So, about 4 years ago I turned down a job in New York. A social media job in the hipster centre of Brooklyn.
Firstly, this wasn’t just a job I’d applied to or been headhunted for all on my own. I’d taken part in various interview stages and paid money to an organisation that would help me apply to jobs, sort out accommodation and give me access to further learning.
Before I go on, quite a few of my friends have taken part in this scheme over the years and loved it! They all now have pretty good jobs in London and around the world. So, if it’s for you then it’s bound to be a good experience – especially if you’re looking to climb the ladder in marketing and finance companies.
There were a few things holding me back from accepting the offer and these are the main reasons I turned the job down and pulled out of the programme.
I didn’t want another year of university. I did lot of research, spoke to many people and to me it sounded like a lot of partying (as well as studying and working hard for some big name companies). Excellent for all the extroverts out there, but not my idea of fun. I left that behind at university and in all honesty it wasn’t really my thing back then (but I did what I needed to do to fit in). I know that an experience is what you make of it, but you have to surround yourself with the right people for you and I wasn’t sure that this experience would lead me to that.
I didn’t want to live with random people. Again, I had done enough of this at university and the following years after it. I’m not keen on sharing bathrooms and after visiting one of my friends who took the opportunity to live and study in NYC I knew I’d made the right decision for me. He did his best to keep it clean enough but there’s only so much you can do when there’s 4 people using a bathroom.
My long-term goal has always been to become self-employed and create more than one income stream. If you want to work your way up the finance or marketing ladder then I think the opportunities given within these types of programmes are excellent. They help you to work with big names, build experience and connections. However I was keen to get experience in the short-term and move onto my own thing as quickly as possible. I’m proud to say that during the last few years I’ve done that, although I still have a long way to go to reach my goals.
If I’d taken the very exciting and blog worthy experience then I probably would have spent a lot of money within that year and I may not be where I am today. For balance, my blog might have taken off and I could have had a fab time. I did experience moments of regret within the few months that followed my decision. However, they those moments moved on pretty quickly.
This bit is going to sound crazy to some of you. I wasn’t desperate to go and live in New York. I was always more of a San Francisco girl. However, after I visited NYC that same year I did fall in love with the city and the people. I’m keen to go back, which may actually happen this year.
When I left university everyone was banging on about travelling the world with nothing but a backpack. I thought I wanted to do this too. But deep down I knew I wanted to apply for jobs, work hard on this little blog, build upon my skills and figure out a path to self-employment. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy travelling. Quite the opposite. I love to take a 3 week holiday and explore a new country but then I’m happy to come home. I enjoy having my family close by and working on the things I love. This was also one of the reasons I considered the programme, I thought it would be a good way of combining travel and work experience (it is). However, I had my eyes and heart on different priorites.
I think there’s a lot of pressure for people to break away and go travelling for a year or two. While that might work for some people, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I’ll get into that in my next post!
Yes, this photo is cropping up again. It’s very fitting with this post as I took it towards the end of my NYC visit in 2012. It really stuck with me and since then I’ve been sure to follow my dreams and not the dreams of the others around me.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that before embarking on a new venture you must separate yourself from the situation. Take a step back and ask yourself some important questions.
– Why are you doing X?
– Is X really what you want or is it what you think you want?
– What will be the benefits of X?
– What are the negatives of X?
– If I don’t do X what would I rather be doing?
If you really want to do something and you’re not escaping a situation then go ahead and do it. Make the most of it. If you’re just following the path of the people around you and you’re not sure if it’s the right route for you then take some time to evaluate the situation.
If you could be working towards anything right now, what would it be and what would you need to change to get there?
You should start making those changes now.