I Urge You Not to Settle

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Steve Jobs

When I graduated college in 2009 with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, I wasn’t worried. The internship I had taken a year and a half before graduation had turned into a full time job offer. I accepted, and even began putting in a full 40 hours a week during my last semester of school. My job was interesting, even exciting at times, but best of all, I worked with great people.

As was all too common during this time period, the company that I was with did some reorganization and come spring 2010, we all became unemployed. This was a bit of a shock for me, just one year post-graduation, not to mention three months before I was set to walk down the aisle to say “I do.” During this time I did some major soul searching. I made lists. I set up meetings with any and every connection I had in industries that I had even the slightest interest in. I considered buying a flower shop.

Five months post-lay off, I decided to take a cushy, corporate job, complete with a baller expense account and one of the nicest offices I had ever seen. And I absolutely loved it. I loved feeling busy, and by way important. I enjoyed the tasks I performed, I enjoyed the meetings I attended and most of all, I enjoyed the travel. But after about three years, I started feeling the itch.

This itch lead me to take a similar job with a small business, promising me more flexibility, creative freedom and a sense of ownership in my work. About six weeks in, I found these promises to be empty, and I was pretty devastated. I felt like a failure. I had taken a risk and it didn’t work out. So I left this new job at my 90 day review. I left it for nothing. No plans.

And less than three weeks later, it happened. A company that I had been interested in for over a year, called me and offered a job on the spot. A good, but tough job. A job that continues to push me out of my comfort zone. It has been so worth the risks I took and blind leaps of faith I took to get here. I’m now engaged and immersed in my job, because I feel like I am doing great work. My heart has told me that I had found it.

I no longer wake up, dress the part and go sit in an office. I work from home, and bust my butt at all hours of the day. I don’t “check out” when 5 p.m. rolls around, I do what has to be done, when it has to be done. And I love it. I chose not to settle. I’ve even had two of my former bosses tell me what a good fit I’ve found for myself.

Whether you’re the kind of person that dreads Monday mornings, or the kind that sort of goes through the motions – you must push yourself out of your comfort zone and begin living, really living, your life. And your work is your life, sister. At least a large part of it.

Don’t settle. Do your best at accomplishing whatever is at hand, but don’t just let opportunities pass. Today, urge others to grow and evolve by tweeting us your thoughts, experiences, and advice at @mscareergirl and tagging your friends with the hashtag #dontsettle.


Photo Credit: Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Audra Dinell

Audra Dinell is an Account Manager for Mantooth Marketing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. Starting her career off in a prosperous, yet unfulfilling field pushed her to continue to take risks until she found the right fit. Audra is a big believer in doing what you love and loving what you do. Outside of work you can find her traveling, reading and planning a week's worth of outfits in one hour.