So this post title won’t mean anything to any one else but me – it’s a bit of an introspective post about Working life, if you’ll forgive that.
If any of you follow me on Twitter you might have seen that I posted about being offered an amazing job opportunity to be a COO (Chief Operating Officer) of a startup. I was really excited about it, because the business is a social enterprise, doing good rather than just making money. I was ready to jump in feet first, prepared for the high risk but high reward challenge.
It was the type of opportunity that literally fell into my lap, and I felt amazing for having been asked to do it. It speaks volumes about how capable I am and could be. It was a huge ego boost, to say the least.
Given that I would be walking away from a job that is, for all intents and purposes, stable I needed to think about it carefully. The salary was exciting, the CEO a great guy who I could work with as a peer and an equal, and I would have the opportunity to create something from the ground up and build a team around me.
There’s always a huge but, isn’t there? The job would most likely require me to travel to Sheffield everyday. If not right away, then eventually. I currently live in Manchester and take a 15 minute tram ride into work – 40 mins door to door. This might have been worth the reward, but I know that travelling for 3 hours everyday would take a toll of my life and on my relationship with my husband, and that’s something I couldn’t risk and wouldn’t risk for the world.
And there’s no such thing as a career ladder; it’s a rock face. A scary and ever-shifting one at that.
I was devastated. The guy at the startup was really empathetic and understanding, wanting me to make a decision based on knowing all the facts and taking into account the worst case scenarios.
It was exactly the sort of job I was ready for, the thing I wanted to do most as the next step in my career.
I never believe there’s really just one thing you want to do and that is that; you’ll be happy never moving on. And there’s no such thing as a career ladder; it’s a rock face. A scary and ever-shifting one at that.
There are steps in reach, and some more after that, like ledges and handholds on a climb; each one a stopping point on the way to the final destination. It might be a slight sideways climb, an upwards leap, or even a short retreat back to get to a better vantage point. This job for me was an upwards leap alright, and there aren’t many of those that come along you’re perfectly suited for.
I rapidly moved through the stages of grief and denial, closely followed by a bout of anger.
I need to begin to accept the things that I cannot change, and try and influence change myself to get me to the next handholds on the climb.
Have you ever had a career dilemma? Want to try something else? Let me know in the comments.
As an aside, the black brogues in the blog header are Jasper James Brogues from TKMaxx.
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