I’m so excited to share this piece from a dear friend and trailblazer who refused to settle for anything less than her dream career. She went beyond the status quo and switched jobs three times in the 2015, acquiring more and more seniority, pay and passion. As we reflect on 2015 and decide where we want to go in the next year, I hope we can take a page from her book and create careers that inspire us, honor our values and pay us what we’re worth. Most of us spend half our waking life working, why not make it count?
Why I Changed Jobs 3 Times in 2015
You may have just imagined yourself painfully clicking through craigslist and prepping yourself for multiple-interview anxiety, all in hope that this will be it – your dream job. 2015 was huge for me; I turned 30, closed on a home, celebrated my 1-year wedding anniversary, and changed jobs 3 times.
Background: I’ve been a Certified Sommelier for 5 years, and in the wine business for about 7. There are several opportunities in this industry, and 90% of them are in restaurant, retail, and wholesale. It’s a tiny industry, so I’ve written this article as “trade indifferent” as possible. Keep reading…
Why have you wanted to leave a job? Your boss? The work? The pay? This year taught me that if you don’t envision yourself staying with your current company (even 1 year), you have nothing to lose by trying out another. That’s how I felt in April. The hours just weren’t working for me anymore. Sure, I got to teach wine classes nightly and lead some amazing private events, but I realized that I only got to see my husband when he was sleeping. I’ve always been one to put family first, and am even a supporter of the Euro-size annual vacation. With these more “regular” hours on my mind, I went to test my luck as a sales rep for a reputable importing company.
The hours were fantastic. In fact, the buyers wouldn’t even see me after 4:30 PM (when pre-shift for dinner service begins). I truly thought this was for me, particularly with the adrenaline rush of gaining new accounts from public speaking. Yes, I absolutely love attention, but especially when there are quantifiable results. It was great, until I started feeling the physical effects. Lifting that wine bag up and down the subway staircases left me with a pinched nerve every single week. Another city? A car? Sure, it could have been different, but determined to live in Manhattan, I couldn’t spend my weekends at the chiropractor any longer.
Sales was for me, I knew that… So I decided to work for a high-end retailer in mid-town. The established name and landmark location was extremely attractive. I sold wine to affluent collectors from the 33rd floor of this modern high-rise, but something didn’t feel right. Dark, uninspiring, and rigid are the only words that come to mind. The stringent atmosphere made me feel like I was constantly forced to hold in any creative thought. What was worse, they treated the sales staff like lesser employees. Makes no sense, as I’ve come to realize that in any business, without sales you have no profit, and in-turn no company. During these 2 long months, I frequently wondered to myself, “how do they not understand the value of company culture?” So that was what I went back out to find.
Happy ending here: Finally, a flexible company where I can sell high end wines to private clients via the web and my written offers. They value my work and creative ideas, as well as allow me to work remotely with a sales process that’s all on my own terms. I can honestly see myself at this company (and even in the same position) for 10 years, but who’s to say? We are all ever-evolving, along with the world, and especially technology so there shouldn’t be so much shame in mixing things up.
If you are unhappy, I urge you to look, to interview, to try, because how else will you know for sure? My friend Ashley Feinstein once told me that “with every job change you gain an 18% salary increase” and that was on the low-end for all 3 this year! Who even knows that I would have landed these interviews had it not been for the previous company on my résumé? This year, I saw failure as an opportunity to find my dream job and I hope that any reader, unsatisfied at work decides to take a risk. No one should be overworked, underpaid, or unhappy, so stand up for your beliefs and individual needs. At the end of the day, it’s not hitting the wall the counts, it’s what you do afterward.