’t been able to get business school off my mind. Sure, I’ve learned a lot about marketing and running a business by learning on the job, but I know I lack certain foundational knowledge that will give me the confidence to do what I now know I love doing.
As many of you know, I spent this past winter studying for the GMAT/ complaining about studying for the GMAT. Taking this test meant I could apply to schools whenever I was ready.
The more I thought about it, a traditional MBA didn’t feel like the right path for me right now. Can you picture me sitting in a finance class or wearing fancy business clothes to a networking event? Because I can’t. I would definitely be the Elle Woods of business school.
After doing some research, I learned about Pace’s program in Social Media and Mobile Marketing through their business school and it felt like the perfect fit for me and my current career goals. I was so freaking excited when I found out I got in a few weeks ago and can now finally, officially, say that I’m going to grad school!
It’s going to be a big shift going from working full-time, and my currently state of barely working, to being a full-time grad student but I’m so excited about this new chapter in my ever changing career journey.
Photography by Diana Zapata