Walking Your Own Path Post Written by Guest Blogger Monica Woodhams
Taylor Swift said it best – “we’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.” Halfway through my twenties, I can’t think of a better way to describe the last five years. The two biggest life lessons I’ve learned are that it’s ok to be selfish sometimes and to trust my gut. I’m still learning that everyone has a different path and it’s impossible to compare your life stages to others in your twenties. Sometimes I remember this, sometimes I don’t.
About five months ago I was living in Dallas and had gotten the itch to move. I wasn’t completely sure where, but the city contenders included Los Angeles and Nashville, despite my hometown being Kansas City. The hardest part of this was the job search. Moving meant quitting my job as the couture assistant buyer for NeimanMarcus.com. Isn’t that a dream job? How could I just quit a job that is “so cool?” I knew I wasn’t happy and while it was considered a dream job, it wasn’t my dream job We all have a path in life to follow and if you are not happy with your career path, there is no harm in switching it up. If you’re not happy in your job, apply for another one. If it helps, doing research before hand or even planning out answers for potential questions can make all the difference when it comes to your responses for future interviews. Even if you think you are going to ace the interview questions, it won’t harm you to take a look into something like Berke assessment testing solutions. This way, you’ll get a better understanding as to why you are being asked certain questions and you’ll have time to prepare an answer, even if it is a face to face interview. Hopefully this time round, you’ll land a job that you have always wanted, instead of following someone else’s path for you.
The second hardest part of this was the mixed reactions I received. On one hand, my friends and family were supportive of me moving away for new job and life experiences. On the other hand, they were not convinced that this was the time to do it. Some friends thought that if I moved, it would take longer for me to settle down and others were saying that I should just move back home. My first reaction to this was that this was a ridiculous strategy for a twenty-four year old. However, as I was seeing that this is what my friends were doing, I thought maybe I was one the one who had it wrong.
From where I stood, it felt like my friends were starting to settle down left and right. Between my best friend from college getting married, to my group of friends going from mostly single to all in serious relationships, and my roommate getting engaged, I didn’t know where I fit in all of this. I felt somewhat left out and somewhat worried that I was off track and needed to get on the same track as everyone else. Apparently this is something that comes with growing up in the Midwest and living in Texas.
Between the job search and my friend group dynamic changing, I began experiencing a lot of anxiety. I’ve always liked having an outline or a clear path to what I’m supposed to next. That’s why school makes so much sense. You go from point a to point b to get to c, etc. Suddenly I realized that there’s no set path and it’s completely up to me to decide what to do next. Coming to this realization I decided I needed to trust my gut and do what I believed was best for me at that point in time. My gut told me that it was time to move on from Dallas, to explore a new career path, and to start creating a path to do what I love every day.
When I got a job offer from a start-up in California, I was terrified to accept. I still wasn’t sure what job I wanted next, let alone what industry. I took the leap into technology with the mindset that my next job should be one where I am experiencing something completely new. That is exactly what this job brought to me. I was learning about finding bugs in the software platform, how to QA system updates, and how to link two software platforms together. Never in a million years did I think I would become an assistant buyer for Neiman Marcus and never in a million years did I think that afterward I would be working hands on in technology. A major takeaway from this job was the confidence to do something new and to succeed at it. If there’s an industry that you’ve always been interested in, but feel like it’s too late because it’s not where you started, I encourage you to go for it anyway. Find a company who finds your growth potential to be even more valuable than your past experience. These are the places where you will step out of your comfort zone and learn new skills and new interests.
There is not one part of my career path that I regret. If you’re in a job that others may consider a dream, but you’re unhappy, don’t stay just because you feel like you have to. Yes, you have an amazing opportunity, be grateful for it, but it is a building block to your next position. Remember, you don’t have to stop at someone else’s finish line.
I know I’m still young and have so much to learn. From what I have learned thus far, I can confidently tell you that if you have the opportunity to do something new, but are hesitant because it is different to what your peers are doing, you should just do it. It’s better just go for it than to have regrets later down the road, don’t you think? The cool thing about life is that you have a say in your happiness, a say in your career path, and a say in your life.
Monica Woodhams is a 25-year-old Kansas City native living in Los Angeles. After leaving her job as an Assistant Buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Monica took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles to begin her career in technology and in blogging. Her blog, 45 Fairmount was created for twenty-somethings who, like her love fashion, obsess over finding new restaurants and cafés, and plan to see and explore the world. 45 Fairmount is a collection of what inspires Monica today. From fashion to travel to sharing stories about other inspiring twenty-somethings, you’ll see that 45 Fairmount is a place to take a break from planning the future and to enjoy the moment.