Could I count this as a mid-ish life crisis? It’s your classic early 30’s life changing moment that everyone in films goes through. I went from a 9 year career in Advertising into a completely new industry! All I can say is it was one of the most liberating, scary and rewarding things I’ve ever done, and its only my first month!
I’ve always admired those who knew what they wanted to do as a career. Those who went to university and actually studied what they now do seems like an alien concept to me. I am so envious of their certainty and steadfast passion on what they want, and this is certainly something that I was never able to decide.
I found myself in the world of Media when I left University with a Costume Production degree under my belt in 2011. I interviewed for 3 months for jobs in tailoring, theatre and shop work with no success. I eventually signed up to an agency who offered temp work across any and all types of business, and I was quickly assigned to AOL to take screenshots and make site lists. Just because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t work hard, and I really worked hard to take on all additional work and other projects to get me away from just being the temp who did screenshots and into the full time team.
When You Are Unsure On Your Career
As you can guess I continued my rags to riches story throughout my career in advertising to the almost present day.
I was on the run-up to a long-awaited promotion, had built and invested a huge chunk of myself into a team and had done thousands of hours of training, networking and gathering knowledge and resources to learn and push myself in the world of Media. So why lose all of that?
When you are unsure on your career, many people find they just accept the first one that comes along and stick to it. This was very much the situation I found myself in. I knew I wanted to succeed and I knew what I wanted from my career, advertising being all I knew I thought that was it for me. I didn’t even consider a new career was an option after so long of being focused on one thing.
Challenging Myself To Learn New Things
At the start of the 2020 Covid lockdown, like many, I decided to make the most of the additional time at home to learn new things, this is when I first logged onto Hubspot. Hubspot offers a huge range of free eLearning focused around marketing, and it was recommended to me by my sister. I wanted to challenge myself, and decided to take the longest course I could find, which was in Inbound Marketing. This changed everything...
There was a whole industry out there I did not even know about, focused around creating a user journey solely fuelled by providing valuable content and driving interaction and sales through the value of this content. The only incentive for the prospect is learning more due to the appeal and high value of what is on offer.
Advertising sits in a similar field, but has far pushier undertones to the inbound methodology. The advertising market is also very saturated, so much of it is turning to who has the louder voice over the value a brand can bring to a customer, and it was the value and the promise of providing knowledge that really drew me to Inbound.
I enjoyed the course hugely, and put my sights to how I could possibly transfer some of what I had learned into my current role. Only a few days later I received a forwarded LinkedIn post from my sister, who knew how much I had enjoyed learning about Inbound. Tribal Impact were hiring, and they specialise in Employee Advocacy. I wasn’t looking to move, and this was so far away from what I was doing, surely, I didn’t stand a chance at even an interview right? Fast forward a few months, and at the start of December I became part of the tribe!
So Many Questions I Asked Myself
During those few months of interviewing, discussing and researching I was in turmoil. Is this a good idea? It’s a whole new industry after 9 years of investing my life into advertising! Am I starting from scratch? I’m sure anyone who has done, or is considering changing career asks themselves similar questions, it’s one of the scariest decisions I have ever made, but now I have done it, it’s one of the best decisions too.
Yes, this is a good idea and no, I am not starting from scratch! 9 years of managing accounts, talking to clients, sales teams, working with tech and managing people are all skills I can transfer and will bring value to any career I choose. Discovering this and taking the leap were hard things I had to push myself to do. Hardest of all was recognising the skills and triumphs I had, and it was something really hard to admit and put out into the world.
Being Excited Everyday
Change is always hard, and for me personally I find change, even small a worrying prospect. However, reflecting on my career and where I am now, change has been a constant, and I have always adapted. Yes, my most recent decisions have been the most drastic so far, but it feels amazing to be stepping into something new, learning and being excited by every day. To be working with something that excited me so much almost a year ago, and driving change and positivity to others every day as my career is the most amazing decision I have made for myself to date. I chose this, it wasn’t chosen for me by a temp agency. I now know I have the skills and confidence to do this.
To anyone reading this post, please don’t let the unknown hold you back, it might just be the best thing you ever do!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2021 to Lizbeth's LinkedIn profile, you can follow along her inbound journey here.