Decision

My Career Journey Continues: A New Chapter Begins!

As we all head into another work week, I want to take a little trip down memory lane...

To recap my career journey, a few of you may have read about how I left Corporate America in 2011 to work at a start-up here in Chicago. Four short months later, I started my new life as an accidental entrepreneur after I unexpectedly got laid off from that same start-up.  Bummer! A few weeks after that, I wrote about the best week ever when (among other things) my husband asked me to marry him!!

Eventually MCG Media, Inc. was born.  With the help of the lovely Kovie Biakolo, we set up shop doing digital content creation and digital marketing for clients.  We also held 4 "Ms. Career Girl Connect" women's networking events here in Chicago, and I was paid to teach classes, train companies and speak to organizations about how to use social media to generate leads and earn more revenue.

Running my own ship was tough.  I specifically remember presenting to Entrepreneurship students at my alma mater, Miami University, last year and telling them that "every week feels like finals week."  You know the feeling: not enough sleep, too much caffeine, a bit socially disconnected from the world, eating crappy food on the fly, not making time to work out and running from one seemingly urgent task (or bill) to the next - all which were due yesterday.

My little engine was becoming a tiny agency of its own as we earned new RFP's and clients.  At a certain point it felt like all the juggling was becoming inefficient.  I was getting away from my craft and my passion for social media because all of my time was dedicated to quality control, sales and management.

After a trip to the E.R. with my husband, a few clients who couldn't (or wouldn't) pay their bill, too many 3-day stints of not leaving the house because I was working so much, and the realization that being a sole practitioner was isolating me and my growth as a professional...

I made the tough decision that it was time to pursue full time employment again.

I was ready to be around brilliant people every day, to collaborate with co-workers and to work on bigger clients than I could acquire on my own.  I had a lot of great experience under my belt.  Not to mention I was ready to bring my share of financial stability into our impending marriage...

Tomorrow I start my new job as a Senior Social Strategist.  There's no doubt that my varied experience will help me be a better and more valuable employee going forward.  I am really excited about this chapter and have a feeling it will be my favorite one yet!

The moral of the story is: enjoy the journey, wherever you are.

(Oh, and my usual rant: be prepared by updating your skills, having a side hustle, networking, reading and trusting your gut... sorry can't help it!)

If you are considering a change of some kind, just remember you can always go back to what you used to do- no shame. Seriously! Just read the bios of many of the world's most successful people, they all had failures and "u-turns" in their journey.  Just make a decision - any decision - and keep moving forward.  You may be surprised that the twisty road is often the most fun and the most rewarding one to be on.

If you are looking for something totally different, you can check out this link to an infographic that will show you the job industries for women that make them happy, even as a working mom, as well as the highest paid job and how to get to them. You might even want to go back to school to get your dream job, and why not? There are so many programs, developed online, to help you manage your daily routine while gaining valuable knowledge. So think about what you really want and go for it.

 If you've had a unique career path, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section.  What advice would you give others who may be facing big changes in their career?  

For those of you who WANT change, what are you doing to get it?

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women find and thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media practice at a digital agency in Chicago. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helps develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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