How Taking a Step Back in My Career Helped Propel it Forward
The starting years of my career were spent as a lecturer, part-time faculty member and as an assignment writer. Teaching has always been one of my passions but somehow I wasn’t happy in these job roles. More than happiness, I found my jobs were not fulfilling to the extent I wanted them to be. I always wanted to do something big and something better.
The indomitable willpower and the strong desire of doing something better made me constantly search for better options. One fine day, I came across the opportunity of contributing articles as a freelancer to one of the leading career portals of the UK. It was interesting and something I hadn’t done before. I couldn’t let it go and thus, grabbed it right away. This freelancing gig exposed me to the world of Blogging and Social Media Marketing. Certainly, I found the field to be interesting but there were a lot of inhibitions as a fresher in the industry. Many times, I thought of listening to my heart and taking Blogging as a full-time career. My brain would, however, guide me otherwise. I decided to go with something that is considered to be more rational. All this while, I did nothing better than contributing articles as a freelancer. The opportunity lasted for good one year and after it got over I was back to square one- left with a job role of an assignment writer. It helped me earn money but it was one of those few things I never enjoyed doing in life.
I was downright miserable. I had to struggle a lot. Several business plans were made and destroyed. After months of muddling through, I woke up to a radical idea: Maybe it was time to launch my own Blog and quit assignment writing.
Today, I look back to realize that the space I got after my stint as a freelancer got over and the time I spent on exploring other business models made me confident of doing something that was close to my heart but I was not expert at doing- writing and lots of writing. It made me closer to the realization that there lay a lot of potential in the experience I had gained as a freelance blogger considering Blogging was relatively a new concept to people where I lived and everyone around me was slowly catching up to the idea of Digital Marketing. This could open a whole array of new and exciting opportunities for me if I could market myself right.
To start off, it demanded that I launch my own blog. Having known that the growth of a blog was something that was primarily dependent on how far I could go in connecting my readers on an emotional ground, it was not an easy job. There were too many things to be figured out- for how long I could survive without a paid gig, should I focus on writing the content only my blog or other websites as well, what are the things I should be doing to enhance my online visibility?
I decided to give myself 1 year before I would again switch onto something that would pay me financially, howsoever, less it would be. This meant dedicating 365 days of my life to Blogging, learning new things and building a list of readers. It was not that simple though.
I don’t want to downplay how scary the choice was. There’s no way I could’ve done it without a supportive husband and a bunch of loyal readers. Getting the support and positive feedback from friends and family from day one made me feel I was lucky to be in that situation. Not to mention, walking away from the money assignment writing would give me was really disorienting.
‘Will I ever get to where I have always wanted to be in my career?’
I remember asking this question to my own self and people close to me at least a hundred times, if not more. There were days I felt crazy about what I was doing.
I still don’t know if it was just luck or a bit of my good work that landed me my first big project within a time span of six months only- much before I had projected the results to pour in. I didn’t stop myself there. Instead, I started diversifying my work and kept challenging myself every time there was a new thing to learn.
With each new project that came my way, I became stronger and confident. I found myself dreaming-something I had stopped doing after high school. I have always felt dreams are powerful and those who know me would know how important my dreams are to me. They have given me a reason strong enough to live my life.
The fact is that the moment I decided to step back from what was helping me make money (but not something I was enjoying), my life changed all over. It made me understand how important it was to pursue a passion in your life. Sometimes it is only when you pause, things start taking a shape and you learn to embrace a change.
I dedicated myself completely to my blog and every single project that came my way. I never allowed myself to leave an opportunity unexplored. The result is, today, I am spearheading several projects, planning new things almost every day and working with clients all over the world.
Dare to dream and your dreams will take you to places where you’ve never been before!
Image source: beleaderly.com