When I read Sara’s post about the license to kill, I knew exactly what she was talking about.
During my job over the past months, my license wasn’t explicitly to kill all obstacles that might come my way, but was rather a deep-rooted trust that I’d do the right thing and make the best out of any situation, even if I wasn’t experienced. With that “license to try,” I gained the confidence to just go out there and dare to make a change. I learned and evolved so much over the past months of my job that I had a really hard time imagining working anywhere else. I’m surrounded by a community of people who believed in me right from the start, who have become such a big part of my life.
Yet two weeks ago, I decided to leave my job.
Very soon I’ll give back my fancy title, along with the opportunity to travel and represent a company I believe in, and my flexible nine-to-five arrangement. I know I’ll question my decision every now and then because I really love the energetic start-up vibe and dedication that working for a young company brings.
But what I realized is that no matter how great the job, no matter how much you love your colleagues, no matter how much you like the actual tasks – if in the long run you can’t see yourself in the industry that job is located in, all that dedication, energy and motivation you put into the job because you loved it so much is going to backfire on you at some point. You might progress, make a career, be successful, but never really feel at home – and ultimately this will result in less motivation, dedication and energy.
The decision came when I was offered a new job in an exciting established company that managed to maintain a little start-up vibe.
The quite attractive new offer came completely out of the blue and really put me on the spot, as I was quite happy about my current job. Even though it’s one of the toughest (career) choices I have made so far, I’m (mostly) calm. It wasn’t a comfortable situation, but it made me face what I want and what I don’t want professionally; it made me realize that what I’m doing right now is not the right thing for me in the long run. My new job will help me grow in different ways than my current position and bring me closer towards where I want to be. Taking a step back, concentrating on developing new skills, shifting industries and environments will enable me to pursue my goal of finding that dream job in my dream industry.
Asking yourself where you want to be in a couple of years is really daunting – but I feel like once you know it, you also know what you need to do and you will have the patience it takes to get there. It might take a while, you might still have a career path with a lot of extra turns and detours, but ultimately, you will be able to look at a job opportunity or get a business idea and think “that’s me.” From A to Z, including all the experiences you made along the way, all the detours you’ve taken on your career path which suddenly don’t seem like detours anymore.
At least that’s what I believe. It’s how I look at what I’ve done so far and how I see all the challenges that will come my way in the future. Thinking about it, it’s kind of like a “license to kill” or a pact for my life, not just for my job.