Six months ago I decided to quit my job. I’d been heading the marketing department for a quality training firm for over six years with no career advancement other than a title change I had given myself two years ago (Hello, Director! What’s next? VP? Queen of Marketing? Sure.). It was getting old and I was getting complacent– a situation that wasn’t fair to myself or the company I worked for.
I just wanted to feel alive again in my work. To feel like I could still learn and challenge myself to become a better person.
What could come next for a gal that felt like she had done and seen it all? Because that’s really what complacency is, isn’t it? Thinking you know it all. Sitting on the metaphorical couch eating bon-bons, nothing new to gain, getting fat off an easy situation.
We need challenges in our lives to stay engaged. To grow and learn. Last year, I had to run a marathon. The year before, I had to have a house. The year before was a baby. Before that, money. And travel, and toys and places and brands and the list goes on. An entire bucket list of things that I had to accomplish to continue feeling like I was in the groove and doing it.
Was it easy? No. I was poor and starting out just like everyone else. I lost my savings in the real estate market just like everyone else. The difference was that made me work harder. I wanted a better life so I worked multiple jobs, then got my MBA. I charged the tuition on my credit card. I didn’t complain, I got up and made it happen. Nothing was handed to me or I wouldn’t have wanted it in the first place. It’s the challenges that make life so rewarding.
This year my challenge was to feel excited about my career again. A fresh start, something new in the world of marketing. I took a horizontal leap into a new industry vertical- Data Storage. A multi-billion dollar industry I knew nothing about. As if that wasn’t enough, I took a leap into a new field of marketing as well- Channels. If someone asked me a year ago what Channel Marketing was I would have said it had something to do with Facebook or Twitter. Now I feel like I could write a book on reseller enablement programs, market development funds, SPIFFs, co-branding and content syndication.
This year has been a humbling experience for me. All of a sudden, what felt like the entire world of marketing knowledge only proved to be a fraction of the whole picture. The old knowledge is still there, but I’m applying it to a different industry in a different way with a different goal. And it hasn’t been easy. There are days I feel like quitting. But what keeps me going is that I chose this. I needed this to become a better person and feel alive again.
I hope to know it all one day before I die. But I’m not there yet and still have a lot to learn. In the meantime, I can confidently say I’m back in the groove, scared shitless and alive (with a old Kiss tune lodged in my head).