What kind of career do I want? How my thinking has changed over time

What kind of career do I really want?

In reading back over some of my very first blog posts, it’s clear just how much things have changed in my life.

In particular, how many times I’ve changed my mind about the kind of work I’d like to have. It’s not just a case of me being fickle, I promise – my chosen career field is a rapidly changing one.

When I first graduated I thought I wanted to be a subeditor. Thing is, there are fewer and fewer of those jobs these days – it’s a dying art – and the hours are often crappy. It wasn’t long before I ditched that idea.

Then social media took off. Everyone and their dog was becoming a social media manager or consultant. I loved that I got to play with social networks as part of my job, but the more I did it at work, the less I wanted to do it for fun, and I quickly learned that I would want to be  more than just a ‘Twitter monkey‘. (I had to laugh when someone I follow locally on Twitter, who’s been a social media champion from the early days, tweeted that she is now looking to do a project as far removed from social as possible.)

I’ve always been a doer. I wasn’t into the top-level stuff – I’m a details person, not a visionary. I like that this, at times, allows me the flexibility to work from anywhere, since all I need most of the time is a computer and internet. But I don’t love staring at a screen all day – and I don’t think it’s been great for my health. Fortunately, as I’ve gained more experience I’ve also become more interested in the strategy behind the doing and being involved in how/why things are done. I still have  zero desire to manage people but increasingly I’m thinking I’d like to learn more about doing things more strategically and getting involved at a higher level.

It’s great to love your work. It’s also great to be able to afford the kind of life you want, and to have the kind of job that allows you to have that life outside of your working hours. As much fun as my work has been so far, I knew I had to be realistic about the long-term opportunities. Publishers are struggling to make money – but on the flipside, all other kinds of organisations are investing in content.


In thinking about what I might want to do next, I narrowed it down to a few areas I would ideally like to work in:

a) the travel and tourism space

b) the personal finance space (a cool bank, or, say, at sorted.org.nz)

c) an awesome startup (though arguably my last job was pretty close to a startup job)

Amazingly, I found a role that perfectly marries my writing chops, digital skills and love of travel. It’ll be my job to help extol all the virtues of New Zealand as a place to visit – a dream gig, really.

So far, I anticipate a lot more collaboration, a lot more meetings, a workload that ebbs and flows – more facilitation, planning and strategy alongside the nitty gritty production stuff rather than a constant cycle with very tangible daily outputs.

Overall, will I love it just as much as I did my old work? I think it’s highly likely. Time will tell; I haven’t gotten too much into the ‘doing’ yet. I dig the atmospherical aspects and am pretty sure the workload will be less relentless. All things considered, higher pay, the chance to hone new skills and better long-term earning potential don’t hurt, and are definitely factors that play into professional satisfaction.

Maybe further down the track I may have to make a stark choice between money and satisfaction, but not just yet. Phew.

8 thoughts on “What kind of career do I want? How my thinking has changed over time

  • Reply krantcents May 7, 2014 at 10:50

    If you didn’t evolve over time, something would be wrong. Especially since your industry has changed materially thanks to technology.

  • Reply Quinn @ Wealth Out West May 7, 2014 at 11:34

    Sounds like a fantastic job!

  • Reply Genie May 7, 2014 at 17:23

    I would love to do more collaborations. As a designer every project varies on the amount of collaboration but collaborations take time. Hours of meetings that might not be quoted for. But the solution is something bigger than all of us.

  • Reply Holly@ClubThrifty May 8, 2014 at 23:42

    I would also love to get into the tourism industry somehow, and that’s an idea my husband is working on. I think it would be fun, although everything becomes work at a certain point.

  • Reply Michelle May 9, 2014 at 02:19

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be a travel writer.

    But either way, right now, I am fulfilling my dream of becoming a writer! So life is great!

  • Reply Brian @ Luke1428 May 9, 2014 at 04:29

    I know my interests have certainly evolved over time. I’m passionate about different things now than I was 10 years ago. That makes it really challenging when you feel stuck in a job that you don’t feel drawn to anymore.

  • Reply Addison @ Cashville Skyline May 11, 2014 at 16:36

    Congrats on the new gig! It sounds like we have a lot in common regarding career interests. I feel myself moving in more of a digital marketing direction. It’s one of the reasons I started Cashville Skyline!

  • Reply Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans May 13, 2014 at 08:48

    What I want to do always changes! Thankfully, I’ve found a solid job and company to work for right now while I still try to figure out the long term picture for myself.

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