Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Starting Over: My transition in to a new career

I am the first to admit. I don’t have it all figured out when it comes to my career. Does anyone though? Even if you’re satisfied where you’re at now. Are you on the path to continuously grow your role? The cool thing about work is, well a few things.

You can do whatever you want. Seriously, it’s like the… what do you want to be when you grow up question we are asked time and time again at a young age. If you decide you want to do one thing and decide to change your mind, YOU CAN! That’s one of the many blessings we have living in the USA.

I recently made a really tough decision & changed my career. Ever since I was in college I knew Kinesiology, health and fitness were my passions.  I knew I wanted to incorporate these passions in to my life & set out to start my career in fitness.

I started working in a physical therapy clinic & after about a year of doing that (knowing I wanted to branch out in to corporate fitness) I moved back to the Bay Area for my “dream job”. I started working for Plus One Health Management helping run fitness and wellness programs at a HUGE tech company. Over the 3.5 years I was there I got about 5 promotions, learned a ton, and truly met the most inspiring people. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals who motivated me to be the best version of myself. Over time I sort of became unchallenged and bored. I was still super happy, but not inspired. I missed being inspired and excited about work. I enjoyed it, had fun, but wasn’t learning anything or anywhere near the compensation I wanted to be making. I discovered that I am the type of person who needs to be constantly learning to be happy at work. So what did that mean for me? I had to get a new job.

I decided to start hunting for a new role & explored many options. I landed on moving in to either sales or recruiting. Sales is sales and recruiting is people sales. My passion in health and fitness stemmed from helping people get fit & healthy. Recruiting was just that, but helping people in their career. Once I made this decision to transition in to recruiting the hunt began.

I worked with a few agencies & also applied online. Many people asked, “why the switch” & my response was that I felt ready to gain knowledge and skills in something outside of fitness. I started at GoPro & learned SO much over the next 4 months. I got used to a different schedule. Actually having my mornings to myself. Being able to in a sense disconnect my passion from my life. My manager was what I like to call a BAB (Badass Bitch). This is a compliment of course. She is motivated, hard-working, intense, and someone I learned a whole lot from. I felt like I was in boot camp some days, but wouldn’t take that experience back for anything. GoPro started feeling really weird. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. The communication style for lack of better words sucked & the amount of change in such a short amount of time raised some red flags for me. Peoples demeanor changed & everyone seemed to start to feel like there was “weird stuff” going on. My gut was telling me to start looking for a new job.

I had a problem with what my gut was telling me at first. One was because I just started there, and two was for the reason that I wanted to make sure it was legitimate and me not just feeling like there was too much change. I reflected for a while and realized it wasn’t the change, it was how things were being handled and communicated that made it so shady. I quickly started looking for a new job. I interviewed a bunch of places & the most frequent question I was asked was why I was looking for the change. I had to be honest, but with my honesty I think some people could’ve mistaken it for someone leaving WAY too early after just starting a job. That didn’t bother me.

I interviewed a bunch of places, and was nervous to get an offer somewhere. You see I didn’t hate GoPro, I just knew in my gut I needed to leave. After a very promising onsite interview at a company in SF on a Wednesday night, I headed to work back at GoPro. The news was broken to me on Thursday that Friday would be my last day at GoPro. Yep, I was laid off. Me, a 26-year-old passionate capable and qualified employee. I was in shock. I also, oddly enough, felt a sense of comfort. I know its weird to say, but I then knew and trusted my intuition more than ever. There was shady stuff going on, and I had a pulse on it. I wasn’t sad like many of my other co-workers, but I was a bit stressed. I was stressed on money & wanted to make sure I had an income. I talked to my mom, my boyfriend, and a few friends & I felt good. I felt supported and I felt blessed to be moving to a new company. By Friday, I had already scheduled 3 more interviews.

The next Monday I had 5 interviews, Wednesday rolled around & I already had a job offer (I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work there). By the next week I had finalized my last interviews and by that next Wednesday I had an offer. I believe all this opportunity came about for a few reasons. One, I believe God has a plan for you even if you aren’t aware of it. Two, I truly believe life gives you exactly what you need practice in. Three, if you work really hard and are kind and amazing things will happen. Four, trust your gut.

I then got connected with my old company. Not Plus One, but the tech company we contracted with. They interviewed me via phone & then asked me onsite. I was ecstatic, because something felt right. Out of all the amazing companies I interviewed with, this one was the best. However, I had to get back to another company who extended me an offer. I had to accept or decline without having all my options laid out in front of me. I asked for more time & got it. A few days later I got an offer at Facebook. I couldn’t have been more excited. I realized at that moment that’s what it should feel like when accepting a job. You shouldn’t just be inspired by money as money won’t make you want to show up to work everyday. It’s much better to make your choice based on opportunity, growth potential, company values, impact, and culture. Facebook was the company who checked all those boxes for me. I immediately accepted and my new chapter began.

Over the last few months, I haven’t posted much. I was going through so many transitions in my career I didn’t know where to start when thinking about posting and blogging. I do believe this post is very important, especially now, because much like myself I’m sure there are others out there dealing with comparable situations. Whether you’re interested in leaving your job, trying something new,  have recently started something new. Know that it will all work out. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, but you will know when you find the right fit.