Taking the plunge: the step back to go forward

When we strike out in the early days of our working lives, we’re led to believe that we are on an upward trajectory. We’ll keep moving forward in both role and salary, at varying speeds, but always forwards.

The reality though, is that we don’t always know what we want to do when we start out. And inevitably that means a tough decision: are we ready to take a step at best sideways, at worst backwards, in order to go forward?

When my old intern and now friend, C, who had been working in sales for two years came to me keen to get a break into Marketing, I advised him that the internship I was advertising for wasn’t for him. As a friend, I didn’t feel that he should take a pay cut and move from a permanent role into a contract with no guarantee of a position at the end of it all.

Not only did he disagree, he put together a presentation of why he was the right person for the internship.

It takes a lot of courage to move from a secure position, where you can afford a certain lifestyle, to a position where you have to effectively start all over again. But when you know what you want, and you are willing to take a small set back in order to get into a discipline you see a future for yourself in, it’s a small price to pay for job satisfaction.

When you spend as much time working as most of us do, you want to be sure that the 50+ hours a week you spend at work is spent doing something you enjoy. Despite the stresses that are attached to any role, you should find an overarching feeling of satisfaction and reward that goes along with your role – or else what’s it all for?

My hat goes off to C. He took a risk, but it’s one that makes him happy. And that’s the best that anyone can hope for.



One thought on “Taking the plunge: the step back to go forward

  1. When I entertain the possibility of doing something like this — even a lateral move, same pay, different industry — it’s amazing how many people look at me like I’ve completely lost my mind. I understand that security it important, but I think it’s nuts to stick with something for DECADES when you aren’t happy. Good for C., I hope it works out. Certainly seems like he’s done his homework.

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