career

'I left a job that I really loved for one that paid significantly more. Here’s what I learnt.'

Throughout my entire nine-year career working in marketing communications, I have been driven by passion for what I do. 

I had only accepted roles that I was excited about, ones that spark a fire, where you leave a job interview thinking 'I would love working here!'. I’m driven by the opportunity to learn (including the chance to fail), I thrive within a social environment and I’m most productive when I’m busy. 

But I can honestly say that I have never been driven by money.

Watch: Five money lessons your parents told you, that you should probably forget. Post continues after video. 


Video via Mamamia.

I have quite a broad resume, which I owe partly to a previous (wonderful) manager, who gave me the following advice early in my career whilst I was working in the travel industry; 'It doesn’t matter how many industries you choose to work in, focus on the core set of skills you want to develop.' 

Some people aren’t comfortable with that and prefer to streamline their career within one profession – and that is absolutely fine too, it’s what works for you.

Earlier this year, I began to feel stagnant about the role I was in. It felt like a literal hamster wheel; walking into work, working on the same project as the day before, leaving, and then doing it all again the next day. I had brilliant colleagues, some have become my closest friends, but I could sense my passion was fading after nearly two and a half years, with a lack of prospect to promote or challenge myself.

I decided to do something I had never done before – contact a recruiter.

They were very helpful, and within a few weeks I had interviews lined up. I was offered a communications role that was a seemingly pleasant opportunity, but not one that I would usually have been motivated to dive into. However, it paid over 60 per cent more than my salary at the time. 60 per cent! Was this what I should have been getting paid at this point in my career? I’m not one to leave a stone unturned, so I accepted it to find out.

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Now, almost six months in, here are a few things I’ve learnt...

The salary you earn isn’t everything.

Okay, so I knew this before I accepted the job. But having this reaffirmed is something I now feel very confident in and can put my money where my mouth is (excuse the pun). 

I truly believe in getting paid what you’re worth and not underselling yourself, but I will never again accept a role based on the numbers that appear in the contract.

But… make a conscious effort to embrace the extra dough.

I consciously used this newfound cash surplus to set myself up financially. 

Between putting a little more into savings, chipping away at my HECS debt a bit more frequently and buying a few shares, I finally feel like I have a solid savings routine and control of my finances. Whether my next role pays the equivalent salary or not, I intend to maintain this routine I’ve created.

Take the opportunity to learn.

Use this time to come up with some goals you want to achieve. 

Working in a role I’m not passionate about, I needed something to look forward to day to day. I decided to work out what I wanted to get out of the role. It could be learning a new industry you’ve been curious about, or a specific skill you haven’t had the chance to practice or perfect. The next job I apply for, I’ll be adding both of these to my resume.

Quick! Have a listen of this episode of 8 Minutes To Change Your Work Life. Post continues after podcast.

Ever considered a side gig?

I have a second part-time career, which I’m highly passionate about and very grateful for. 

It has provided the outlet I need to balance the 'churn and burn' of one occupation with something I really enjoy in a parallel career. The balance can sometimes be tricky, but it can also be twice as rewarding.

Give yourself something to look forward to.

I won’t be staying in this role for too much longer, but I’m excited for whatever happens afterwards, knowing that I’ve made the most of it and gained a new perspective. If you’ve ever been curious, weigh up your pros and cons and take the leap if it’s the right time in your career – but make sure you’re prepared to learn from it.

Feature Image: Mamamia. 

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