Leaving university and starting the job application process can be daunting. Especially if you haven’t figured out what you want to do yet. This post explores how to choose a career that you’ll love. I’ve had many conversations with colleagues (both ex and current), about career choices and the usual ‘is the grass really greener on the other side?‘ debates would take place. To which I always end up asking myself the same question – is this where I expected to be at this point in my life? And the honest answer, no.
If I study music, will I become a musician?
That’s not to say I wanted to be a musician, but I did study music. Music technology in fact. And I had every ambition to build a career in the music industry. Following my degree I begin my internship at iconic British record label, EMI and within three months received a full-time permanent offer.
I progressed relatively quickly and though had only been there for less than two years, already achieved a lot in my early career. I had several successful campaigns under my belt, hired interns to work in my team and managed to learn a lot about the industry in general. All within my first “real” job.
The dream was a reality, although it didn’t really last that long.
Giving up the dream
I soon realised that even my dream role at my dream company had its downside. I began to resent the industry and ultimately, resent the thing I loved most – music.
So I decided to take up the most simple and best advice I’d ever receive…
“Go do something else!”
I deconstructed my role at EMI, and really thought about the things I loved to do. I would then analyse those things and somehow come to find a new role for me to pursue.
So I thought back to my days at university and what else I enjoyed. I thought the practical side of music was cool, being in the studio or at live gigs. But I didn’t necessarily enjoy it. What I did enjoy was the business and marketing side of things. I recalled how much I enjoyed my final year group task of developing an idea and developing the business pitch for it.
That ‘Eureka!’ moment
And then I realised marketing, or more specifically digital marketing, was where I wanted to explore my options. My search began in the same industry and I soon received a couple of steady offers. It was very tempting to just go and try my luck at another record label, but then I would have had that niggling ‘what if?’ feeling.
What if I don’t like my new label/team/manager? What if I get stuck working in this industry and end up hating music even more? What if?
So I decided to take another offer working for a well-known hair salon brand (not naming as it wasn’t the best experience). And although I didn’t stay there long, it made me realise that I loved working in digital marketing. It didn’t have to be in the music, beauty or fashion industry.
For me marketing was at the root of everything.
It’s the reason why you buy that shampoo instead of generic tesco value – Branding/Marketing. It’s the reason why we spend hours “socialising” on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pintrest, Tumblr – Social Media/Digital Marketing. It’s the sales team, the design team, the production team, etc – TEAM MARKETING! My list could go on…
A few years down the line and a couple of marketing roles later, I’m now still in digital marketing. Slightly more focused, with bloggers and press in mind – but still doing what I love…
Have you had any major career choices to make? Did you ever switch industries/roles? Comment below or tweet me at @arcasela.